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Case Study: Shadows and High Contrast

Today’s case study is a throw back to an earlier post I made on here about exposing for highlights. You can read that here. To create this image, I had the bride in the background in the sunlight and the groom in the shade:


ISO 200; f11; 1/400 sec at 24mm

Here I had my flash in my left hand, which was aimed at the groom, and I exposed for the highlights (the sunlit part of this image) while setting the exposure compensation at -0.7.

I feel the shadows in the background add to the dramatic effect of this image. It almost looks like there are 2 images in one, one high key-image and one low-key image at the same time.

When you’re shooting, look for the shadows and high contrast areas like in this image. Your flash is strong enough to overpower the sun. In these conditions your flash works very hard and might overheat quickly, so make sure you have a spare flash just in case your main flash needs to take a break.

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