Create Soft Light in Confined Spaces with Erik Valind and FlashBender 2 XL Pro

Being a photographer includes a list of things that you can do and will do, including, unfortunately, "Murphy's Law". In short, what can go wrong, will go wrong. But not to fear! With the right tools, attitude, and skill set, we as photographers can get past those hurdles, climb those mountains, and capture some great images. This video demonstrates how a confined space isn't exempt from those potential problems, but it also demonstrates how to solve the problems too!

Let's be real, your client isn't going to pick your dream spot on a beach, wooded path, or on that grit and graffiti covered wall where you really want to create a portrait. They're likely to pick a spot they like or a spot that is most convenient for them. Here's where it gets difficult, what is convenient for them, may not be convenient for you. For example, the above video puts the photographer in a situation that isn't ideal for lighting. Back lighting means light has to be produced for the foreground of the image by either reflection or by creating light with flash. In Erik's situation he worked smart and went with flash to balance and control the foreground and background.

Because the equipment is small, and the Rogue XL Pro he is using has a small enough profile, he is able to bring the light close to the subject to make it appear larger and therefore softer, but it also de-clutters that confined space so the client isn't feeling claustrophobic or uneasy. You'll notice the first image, Erik didn't prefer it because of it's flatness in light quality. This broad lighting technique gives the subject a fuller looking face but it leaves her face without dimension.

By moving the light around the subject to the opposite side, Erik creates a short lighting technique. This adds dimension to the subject's face, makes her face appear less full, and gives a natural appearance to the image when balancing the background ambient light and flash.

Final Image:

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Erik Valind
Erik Valind


Erik Valind is a freelance photographer, born and raised on the Florida beaches, now living in New York City. Specializing in commercial lifestyle photography and environmental portraiture - airy and energetic imagery defines the style and vision of this top pro photographer. Inspired by the form, activity and diversity of people, Erik has lent his expertise to shape the public image of numerous personas and national brands.

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