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How to Create Mid-Day Sun Anywhere, Anytime

By Pye Jirsa on May 8th 2019

In this video, we’ll show you how to create mid-day sun with a single pocket strobe anytime, anywhere, even at night! A big thank you to Profoto for sponsoring this video. 

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This video is an excerpt from our newest Lighting Mastery series currently in production. To learn more, click here!

1. Cut the Ambient Light and Add a Key Light

If we want to re-create mid-day sun, we will obviously need an artificial light source. For this tutorial, we chose the Profoto A1 because it has around 25 w/s more power than your traditional pocket strobe.

You can substitute this flash with any alternative strobe or flash that has roughly the same amount of power in order to accomplish similar results. We are using it at around 1/16th-1/8th power depending on our ambient exposure settings.

2. Add in a Second Flash for Sky Fill Light

In order to make this convincingly appear as though we are shooting in mid-day sun, we need to find a way to get rid of the deeper shadows that are created due to the angle and direction of our key light source.

We chose to add in the Profoto B1X directly behind the camera to represent the fill light that comes straight from above on a bright sunny day. Blue skies act as an additional fill light and therefore we decided to re-create that giant fill but using a strobe bouncing against a large white wall. This strobe is being fired at around 125 w/s, a significant amount of power to create a substantial difference in the shot. If you don’t have a wall nearby you can use an umbrella to create a diffused light.

3. Add a Gel to your Fill Flash

Although we are getting closer to re-creating mid-day sun, the fill flash we just added into the frame is a bit too warm. You can use a half CTB for a more natural look or full CTB for a more stylized approach. After you’ve taken a test shot you might need to change the amount of power coming from your fill flash according to your liking.

We shifted the B1X to 1/2 power, around 250 w/s and tweaked the angle of the A1 to perfect the shadows and then fired away. Here are the final images using a half CTB Gel:

These are shots using a full CTB Gel:

This was an excerpt from our Lighting Mastery series coming soon to SLR Lounge Premium. If you want to be the first to learn about it, sign up here! A huge thanks to Nick Mastro for modeling for this shoot.

 

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