Tag Archive for: natural light

Tip : using strobes and natural light

The difference between strobes and natural light.


I always tell my students during workshops that when they are shooting with strobes they should always also shoot some images with natural light, this way you can deliver many different looks from the same location to your client.


During the workshops in New York I shot this example which I like to share with you guys.


The first image is without strobes.
To meter this correctly I metered (incident) in front of the models face to get a proper exposure on the face, this meant that the windows would blow out to pure white, in the final tinting I toned down the highlights slightly for a more vintage look.

Workshops 5thfloor NY 29-30 August 2014  (6 of 277)

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The change that a strobe can make

During the location workshops one of the things I always show is the difference between natural light and strobe.
Normally people think that the natural light shots will be much less interesting than the strobe ones, however the end result mostly surprises people.
in this blog post two examples of natural light shots followed by the strobe ones.


Enka workshops Augustus 20 2014    274

Enka workshops Augustus 20 2014    280

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California Sunbounce

I love to play with light, being it ambient light, strobes big or small or whatever as long as I can tell my story I’m happy.
I always tell people that we as photographers are story tellers and light is our language, one can of course just put some words together to make oneself clear but one could also work like a poet and really play with the words. For photographers this translates in just using light to show something, or play with light and create something beautiful.


On location it’s not always handy to bring strobes and when you already have a  great looking set and model and plenty of light it’s often even better to just go for the natural light, but…. that being said I always like to work with accents, fill in etc. In the past I’ve used different reflectors for fill in and some extra accents but I never really was super excited about what I could do with them creatively…. that was until I got a California sunbounce from a friend, this thing is awesome.


I’m using a larger version and actually only use the silver side to really throw some light in the scene, in fact they are so powerful that one day by accident (yeah Frank) I pointed it inside the studio from outside and Annewiek came running out to see what was going on, the whole studio was brightly lit :D, they are for that matter also not perfect for your models, often the models feel a lot of heat in the burning sun and looking into the light… well it’s not something you will do for pleasure (so counting down 3-2-1 open eyes) will work pretty well.


The thing I love about the California Sunbounce I use is that it’s very easy to travel with and assembles pretty fast, but most off all when it’s in the sun…. it REALLY bounces the light. Of course I can write 1000’s words about it, but what about just showing some images I shot during the workshop at Great Fosters in the UK, all were shot with Natural light and the California Sunbounce. You’ve seen the images before but I wanted to tell you a little bit more about the Sunbounce and these images show my point best I think.


All images are 100% natural light, and as you can see the pop and accents the Sunbounce give really mimics the way I would normally use strobes in these situations, but Annewiek likes this a lot more 😀 So if you’re shooting a lot with natural light and travel light, check out the California Sunbounce products.

9 Juni 2014 Marie 0025 1

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Some stories behind the faces

In the previous blog post you found some tips and tricks for street photography.
Today some of my favorite shots with a story attached.

Remember that these portraits are taken VERY quickly so are far from perfect.
Most of the times I take 2-3 shots and that’s it, you can take more time of course but for me part of the challenge is to nail it in a few shots max and let the subject go as quickly as possible, over time I will probably learn to take more time, because when looking back some of these could have been much better by taking maybe 1-2 minutes more. But hey, that’s what it’s all about (the learning process).

This shot I took during our trip over the Pacific Coast Highway.
I was actually shooting a VW with surfboard when the lifeguard approached me and asked me if I liked the car… well I did and we started to talk. Of course I asked him to pose for me for a quick portrait, and he did resulting in this image.

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