Move Into the Light

“I have what might sound like a silly question to you, but could you please tell me what you mean when you say you use strobe for lighting? I have noticed the pieces of your work I tend to like the most have that. Marklin”

No that’s fine, perhaps I should explain it in one of my posts. It’s totally commercial produced light that is fired from a power pack into strobe heads, like flash, but you can sync an entire room of light. I then use a variety of filters to control and refine the light to create the quality in the pictures. My studio is equipped with a large variety of shapes and sizes of heads to change and control the light. Some are soft filters, like soft boxes, some of them are harsher. A soft box being a collapsible tent like box sometimes as large as a full body or very small to create a back halo head light, bouncing the light off soft fabrics inside and create a warm soft glow to the outside. I often use grids that fit inside the lights, and create the light to take on a certain quality or property. These are shaped like a honeycomb inside and channel the light from broad to narrow beams that become like the brush of a painter, but only with light. I use strobe packs with independent channels for the lights that I am able to dial in the exact settings I want in the image and typically do a lot of testing to get the balance exactly where I want it to all fall. I will often use what called a scrim; a piece of material stretched on a frame that light is filtered through to create a very soft effect. Often times my studio become a maze of obstacles that you must weave through to get to the shooting area. I hardly ever retouch an image or manipulate it and try to create it with the light and set up. I generally set up a broad enough lighting scheme that it allows the subject to move about and be completely organic. I only direct them psychologically and make them aware of the light and how it will fall on their skin. The subject and I end up doing a lot of testing before we actually begin shooting. It’s the kind of get acquainted portion of the shoot where we develop a vocabulary of light, testing each other. It’s the part of the process I love the most. I began work in theater and fell in love with light there, and actually have equipped my studio with this hot (meaning always on) lighting as well. It is very much the same, but in the studio you have much better control. I have also designed my studio with a large bank of windows that face out into the garden and skylights facing the northern pitch of the sky, so there is no harsh direct light into the studio, but just a beautiful natural glow. If heaven is depicted as a move into a brilliant beautiful light then I am already there. I hope that helps, sorry I am a bit long winded when it comes to photography, thanks for asking.

One thought on “Move Into the Light

  1. m

    >Thank you Terry, I am always interested in other artists creative processes. Your field of expertize is so much different from mine. I always feel like I have learned something from your writings. I really appreciate your explaining this. Marklin

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