Adding Lights to the Balance the Light

When our eyes adjust to different ratio of lights in one scene, camera usually can only read one narrow range of the spectrum. In this case, people often get the blown out or dark silhouette images, most often on our phones and cameras. In order to properly expose our subject. It is essential to introduce another source of light to fill out the shadow while keeping the background properly exposed. In the article, Balancing Flash and Natural Light for Portraits, by Digital Photo Mentor, it explains it in a three simple steps technique.

  1. Using Only Ambient Light
  2. Add Flash
  3. Adjust as Necessary

While the steps are pretty simple, understanding the balance between the ambient lights and flash light is crucial in order to make the image look good. I will add one step before checking the ambient light which is defining the ambient light.

In this image, I firstly define the ambient light as my rim light on my model. Then I took a picture only use the ambient light.

Zhiyang Tsai-balancethelight-Megan-2

This is what it will look like if exposing the model without adding lights.

After adding a reflector with the background properly expose, we can get a beautiful result of the image.

Here is a link by the Dennis Drenner on how to use reflectors to take better portraits, 6 Ways of Using Reflector to Take Better Portraits.