The first two images below are outtakes from my shoot in Boston for Future American President. The day I photographed these images it was brutally hot, but my subject was cool and composed. I'd just come back from Beijing and after recovering from my jet lag, I set out to continue working on the book in the New England states.
Throughout the making of the book I wanted to find children who spoke in other languages, and thanks to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, I was able to find a subject who spoke Mandarin that was born in the United States.
To light the image, I took a reading of the sunlight on my subject using a handheld light meter. The exposure read F16.0 at 1/125th. The lighting was harsh and not exactly the most flattering of conditions for a great photograph. To get the picture I wanted I needed to overpower the sun, so I set my strobe light to read F22.0 at 1/125th. One stop more than the sunlight reading. This allowed me to create an image with flattering light on my subject, and to have a better background. By shooting with strobe lights I was albe to drop my background exposure down to get richer colors in the image. If I were to increase my shutter speed from 1/125 to say 1/200th, I would get more dramatic colors in my backgrounds.
An example of shooting at a faster shutter speed can be seen in the image below. Both images are shot in almost the same conditions. One image was shot in Utah and the other in Boston, Mass. but the conditions were the same. Both were photographed during the harsh sunlight hours and gave the same natural light exposure reading. In both images, I overpowered the sun by shooting at F22.0. The only difference is that the shutter speed in the image below was set to 1/200th vs 1/125. Notice how the sky appears to be a richer hue of blue. There are many advantages to shooting with strobe lights on location, and when working on a big project, like a book for example, you want to have a consistent feel throughout all of the images.
Good luck and have fun shooting this week.
Always Dream Big