How to Mix Flash & Continuous Lighting for Dynamic Portraits

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Lighting is tricky. Mixed lighting is trickier, and in most cases avoided. But learning to control mixed lighting can help you create a distinct look to your photographs. In this short video, Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz explains how to used mixed lighting in the sense of both the type of light, flash and continuous, and in the color temperature of light to create some unique effects:

The creative use of gels alone creates a unique look for the photos, but Jaroslav doesn’t stop there. He uses a continuous light and a longer shutter speed to create movement in the photo and then freezes the subject using a flash. Jaroslav’s choice of a very warm color for his continuous light creates a fire like effect as the subject moves her head.

Gels for flash and continuous lights

Using Gels to Affect Color Temperature

continuous and flash lighting

Combination of Rim Light, Fill Light, and Main Light

mixed lighting portrait

Final Portrait from this Lighting Setup

I imagine a set-up like this would take some time to learn. Mixed lighting often looks very unnatural, and there’s a fine line between making a photo look attractive with good lighting, and making a photo look sloppy with poor lighting. But with a little experimentation, you could create some very compelling images.

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