Playing with light

by | 2019-09-18 4:58am Asia/Tokyo

At the end of this month, my wife and I will be taking family photos at an outdoor event at a nearby park. We did the same event a couple of years ago. While my wife took pictures, her friends ran a booth selling handmade goods. I took pictures of the event and my wife while she was working. I wanted to promote the event and my wife’s work.

This year, my wife wants me to help take pictures. We’re going to split the work. It’ll be the first time that I work for her taking photos. She originally envisioned me running a mini-studio experience. As a result, I’ve been thinking about I can run such an operation by myself.

The main obstacle to running the experience outdoors is going to be the weather. Cloudy weather and sunny weather require different lighting setups. Additionally, any heavy wind will also hinder efforts to use things like diffusers or paper backgrounds.

Well, since we have some time to prepare, I’ve been looking at potential setups online. I found a couple I liked, so I took my wife to the park to try them out.

As it turns out, the weather cooperated quite nicely. We had one cloudy day and one sunny day, perfect for testing out both situations.

The setups we tested used only two flashes, diffusion, and a reflector. For cloudy days, no diffusion is needed.

We found one setup that works really well: sitting down in the grass. It’ll work well in both sunny and cloudy conditions, and even if it’s windy, the diffusion is light and plenty of weight can be placed at the base of the stand. On sunny days, as the sun moves, the setup can be easily and quickly turned to adjust. If it’s cloudy, no change is necessary. It’s a stable, easy-to-manage build out for a photo shoot.

Later, we tested out using a tent for building a mini-studio setup, but our tent is too small to use for family photos, so we scrapped that idea.

So, the sitting, two-light setup is the one I am going to use.