Indoor lamps can make a great light source for photographing people, but at times the light can be too bright and create too much contrast. On this occasion I wanted to photograph my friend Leah on our sofa and try some double exposures using layer masks. The large lamp over the sofa gave me some pretty nice light to work with as a key light. However, once I snapped a test shot, which you can see below, I realized that the lamp needed some diffusion to soften the light.
I had my assistant Holly hold up the translucent panel of my Photoflex MultiDisc Reflector right underneath the lampshade to see if I would get the exact quality of light that I wanted.
The translucent panel diffused the light nicely and proved to be a good decision. I then used gaffers tape to keep the diffuser in place under the lampshade. With my tripod in place, I shot three different poses with Leah whom I later layer masked together in Adobe Photoshop.
I then had Leah change into a black dress for the next set of images. I shot one single capture from the side then did another double exposure of her. What makes these images work is the beautiful light from a typical indoor light source with the help of soft diffusion that my Photoflex diffuser gives me so often.
You don’t always have to have flash gear or lots of lighting equipment with you to capture people either indoors or out. Being creative and trying new things is really the key but always remember that it is all about the light!
Scott Stulberg is a travel and stock photographer who often journeys to distant lands to capture unique images. He is represented by many stock agencies, including Corbis and Getty Images. Scott is a contributing writer for Shutterbug Magazine and also leads photo workshops in different locations in the US and around the world. See more examples of his work here: http://www.asa100.com/