Today I’ll discuss some images I captured a few seconds apart, shot in exactly the same corner. One of these images was shot with flash, the other two with available light. None of these images are worse or better, they are only different aesthetics.
I’ve said before that there is no bad light, only the light that tells your story. With one light you can tell your story one way, with another light you tell your story another way. It all comes down to what the message is and the desire of your client, so these things must be taken into consideration when choosing which light to use in your overall aesthetic.
These are the images I shot with available light:
And here is the one I shot with flash:
It is important to note that not much actually changed between the two sets of images except that when I used flash, I cut the ambient light completely by increasing my shutter speed so that the only light captured came from the flash itself. I used a gel on my flash to produce the yellow light, which adds another type of color to the scene and gives a sense of warmth that blends well with the colours in the background.
This case study demonstrates how completely we can take control of our final image so that light becomes a secondary issue and the message we aim to convey can be our primary concern.
Also, the images shot with flash were basically done instantaneously, with very little set-up. The first shots were done with available light, then my assistant held the flash. All I had to do was raise the shutter speed and then two seconds later I had a completely different image.
For my taste, I think the lighting with flash works a little bit better than available light because it gives it that manly look to our model, a sense of masculinity, harsh light…The light comes in from the side, and actually the shadow on the wall adds a little bit of a dimension. So in this particular case, I think it works a little bit better than the ones with available light, but then again, it depends on the client and what you want to show.
If this was some sort of a catalogue thing then the type of lighting achievable with available light would probably have been better. If it was a fashion shoot, then obviously the lighting with flash gives more energy.
Finally, have a look at the black and white version of this image:
For me, most pictures shot with flash convert better to black and white. Flash gives it that extra pop. If we convert a similar image shot with available light into black and white, it might not look as interesting.
I have a few more other shots with moving light and different angles we can look at in a few days time.
See you then!
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