• Anthony Burke

Natural light or strobes?

As I have developed my photography skills, I have leaned more towards lighting my subject rather than hit and hope that the lighting will be kind when I get to a venue. Yes it can be a pain in the backside lugging extra gear, but the results, at least in my mind are far more engaging.

If it's cloudy intermittent with sun, the images have a habit of changing depending on what light is available at that time. If you have a 4 hour shoot, the light at the beginning of the day will be completely different towards the end of the shoot. I would much rather be in total control of the image by having a good quality light source all the way through the shoot. Much time is saved in editing the images later in the day. Ideally you want to get it right in camera, rather than spend hours on a PC/Mac, going and amending every image for colour correction. I'd much rather spend my day shooting.

In Dubai I used Bowens strobes and I did intend on carrying that on in the UK. Unfortunately Bowens are no longer in the market place, so I had to look at another supplier. After much deliberation, I opted for Godox AD600. Good price and so far I'm over the moon with the quality. Very robust and the light quality is great. Winner!

On a food shoot I would bring one light, one stand and an octobox with a grid, helping me get a good directional light and highlight my subject, rather than misleading the eye with exterior distractions. I also have one assistant (my pregnant wife) who control's a fill card or reflector. As a rule I use the white side for a natural light source and it gives just enough and is pleasing to the eye.

I think moving forward I may do some behind the scenes shots to show how it is set up. I also think we should speak about how we would create the set for the image. You need the dish to be the star, but there also needs to be a feeling that a lot has gone into making the set unique to the venue. So there you have it folks, we have our next blog planned out.

Until then, try and see if you prefer lit shots, or natural light. Hint, there is no right answer, just your preference.



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