Lighting Assignment: Combining Studio Strobes with Available Light

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 2500, ƒ/10, 1/50

This last shooting assignment I have given my class this week is to take a studio strobe out and make a photo where this is complimenting the light already in the scene.

Before they shot in the field I did two different shoots. This is the second shoot I did with them where we left the classroom and I showed them how to talk to folks and get them to pose for an environmental photograph. This is an environment that tells us something about the person.

Here we are showing the guy doing his job as a barista in the local coffee shop.

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 2500, ƒ/10, 1/60

I first made this photo of him working and showed it to the class. I showed them the light on the subject just didn’t make him pop. As he continued to work I took another photo with the studio strobe to make him pop.

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 2500, ƒ/10, 1/60

The setup was like this for the shot:

I put a 10º Grid as well as a neutral density filter on the flash and it was still pretty bright. I used the grid to keep the light from going everywhere and lighting up too much in the scene.

Then I just had him turn and look at the camera for the very first photo.

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/500

We heard sawing nearby so we went to check it out and see if we could get another person in their work environment. Here is the first photo.

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 100, ƒ/11, 1/80

After adding the flash I took this photo and adjusted the shutter speed to where the background wasn’t blown away.

When I first talked about the assignment we walked outside the studio and I did these photos to give them some understanding of the assignment.

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 100, ƒ/10, 1/250

After making this photo I then added a flash.

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 100, ƒ/10, 1/250

Then I added a CTO Gel which is an orange colored gel to the light. I then took a custom white balance and shot the photo again.

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 100, ƒ/22, 1/250

I also underexposed the background by 1 1/2 stop by turning the strobe up in power but keeping everything else the same. This meant I had to then close down the aperture from ƒ/10 to ƒ/22. This made the background darker since the light didn’t affect it.

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 100, ƒ/18, 1/250

I then added a CTB to the light and then did a custom white balance. This is a blue gel and by correcting the white balance the background went orange.

Make this your assignment as well. Here are the directions that I gave to the class:

Lighting
Mixed Lighting
The goal of this assignment is to demonstrate when you are out of the studio you can use your strobes to improve an otherwise dismal situation.
Whatever you choose, you must provide 2 photos. 
  1. Photo without strobes. In other words your subject needs light to make it look better. You want to make this the best exposed as possibly you can do. (exactly the same as with strobes)
  2. Photo with the strobes.
Some Blog Posts to help get your juices flowing and walk you through the steps:
Grading:

  1. 20% for proper exposure
  2. 20% for focus
  3. 20% Showing rules of composition
  4. 20% Demonstrating each technique
  5. 20% for expression

One thought on “Lighting Assignment: Combining Studio Strobes with Available Light”

Leave a Reply