Strobist Lighting Assignment - Umbrella Specular Portrait


Active Member
Right, well I've had my wireless flash equipment for quite a while now so thought it was about time I joined in with the Lighting 102 series going on over at

The latest assignment is entitled "Umbrella Specular Portrait". The idea being that you use a single flash to light the foreground subject with diffuse light while at the same time making use of the specular reflection from a shiny surface in the background. Easier said than done when you're both photographer and model!?

I had fun though which is the main thing and I'm reasonably pleased with the result. Couple of things I would have done differently now that I've developed the photograph through Lightroom. Firstly I should have bumped up the power of the flash from 1/32 to 1/16 or maybe even higher. This would have allowed me to use a smaller aperture to get the same amount of light from the flash which in turn would have meant I had more chance getting the focus correct due to the increased DOF! What looked sharp on the LCD turned out to be a little soft around my eyes - possibly for the better looking at those bags! Secondly I'd look for a location with more room. Being limited by bookshelves and dining room table when you're trying to find the correct angle to frame my head with the specular highlight was becoming a little frustrating!

Anyway, I've rambled on so here's the photograph:

Specular Self

C&C welcome as always.



Well-known Member
Wow great resuults there. :thumbsup:

The strobist site is full of inspritation. it was there that I learned about a book - "Light: Science & Magic" - I'd recommend it to you, and everyone in fact.

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