Today's Friday's Fab Photographer: Frank Doorhof

Today's Friday's Fab Photographer is Frank Doorhof, a cool dude I met at Photoshop World.

Each week, I select a photographer - pro or amateur - to spotlight here on my blog.

Take it away Frank!
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Understanding light can save you money!

Well actually understanding light not only can save you money, it can make you money also. If you understand light you can start playing with it and make images that you actually not always see, so you can set yourself apart from the rest.

For the shot above I used one lightsource. In this case a standard Elinchrom reflector with grid. By placing the model close to the background and aiming the light the correct way you can create the effect you see here. Do remember that setting up a shot like this can take you some test shots if you want to get it right. You can speed up this process a lot by using a light meter.

The first thing you do is measure the face of the model with an incident reading, let’s say we choose f/11 for this one.

Now switch the light meter to spot metering and measure the background. Remember that if the value is now also f/11 the background will be rendered as 18% gray (middle gray). If you want the background a bit lighter you will have to change the angle of the light and move it slightly more towards the background, if you want it darker move it slightly away from the background. Do remember to measure the model again when you change the position.

By using different grid sizes you can change the “bundle” of the light.

If you want to store this setup and recreate it use your EXIF.

You can for example store it like this: RS S + 1. That means the background has to be one stop higher measured over the right side shoulder. This way you can very easily set it up again and get the same effect.

Above: Never use this kind of light. 

The main problem with rules is that a lot of people live by them and will never use light a bit more creative. One of those rules without a doubt is that one should never use light from the bottom up.

However when combined with the right “look” and some shadow play I love to play with this sometimes. In this image I used an Elinchrom reflector with grid aimed from a low angle straight on the model.

So the tip is :Always experiment with light, even if you think (or being told) that it cannot work, or cannot be used.
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Thank you Frank for a great post!

Explore the light,