About ten years ago I was gifted a set of studio strobes from a friend of mine who was closing her photography studio.
I had always wanted to learn lighting, but looking at the strobe heads and softboxes just stress me out. It seemed hard and technical and not “my style”.
So I told myself that lighting just wasn’t for me, I put the entire set up in storage and left it there for five years.
During that time, I struggled with light.
You see, I live in Seattle, and it’s dark here a majority of the time. When I was shooting digitally, I would just crank my ISO up to 6400 and make it work. But when I made the switch back to film I knew something had to change. If I was going to shoot film inside, in Seattle, I was going to have to learn how to use lighting.
So I did. And it changed everything.
Since then I’ve become somewhat of an off-camera lighting evangelist. I sing its praises every chance I get! And every time I talk about it I hear the same reasons from photographers on why they don’t want to use it. So today I want to talk about the three myths that keep photographers from using off-camera lighting and why they are just not true.
Here we go.
I used to think this too. But it’s not. In fact, it’s really, really easy. Just force yourself to start.
Take your strobe or your flash, put it on a tripod, put a light modifier on it, and tell yourself it’s a window.
Light is light.
If you can do it with the sun shining through a window, you can do it with a bulb shining through a softbox!
This was my biggest worry what kept me from using lights for a year. You see, I work with kids. And kids run and jump and move a lot. I wanted to be able to capture that movement.
And I can. In fact, strobes make it better!
The flash freezes movement, so you can capture a kid in mid-jump and not get motion blur!
This is the biggest lighting myth around. Lighting, when done right, can look as soft and beautiful as natural light.
This is how I do it…
I turn my lights down until I get a reading of F4 in the shadows. That way I can soot at F4 or even F2.8 and have a perfectly exposed image that looks soft and just like natural light.
If you are inspired to give lighting a try, I have a class just for. The Missing Link is my complete guide to creating a natural light look with artificial lighting!
This class is perfect for film, hybrid and digital photographers wanting to create their own perfect light every time the shoot!