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Natural light versus lit

Last month I had a couple of portrait assignments that contrasts how I work in different situations. In the first, the assignment was to photograph a long-haul trucker who was having trouble with his CDL license. Initially, I was told his truck would be at his residence. In fact, it was out at a yard that happened to be on federal property. For the moment, my lights are strictly AC powered although that is supposed to change soon. Instead, I had the blessing of a day with full sun, although clouds were slowly creeping in (at one point, we had to wait 45 minutes at a railroad crossing because his truck was just on the other side. Sometimes I really LOVE Houston...). I had him point his truck into the north so the grill would be in the shade. I then used a simple reflector to point the sun back into the shadow and photographed him with a 35mm/f1.4 lens. The next image was more controlled, but alas, the weather was crappy. I think it was Sam Abell who said bad weather makes good pictures. Because the sky was dark, it was a Saturday assignment and I had time and because I had a willing subject who was proud of his home, I was able to pull out some stops and practice my lighting. I lit the subject with a medium softbox from camera left and used a flood camera right to put a hard light on the side of his face and to also light up the house. Because I lit the scene, I was also able to create a more dramatic sky.

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