An Experiment in Creating Sunlight
In my work as a commercial photographer I deal with time restrictions and don’t always have the luxury of waiting for the sun to do what I want. Even if I could wait, the sun rarely assumes the correct (by my definition) position. That said, we have been lucky at times, especially with the Parade of Homes shoot recently posted in which many of the shots had real, honest to god sunlight. But most of the time I have to rely on my own lighting equipment to create the desired impact. So, this morning I decided to take a strobe light on a pole and try to coax the ‘sun’ into Marcia’s garden. I’ve done ‘Light-Painting’ in the past with hot lights and love the effect, but this is the first try with flash. The composite was made from about 8 different exposures all layered and masked together in Photoshop. The bottom frame was my base exposure with no flash. The ‘sun’ is the strobe with a grid-spot. I can certainly find flaws with the image, but it’s a starting point and I think the technique, when refined, will be a viable tool alongside of traditional light-painting. One huge advantage to working with flash is that it can be done in daylight (provided there is no direct sun creating shadows). You just need a cloudy day and then underexpose the image by one or two stops. The flash will bring up the highlights and mid-tones to the desired level. The most important thing … it was great fun!