Ok, so I am a HUGE lover of natural light. It’s what I use 99% of the time. But for that 1% (really, I have no idea my percentage, but its small) I need something else. I have had many people ask about photographing products in the evening. Kids are in bed, its quiet time, and the natural light is gone. I’m going to talk about a few options for you today. 1. Dedicated flash Right now, I have a dedicated flash. I show people at my workshops that my Canon 5D doesn’t even have a pop up flash–not even an option for me! I have a hot shoe at the top of my camera ready to receive my Canon speedlight 580 EX flash when I need it. Sadly, I know I don’t use it to its full potential. I just pop it on, turn it ON and shoot.
Before this, I had a 430 flash, but found it wasn’t as powerful. The cool thing about the Canon 580 (and comparable Nikon SB 800) is that it can be used as a slave, or off camera light, if you ever do set ups with backdrops and studio lighting. The dedicated flash also has a swivel top up and down and right and left. When I use it, I am often bouncing that light off of the ceiling. Seems like an odd concept (did to me at first) but light actually bounces! It just diffuses the light a bit so it isn’t so harsh. It really is prettier. I purchased a lightsphere a few years ago that also works as a diffuser. In my example below, image #1 I bounced the light off of the low ceiling straight up. It bounced back down in an uneven patter. #2, I bounced my light at an angle and it was prettier, but still dark. Image #3, I used my lightsphere and put the diffuser cap on and pointed it straight towards my subject for nice pretty light.
2. Natural Light Lamps These lamps are used to simulate natural light. I have never used these, but have heard great things about them. This seams like a great option to use for those bloggers wanting to take pictures in the evening and show off their product well. They provide controlled light during the day or night. (Lots of people who live in gloomy cities also like these to boost their mood that comes from dreary days–has been recognized as an effective therapy in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder). They are fairly affordable starting at $40 depending on the lamp.
Here are a few options I found. 3. Lightscoop I just heard about this, but the lightscoop is a little attachment that can be placed on top of your pop up camera flash to diffuse the light upward. I do have my 20D that I will use the pop up flash when its all I have, and for $30, I’d say its worth a try…examples on their site.
I hope this gives some of you some different options when it comes to photographing people or things at night. I would love to hear feedback on these if you have it!
**Amy here…On Kristen Duke Photography Site, she has posted the pictures she took of my family when she was out here for a visit.
I’d love for you to check them out if you are interested.