Creating Sunlight with Flash

Room s

This is a setup shoot from the Rock Chick shoot with Jesse. A few people asked how the shot was lit so here is the first of two post on how I did it. This first post, is the easy one and it describes how the sun effect was achieved. I kept it separate as it is quite useful and it can be used in many many situations. When shooting out on location, you have far less control of the environment that in the studio. There are many more variables out there, such as light weather etc. If you can control, or at least influence one of these, then you are on your road to an easier shoot… in theory. In this case, I controlled the light to suit my needs.

To make a quick summary, the shot above had one light out side the window on the left, about 6feet hight, at a 45* angle downwards. It had a full CTO gel on it and it was triggered by iShoot poverty wizards.

The Before
I didn’t take great setup shots of the ‘before scene’….  I really need to do it better

Firstly, why would you want to use a flash to pretend its the sun in the first place? Well there are a few reasons. The main one that I was interested at the time was consistency. It was a sunny day out side, mostly but the cloud patchy so it meant that the sun was coming and going. On a shoot, having total control over the light is key. Having to wait for the sun to come out on a shoot is usually not an option.

Another reason for using my own sun is that I can place it where I want and it remains there. If a shoot lasts for 2 hours, then the sun will have moved across the sky a good bit in that time. Using a flash to mimic the sun means that the flash comes from the same angle, with the same power all the time.

Colour Temperature
This is a more technical point and it did not bother me for this shoot, but if you are worried about colour temperature, then you will want more consistency that the sun can provide over a shoot that lasts a few hours. The sun starts off warm, then gets a bit cooler during noon and then it starts to come warm again during sunset. It does not change by much, but if you were on a 6 hour shoot, then it may matter.

What make the shot above work I think was the blinds. They gave great beams of light that added to the whole effect. Below is the end effect with all the props and post processing.

Jesse Du Toit -2s

That is pretty much it for now. As usual, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them below.

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