Artificial light has its place

Tim and I had a bit of time to play in the studio recently and you can’t help but be impressed by what you can do when you control the light – everything is so sharp and crisp; its quite lovely to work with. That said, its not me. Studio photography is  just way too limiting (not in regard to what you can do with artificial light I’d rush to add but in regard to the space you have to work in). I enjoy traveling and I’ve grown to enjoy the challenges of working with natural light in often unfamiliar terrain. But, playing around in the studio has inspired me to incorporate more flash photography in my travels (something I’ve avoided with a passion in the past as it’s always been too harsh and unnatural). I certainly don’t expect to dominate my images with artificial light, I just want to enhance what’s there with some soft, subtle flash – probably shooting the subject lit from a side angle just outside the frame. So I’ve ordered a book by Jo McNally (National Geographic guru on using portable flashes) ( and I’m off to set myself up with a couple of  light-weight flash heads to take to the Solomon Islands on my next assignment. In the meantime, here’s one Tim took of me in the studio (below), suggesting I may have finally seen the light …….about studio photography. If you want to see someone who uses flash photography well outdoors, visit  Brent Stirton’s site (




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