Most experienced photographers know that when you use artificial light you should place it above your subject. That’s because when you do so, you are creating a lighting pattern that casts shadows down on your subject.
But there is a lighting technique called Feathering Light. That technique is utilized by having the edges of your light paint light onto your subject. This is done to minimize the effect of using light with your subject and even more importantly on the canvas of your image.
For example, if you want to do a shoot and don’t want there to be light spill or shadows on the ground coming from the flash, you would feather the light. This technique can also include facing the light up or even placing it on the ground so the light is shooting up.
Check out the video above of the shoot that I did in the Everglades which shows exactly what I’m talking about. This was a crazy shoot with my Model Emily who painted herself up and used palm fronds on the ground to create an amazing outfit.
This was done using the Godox AD 600 Pro flash inside of the Westcott Rapid Box XXL modifier with three layers of diffusion; the deflector plate, the inner baffle and outer sock.
As you’ll see in the video I use the edges of the light modifier to cast light onto Emily vs. what I’d normally do which is use the center of the light source. Below are the resulting images from the shoot. I’m breaking them into categories based upon the lens used.
Shots using the Sony Zeiss 50mm:
Shots using the Sony G 12-24mm lens:
Shots using the Sony Zeiss 35mm:
I really hope this helps some of you out there to explore some alternative ways of lighting. The pros to lighting like this include creating some dynamic shots in a way that allows your ground area to remain dark. The cons are that you have to be careful of where and how your shadows fall on your subject.
Immediately following this shoot we did a live video blog/podcast. To check that out click below:
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