Friday, October 14, 2011


By Moritz Stragholz


Photos by Moritz Stragholz

Lighting on location, for some photographers it is obvious for others it is something new. The following article is especially for those of you that are new to this idea or are just starting out.

First of all, why use extra lighting on location? 

Unlike natural light, with the use of flash you have control over your lighting. Furthermore, it allows you to shoot with a higher aperture or faster shutter speed, thus having more depth of field or being able to freeze a moment with less motion blur. Moreover, unlike with natural light where you often have an overexposed sky, you can now expose for the sky so that you see the blue sky and clouds as well as have a well lit model. 

Furthermore as the flash doesn't come from above like the sun, you can reduce the shadows on the model. 

As for the "how to light on location", you can have an on-camera flash or you use off-camera flash. If you have never used flash during the day, have a try and use on-camera flash and you will see a big difference in the result already. 

With off-camera flash you have various options: cable, light triggered and radio remote. When shooting in daylight using the light triggered method often doesn't work as the flash won't realize the pre-flash. Cables are lying around and create trip hazards so the best solution for location off-camera flash are radio remote triggers. There are various triggers available, some offering a hot-shoe and lightstand screw so easy to assemble and use. 

With the lighting there is no thing as right or wrong as it's all a matter of creativity so playing around with the light can be helpful and create various looks. However what usually works well is the 45 degree angle from the model. 

When exposing, expose for the sky so that you can get the dark sky. Next set up your flash and flash power, either using a light meter or manual so that the model is well exposed. 

The following shots show a shoot at sunset and were all shot at f11, 1/200sec and ISO 200, the first shot is without flash, the other two shots were taken with a single flashgun on ¼ power slightly to the right of the camera.

Without flash

With a single flashgun

With a single flashgun 


London based freelance photographer Moritz Stragholz (MO-ST Photography) was born in 1978 in Germany. He started his photography with landscapes and moved in 2008 to fashion and sport/action shots (with edgy lighting). He still loves to combine the passion for landscapes by doing outdoor shoots, often with the use of additional lighting to create the look he wants.

If you would like to hear more from Moritz, please leave a comment below!

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