Thursday, January 15, 2009

Strobist Lighting 101

Kirsten and I were talking about taking "good pictures" today and I immediately started extolling the virtues of Strobist. This is a blog and a Flickr group surrounding the idea that good lighting makes good pictures -- and the best lighting is "off-camera". Both Kirsten and I were trained in photography through fine art and journalistic techniques which both tend to poo-poo using a flash as the realms of Sears portrait studios and Glamourshots. A few years ago though, I discovered The Strobist and learned that in order to get the shot, sometimes you have to employ "any means necessary" and sometimes that means using a flash.

So, in the spirit of full disclosure, I'm attaching the introductory video from Strobist's Lighting 101. Even if you never intend to purchase a flash, a shoot-through umbrella or a bounce, you will now have a better understanding about what is needed to take a good picture and might help next time you have to work with a photographer or wonder why someone else's photos look better than yours.

2 comments:

bryan said...

That's a good primer on strobe lighting but I strongly disagree that a few thousand bucks worth of strobes make you a better photographer.

An off-camera flash is better than on-camera flash, but no flash is usually even better, and a lot easier and faster. Unless your subject is your Lexus parked in the woods, then you need one thousand strobes.

if your pictures are blah, improving your composition, exposure, and learning to make the best of natural light is going to do you a lot more good than flashing your credit card around at Calumet.

ana said...

Thanks, Bryan! Strobist prides itself on the $100 solution to crappy lighting in the hopes that if you absolutely, positively have to get that shot, you can do it regardless of whether its night, cloudy, overcast or a beautiful sunny day.

I do agree that good composition and exposure make for a better photo but in the short, gray days of winter sometimes nature needs a little help.