What’s the Difference? is a series of video lighting tutorials. Each episode responds to a single question. In this episode, Jared Platt tries using on-camera flash to overpower the sun. The entire series, including all videos, articles and lighting diagrams, is available at our website. And feel free to leave a question to Jared in the comment section if you have one!
Some places in the world have a limited range of tones. Cloud cover and fog and even heavy smog tend to take the edge of the extremes. This makes capturing an image with a limited latitude much easier.
I have fantasies about living in such places. But then I also remember that I might have to wear a coat to stay warm. So I quickly dismiss the day dreams.
In times and places with limited contrast, a flash is used to add catch lights into the eyes, fill in subtle shadows or provide more volume with a stronger direction of light.
But in the harsh light of a dry, clear blue sky below (or above) the 40th parallel, you are going to experience the limits of your camera’s latitude regularly, and feel the challenge of lighting your shot just to balance the intensity of the light.
We took on this challenge by taking our bride and groom out into the city in the intense afternoon sun. During this challenge we compared a completely ambient shot to one using a simple on-camera flash set up.