‘The Gem’ is an abandoned building in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham available to hire for photography. If you catch it at the right time of day it has some great natural light streaming in through the windows. As the days get shorter and the sun is lower in the sky however you cannot always rely on enough natural light so adding an additional light source is essential.
In order to balance the natural light with artificial (in this case off-camera flash provided by a single Cactus RF60 and Lastolite Ezybox) it’s important not to overpower the natural light too much which is where ‘feathering’ comes in. Feathering means aiming the the light source tangentially to (instead of directly at) the subject creating a smoother transition between highlight and shadow. In the first picture below of the model ‘Pixie’ who is standing next to a window on the right I aimed the softbox directly at her then turned it away through almost 45 degrees so just the edge of the light catches the left side of her face (see lighting diagram below). I used a similar technique in all of these images.
The Cactus once again performed really well in this setup. It was never fired at more than 1/4 power, even in the full length image above. It’s a great light to carry around for shoots like this (i.e. when there is no mains power) and is a superb off-camera flash. All images taken with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and M.ZUIKO 25mm and 45mm f/1.8 lenses.