Monday, April 14, 2014

How to fix the silhouetted subject when you want to see them

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/5.6, 1/15, Neewer TT850 flash with Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel Flash Remote Trigger @ 1/32 power 
This past weekend I was photographing Bottles and Cans performing at North Beach Bar & Grill on Tybee Island. There was no light on the band and therefore they were performing as a silhouette as the night went on.

I shot with an off-camera strobe that if you look at the table just in front of the band you will see a bright patch where the flash went off.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/5, 1/15, Neewer TT850 flash with Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel Flash Remote Trigger @ 1/32 power 
As you can see by the flash being on the table it allowed me to have the light hit the singer under his hat as well as the other guys in the band wearing hats. This is what foot lights will also do at Broadway musicals.

This leads me to ask, Do your photos look like this sometimes? It is a good exposure and to correct the photo by opening up a stop or two for the faces will just wash out the color for the rest of the photograph.

Photography is writing with light. It is quite common that you will have to add light to a photograph to give emphasis to where you want the audience to look.

By just putting a flash off camera to the left I was able to not change the exposure, but put light on what was a silhouette of the subject. By using an off camera flash I was able to "reveal" the subject with the light.

To capture the clouds and all their glory in this photo makes those subjects close to the camera silhouetted.

By just adding a light to the subject in the foreground I am able to retain the clouds and the rich colors in the photograph, but now the subject is the person in the photograph and not the background.

I see photos like this all the time in recruiting guides for colleges. This is where the photographer is just capturing what anyone can do with even their smartphone.

Take the time and carry a light stand with a flash. Yes it is something more to carry, but look at the difference.

You are not going to balance a projected image and the speaker that often without using the off camera flash. Here I used the flash on the speaker to help me show they had a large enough crowd that they needed to project him.

If you don't have a way to do off camera flash you need to invest into something or you will always have what everyone else can get with their smartphone or point and shoot camera. Remember photography is writing with light. Take control and be the author of your photos.