Greg talked about the four aspects of light: quantity, quality, direction and colour and the characteristics of hard and soft light. He dispelled the common myth that light gets softer if you back up away from the subject and showed instead how to use a diffuser or modifier to increase the light source relative to the size of the subject. He also very clearly and succinctly explained the practice of using on and/or off-camera flash as the only light source, first eliminating ambient light by changing your exposure to achieve a black image so that your flash is the only illumination. We looked at bouncing flash, using walls and reflectors and using radio triggers to control one or more flash units to build up the desired lighting effect. Greg finished by urging us to experiment, to consider how best to achieve the results we want by considering the nature of the light we have to play with - ambient, additional or alternative.
In the second half of the evening, those people who had brought along their cameras and flashes used the table of props for impromptu still life set-ups and there was a busy atmosphere of experimentation and discussion. It was acknowledged that many people prefer to mostly use available ambient light, but learning more techniques adds another string to the bow and increases our knowledge and understanding of the world of photographic possibilities. Many thanks to Greg for an interesting and fun evening.