Beyond Photography 101

In photography 101 I was told not to shoot directly towards the sun, why? Because, without fail, everything else will be way too dark. In the brave new world we are told that using the HDR option will overcome this problem, but it doesn’t really, so in my opinion the best option is to use flash. For me it’s both the simplest and most efficient option, it also offers the most control.

In this picture we wanted to have the warm glow of the setting sun, but the location itself is in such deep shadow that there is too great a light variation between the sun and the dark areas to avoid either blown out highlights or grossly underexposed shadows.

To fix the problem and light the scene in a naturalistic manner, a speed-light, remotely fired buy radio transmitter and directed at the model, was was placed on a stand balanced on a nearby rock .

The off camera flash creates the nice Rembrandt star under the left eye, and the highlight on the right side of her face appear to be a product the setting sun.

The benefit in using flash in this instance is that we maintain the pleasant warmth of the sunset along with plenty of detail in a dark location, thereby lifting a location that should would have been a washout into the picturesque .


85mm, f1.8, 1/160sec, ISO 250


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