Using Flash to subtly enhance architecture in dull light?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by roy_hunt|1, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. Hi Everyone,
    I am travelling to India with a Mamiya 6 film camera and I'm going to be photographing some smaller historic buildings (all exterior shots). Mostly they will be houses set in small garden spaces. I wanted to ask if anyone has used flash to give just a "kiss of light" to part of the subject area if the ambient light is rather flat or the area of interest is in shade. I'll be travelling light with just a canon 580EX flash and maybe a couple of pocket wizards for remote triggering, a small light stand and maybe one of those push on mini soft boxes. As I'm using film, I'll be using a sekonic L-558 light meter to measure the flash at the place where I want to direct it. I've seen some examples of flash used in this way on real estate photography sites of - lots of it fairly cheesy it has to be said - and I wondered if anyone might have some tips for a subtler approach? Thanks
  2. if you're attracted to a detail--snout on the detail, handheld, underexpose the rest... if instead you like the overall architectural composition, flash on cam, long shutter and some nice fluid camera shake, play with light balance... back light openings/doorways/windows/cracks.... treat statues like humans, with a handheld photorogue grid... etc etc... hey, this is just the beginning :) have fun
  3. Professional photographers have been doing this for decades. When you need it, use it!
  4. Thanks both of you. That photo rogue kit looks useful, but I guess I would like to get a bit more into the detail and look at examples where the technique works well and I can reverse engineer how the effect I'm looking for was achieved if anyone has any links to share. Should I use gels for instance, is a small flash like the canon 580EX with modifiers capable of producing light that looks close enough to natural sunlight? Should I bounce it off an umbrella or try a small soft box. I can see how a Grid spot could work in some situations if I get one that had wider coverage. Bear in mind also that I will only have one, maybe two small flashes with me. As I'm going with film, I am going to do some experiments with a digital camera and flash before I go travelling so I can establish a few basic parameters. Thanks again.
  5. roy, i guess i should have clarified it--the main reason i said "handheld" twice in my post was that many countries, or even individual towns or architectural complexes, have regulations against the use of tripods or stands in public space. why, you might not even get in with a folded tripod or stand. i know nothing about india, but it's probably something worth checking
    i have the photorogue all-included kit and it's great within its obvious limitations of size and distance (as in, m u s t g e t c l o s e :))
    still, a few small strobes placed out of sight in the various openings, niches, cracks, and triggered via radio, might be cool
    ps. sorry, no examples from me, my own attempts have been embarrassing so far--great you can test ideas out on digi!
  6. hmmm... why do i keep calling it "photorogue?" :)) i mean this one--
  7. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    If it is really dark you can paint with a flashlight. Here's an example I did with a tree.

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