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First Strobe Since the 70s


Subscriber Member
Greetings. I would love to get your more experienced opinion about a sample frame from I shoot I did over the weekend.

My general enthusiast level approach has been exclusively with ambient light for decades. The last time I used an artificial light source (other than house lighting) was with a Norman 2000 strobe outfit back in the 70s. I never felt comfortable with it and in spite of having access to all manner of modifiers, flash meters, etc., I don't think I ever really got a handle on it. So fast forward to now and in my dotage, I've decided to step back in and give it another go.

So this sample was one I picked to try several things. I should mention that my goal for the lighting is to make use of it primarily outside for environmental portraits. (Unfortunately, the weather was stunningly cold with wind chills 15 and 20 degrees below 0 F. So inside, and what ended up being a more "formal" portrait setting than I typically like.) Also, I'm committed to the idea of mastering the one-light method.

This was shot in front of a white wall and the background was photoshopped in afterward. I still have to work on my masking techniques, at least until I decide to spring for a background.

My questions for you are:

1. Does the lighting work for you? Is there something you can suggest to improve it?

2. I selected this shot to work on because it offered me a chance to practice retouching more than some of the others. Does the skin feel natural? Too much/little?

3. And I would love to hear any tips you might have for working with just one light. The setup is a ProPhoto B1 with an Elinchrome 39" Rotalux. Camera is D810 with the 105 1.4.