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02-04-2019, 08:26 AM   #1
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Using strobes with ambient light.

Today, I have tried using strobes during sunset. The output is bit weird. The subject looks like she got embedded into the frame through photoshop. I feel that its the result of using strobe. or is it because of the bright background ? How to deal with such situations ?

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02-04-2019, 09:05 AM   #2
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I've used it many times to give a little fill, through to throwing a lot more light onto a subject to emphasise it, like you've done. The difficulty with the later is to try and keep the light angles and the shadows reading correctly - maybe this is what is slightly wrong with your shot. The subject is nicely lit, but possibly too well lit for her position and the sun's direction.

You've reminded me to re-pack my flash...
02-04-2019, 09:35 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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This kind of problem occurs because the strobe's lighting is too different from the ambient lighting -- the subject looks she was is a different location with different lighting than the rest of the scene. In particular, the subject looks like she should be in shadow if she were sitting on that wall but she is not.

Generally, a strobe in these kinds of outdoor situations is meant to:
1) replicate the ambient lighting where is unavailable due to shadows from out-of-frame objects.
2) soften but not eliminate harsh shadows created by a strong-direct ambient source like the sun.
In this case it looks like:
1) The strobe may be too bright and overpowering the ambient or removing too much shadow
2) The strobe may have the wrong angle - creating different shadows on the subject than are not in the rest of the scene
3) The strobe may have a different color (in this case, the sunset's reddish light is different from the strobe's blueish light)
4)The strobe's light may be too narrowly focused -- the strobe doesn't seem to be lighting enough of the background/foreground to help integrate the lit subject into the scene.
02-04-2019, 09:54 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Thanks BarryE and Photoptimist.

I see the issue now.. The sun is to her right and the strobe is to her left.. My idea was to lit up her face.. while doing so i have completely removed the natural shadows.. also, what you said about the color is also true.. Its a good lesson, will keep it in mind for next time. Here is another picture from other side of the structure. In this scene, the sun is behind her and am filling her face with strobe.. which seems natural

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02-04-2019, 10:27 AM   #5
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That's MUCH better.
02-04-2019, 03:12 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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That's a great one, the second! When using a daylight white balance setting with yellow /orange sun tones, like when it gets lower, then I always use a 1/4 CTO (orange) gel on the flash, to remove the colder flash tones from the skin.
02-04-2019, 06:00 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
That's a great one, the second! When using a daylight white balance setting with yellow /orange sun tones, like when it gets lower, then I always use a 1/4 CTO (orange) gel on the flash, to remove the colder flash tones from the skin.
Thank you for the tip
02-05-2019, 05:03 AM   #8
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Good work with the flash on the second portrait against the backlight. The flare adds more effect to the portrait and the fill light is just enough to appreciate the detail of the subject. I would have powered the flash slightly more so you can expose for the background slightly less, creating more of an emphasis on the subject. The setup seems sound otherwise.

02-05-2019, 08:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Good work with the flash on the second portrait against the backlight. The flare adds more effect to the portrait and the fill light is just enough to appreciate the detail of the subject. I would have powered the flash slightly more so you can expose for the background slightly less, creating more of an emphasis on the subject. The setup seems sound otherwise.
Thanks for the feedback.. I will try your inputs next time. I kind of not able to figure out the exact power as looking into the camera screen didnt help
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