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  • Writer's pictureJ Michael Photography209

What is in the light.....Part 2 With a California Photographer

So far the one constant in my photography was this... Natural Light. Whether that was in the gorgeous Golden Hour glow, or the lights that can be found in a downtown area at night or the much dreaded and unappreciated Midday Sun with its seemingly harsh light and shadows.

After re-reading my last blog and before moving on, I realized there was one natural lighting situation I left out! The much utilized and beloved Cloudy Day! An overcast cloudy day is great day for me! Not only for the mood it brings but the versatility! You can pretty much shoot anytime of day and if the cloud coverage is consistent then you will get the same mood for your photos for the day. Which can be both positive and negative. Really depends on how you look at the situation! I think the photographers in the northern states get to enjoy this more often than those in the south especially depending on the time of year.

So now we come to what drove me to write this 2 part blog in the first place. Before I proceed I must preface it with this: I do not in anyway claim to know technical terms, correct setups or standard practices. I am sharing what has worked for me and the results I have gotten.

Now that we got that out of the way! What I was thinking about when writing this was Flash Lighting. For the majority of my photography journey I have stayed away from any kind of flash like the plague! It did not matter if it was on or off camera flash. I did not want to mess with it. I thought of myself as a purist and only worked with natural light or the light that was existing around me. Then I started really looking at the results from using Flash and more importantly when it was used correctly. I started to appreciate the photos that were being produced by fellow local photographers that I knew and they really started to move me. In particular a few local photogs like Aly, Don and Jose. Aly was the first photographer I met after moving to California and deciding to pursue photography. I loved what she was doing! The photos were so dramatic and inspiring to me.

So I got online and started looking at reviews and talking to people I knew to get recommendations. I finally settled on the Godox AD200 and just last week got the AD200Pro. Worth noting, I do not get any money for saying this. After research and personal interaction this is what seemed to work for me.

So I set out practicing to better understand how to light the subject as well watching a lot of YouTube videos on lighting. I also bought 2 stands and 2 Bowen S Mount Brackets and the Godox XPro-C for the trigger to use on the camera.

So far I have shot 5 sessions using Off Camera Flash. I must admit I am absolutely loving the results!! It just adds a different dynamic that Natural Light doesn't necessarily offer. To me it just looks like the subject in frame pops out and is more highlighted as well as adding another depth of field to the photo. I have been playing with the location of the light. Such as at the more traditional 45 degrees with a 45 deg angle. Spun it to 90 deg to give that half lit subject look as well as putting it almost directly in front to pull out all the shadows and really highlight the face.

I also got a Glow 32" Collapsible Beauty Dish double diffused that has been awesome! I absolutely love the look it gives.

I am very excited because this starts a new part of my journey with Photography and understanding different aspects of the craft. Being able to add this to my knowledge opens new avenues and makes my pictures more versatile and takes it to a new level I believe.

So with that I hope you like these pictures and have enjoyed reading about this journey! If you took the time to read this I sincerely thank you :) It really means a lot to me. If you would like to keep up with my journey into this beautiful medium that is Photography, please feel free to follow me here on Instagram. I post there most regularly!

See you soon and keep an eye out for the next Blog!!

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