Tuesday 16 June 2009

Tips & Techniques - Lighting Control

A couple of nights ago I went to the Orchid site to get some more images. One of the things I wanted to do was to share the results of using full sunlight, with and without fill flash and diffused light, with and without flash.

For consistency I set the camera up on a tripod, with the 1Dmk111, used the Canon 100f2.8 macro in Av mode at f9.0, and the metering set in Evaluative mode. All images were set to -1/3 EV comp and the subject distance was 0.69m.

I have just straight processed the RAW file - no tweaks, and just resized to 600pixels, and one light stage of sharpening just for the web and the colour space converted to srgb. Camera was set to AWB and unchanged in the RAW conversion.

For the flash shots, I used the Canon MR14 ring flash, set to ETTL mode. For the diffuser I used a large circular Lastolite diffuser that was hand held over the subject.

Click on the image to enlarge to see in better detail, and then hit the back button to get back as the images don't open in a separate window unfortunately

Full sunlight - no flash

Full sunlight with fill flash set to minus 1 EV

Hand held Diffuser - no flash

Hand held Diffuser - fill flash set to zero EV compensation

Hand held Diffuser - fill flash set to minus 1 EV

It would be good to get your feedback and comments as to what you think provides the most pleasing and natural image, and why you think that.

So over to you.



  1. I like the hand held diffuser - no flash best.


  2. Thanks for the comment Stan.


  3. Hi Martin,
    hand held diffuser no flash ,natural colours,
    fill flash set to compensation minus ev gives it vitality,this is the third viewing perhaps my untrained eye finds it difficult.
    What an amazing flower
    Cheers Terence Smith

  4. I agree with both comments that the diffuser on its own gives the best result. Close behind would be the diffuser with flash at -1.

  5. Thanks for the comments Terry and Elliot - much appreciated.

    These views concur with my own in this context


  6. Martin, it has to be Hand held Diffuser - no flash for me. Better colour saturation and a much more natural light.


  7. Hi Martin

    Prefer the Hand Held diffuser too, gives a more muted BG too.


  8. thanks for the responses Ross and Lez - always good to get feedback on here. Your views both coincide with my won