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Removing Ambient Light in Home Studio

Quick Tips for shooting in a home studio and removing ambient light


Digital SLR, 24-70 Lens

1 or 2 Strobes or flashes, Softboxes & light stands

Knowledge: Able to use SLR Camera & Flashes in manual mode

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Coming up with this great fashion look is easier than you think and you should try this at home with a friend.

When you’re shooting at home you may think problems are space and light, but you’re wrong. These problems can be easily overcome even with limited space and some natural ambient light entering the room. In these circumstances the natural light could not be dimmed and this image was shot in a room 5 x 3 meters with natural light coming in through a large window. There were also ceiling lights on in the room at the time that this image was taken and I requested that they be left on to prove that the lights would not make a difference to the flash we were using.

To have no ambient light interrupting with your flashes do the following

  1. Set your Camera to manual

  2. Set your ISO to 100

  3. Because you are using flash strobes set to 1/160th sec

  4. Set your aperture to F 5.6 (This will give you a reasonable depth of focus to start with at approx. 7ft from your subject)

  5. Take a picture and review on the back of your camera or tethered screen

  6. If you see a black screen, you have already got rid of ambient light

  7. If you don't see a black screen increase your F stop to cut more ambient light out

  8. Turn your flashes on to lowest power in manual mode and take another picture and review

  9. Adjust placement of strobes and adjust power on flash or flashes until subject is lit as required to your taste.

The lens used for this shot was a 24-70 which at 35mm focal length was giving me approx. 5ft depth of field at F5.6 from approx 7ft from the subject. be careful not shoot at head height as the subject will look distorted. Shoot a waist level to keep your subject in perspective. Set your focus point on the eye of your subject and shoot away remembering to re-focus as your subject moves.

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