A couple of weeks ago I was playing with my flash outside. I wanted to create a nice portrait light on my subject while muting the background. With the image of my son I think I did just that. Here is what I learned.
Now depending on what you’re after I believe that you could either start with the flash reading or ambient light reading. I took a flash reading with an ISO 500 my flash was an f22. Next I took the ambient light reading and it was 2 sec at f22. Because I was interested in having my son being the subject of the photo and not the background, I under exposed the ambient light by a stop and quarter.
I then took the image into Photoshop and touched up then converted it to black & white with a sepia undertone giving it that warm feel.
So what did I learn? Simple if you are going to shoot with flash outside then remember this. The F-Stop controls the flash exposure and shutter speed controls the ambient light. So if you want a darker background then change your shutter speed and under expose it. But remember if you’re in bright sunlight then you are going to need to have high speed shutter sync for the flash and a powerful flash, otherwise this little exercise is a moot point. For me because I did not have either one I did this shoot at dusk. Besides that is the look I am going for anyway.
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