Add A Little Sunshine



lighting-diagram-sunshineIt was a dreary, cloudy, rainy morning here in Portland and I thought I’d change the weather to warm and sunny while my girls made cinnamon muffins. When I think of warm and sunny weather I think of nice warm light pouring in the windows and strong shadows of anything that’s directly in it. Since mother nature wasn’t giving it up this morning I figured I see if I could create it myself.

The first thing I did was to put a full CTO gel on a Nikon SB-28 at 1/2 power set on a light stand just inside of the window. I didn’t add any modifiers or umbrellas since I wanted the light to be strong and directional with hard shadows to mimic what the sun might look like if we ever saw it here in the winter. I extended the light stand to about 6 feet high to get the direction of the light as natural looking as possible. It was probably around 20 feet from the subject, to the camera’s left.

I wanted to add some fill light to the shadows as well as add a little rim lighting to separate the subject from the background so I used a second SB-28 with a 1/4 CTO gel on 1/16th power shooting through a snoot. I positioned it camera right, about 90 degrees on a light stand that was about 4 feet high.

I dialed in ISO 200 F5.6 and it was a little too dark. I didn’t want to switch my main light to full power since I didn’t want to be waiting for it to recharge so I bumped the ISO to 400 and depending the the shot worked the aperture between F4 and F5.6 for the rest of the shots. It was a pretty simple 2 light setup, but it was a first for me to try to mimic the sunlight where there wasn’t any. I could have shot this at midnight and it would have looked the same, early morning light, because of how the lights were gelled and unsoftend.  It was a great little exercise and lighting practice is always great no matter the outcome.

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