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In this installment of the Lighting with Flash series, photographer and Strobist publisher David Hobby visits a conservation center to photograph subjects small and large, demonstrating flash lighting techniques along the way. The course begins with a close-up shoot of a small frog—and with details on how to light close-ups and macros using a small softbox and a reflector made of crumpled aluminum foil. Next, David uses multiple strobes and umbrellas to transform a dark blacksmith shop into a warm backdrop for a portrait of a craftsman at work. In a bonus chapter, David discusses an approach for organizing photo meet-ups that have a purpose: leveraging the talents of multiple photographers to quickly create a set of photos for a worthy organization.
So rather than taking this light and going up all the way off the ceiling, I'm going to put a big softbox. Well, not big for us, but really big compared to Sticky, right over him. And this is a LumiQuest Softbox LTp for laptop pro, because it's designed to be as big as your 15-inch MacBook and ride right alongside it in the, in your case and take up no extra space. So let's see where we're at, power-wise. So this is on 1 128th power.
I've got it dialed down as far as I can go for a couple reasons. I don't need a ton of power this close, and I also don't want to subject the frog to any more trauma than necessary. So see what we got here. And I'm going to close down to f8 just on a guess. So I'm going to give myself a little more power, because I do want to have depth of field to start to carry these other sticks and such, because I think that's, that's interesting to have there. So I'm going to crank it up to, let's call it 132nd power. Sticky is gotta really be wondering what's going on here. So you're probably seeing a lot of dirt on this glass. What you probably can't see from that angle is, we cleaned out a little window to go through because we're going through the full thickness of glass plus layers of dirt on each side.
What really helps is the light level inside the glass is a lot higher than the light level outside the glass. Which means that the dirt will not be as big of a deal, number one. And number two, my reflection's not going to be happening. So I'm up to a 32nd power. (SOUND) That's starting to look more interesting. Now, that black in the background is getting picked up now. I can see some texture on it. So, I might actually slide this light a little further this way. See if that helps (SOUND).
That's better. So, what we've got now is a really kind of an eerie Jabba the Hutt overlight looking there, that really defines his shape. But he's completely lost against the against the, the bottom of the stick that he's sitting on, and he, he really goes into deep shadow underneath that light into shadow. So I'm going to start to try to bring that shadow up by making the ground more reflective. I've got some aluminum foil, which is a macro photographer's best friend, or maybe next-to best friend. And then I'm going to go in and what I'm going to do is crumple this up some, and then uncrumple it to give it a randomness to the way it throws back light. And it'll, I, It will make it more even is the long story short. Maybe I should have done this in the single thickness mode (SOUND). So, let's see if we can convince Sticky not to move while we go in and, and give him his fill light.
Don't want that to fall on him. Okay, so, Sticky, what's the best way to invade your space, bud? Go like this. If he jumps, you're going to see me jump. (SOUND) Here we go. So, you might want to see this.
So, what we've got now is a nice, random, very efficient reflector tucked up underneath him. Right, so let's put our light back. (SOUND). Oh, yeah. Totally. So now I'm picking up all kinds of nice highlights around the bottom. In fact, there's a neat little glow that's seeing, and I'm seeing, up under his body.
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