Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/05/31

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Subject: [Leica] a lunatic flash technique... try it.
From: Johnny Deadman <>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 17:14:11 -0400

on 5/31/01 4:35 PM, Rodgers, David at wrote:

> You said it. I admire people who are masters with artificial light. I find
> that it very difficult. And I don't mean masters at using a dozen, but even
> a single well placed.

actually I think it is easier to light with one well placed light plus a
reflector than three or four or five or more.

more light = more spill

spill = confusion

the light gets where you don't want it!

often the key to lighting well is simply controlling the spill. A big room
is better because the walls don't reflect the light where you don't want it.
Moving the subject away from the back wall helps a lot too. High ceilings
ditto. And lots of flags!

Even so it's hard to make lots of lights look natural because we are
basically used to a single light source: the sun

or, rather, the sky

In fact we really in general respond to diffuse directional light, like you
get from a window or under the leaves of a tree near a clearing. So you have
to go to a lot of trouble to get your lights diffuse, umbrellas and
softboxes and silks and reflectors.

But there's diffuse and diffuse. I don't think a source is truly diffuse
unless it occupies about sixty to ninety degrees of arc as seen from the
subject's POV. That's BIG. Picture window big.

Anyway, now I share a technique. Everyone knows you can bounce the flash off
the ceiling, and walls to the left and right of you, but next time try

fire the flash backwards.

yeah it sounds ludicrous but if you are standing about six feet from a wall
you will get a beautiful diffuse frontal lighting, real beauty shot stuff.

You'll lose a couple of stops but most flashes are overpowered anyway.

of course everyone will also think you are completely off your trolley

that guy's shooting his flash BACKWARDS!

but hey. they already think you're nuts for using a leica.

- -- 
John Brownlow

Replies: Reply from "Eric" <> ([Leica] Re: a lunatic flash technique... try it.)
Reply from "Eric" <> ([Leica] Re: a lunatic flash technique... try it.)
Reply from "Ted Grant" <> (Re: [Leica] a lunatic flash technique... try it.)