45. Location mixed light

In this environmental location portrait Karl demonstrates how to carefully mix your studio flash lighting with daylight for perfect results. He walks you through the process showing you how why and where to position those lights for best effect.


  1. About how long would it take you to do a location shot like this for an actual client? One would have to be rather quick and efficient to not irritate the client I should think.

    1. Hi Jason, I would allow at least 45mins to set up my lighting on something like this but I wouldn’t have the client there until i’m ready, I’d always use an assistant or shoot it empty or test on myself until I was ready and then request the client to come in.

  2. Hi Karl. If you had too much natural light, from something like a large glass wall that affected the entire building, and too big to use anything to reduce the actual light coming in, would you use a ND filter? Or would you close down your aperture sacrificing the shallow depth of field and the shot you wanted? I really liked how you made the images contemporary and fairly informal, but still very classy and portrayed professionalism.

    1. Hi Mark, I always decide on things like depth of field first, for example if I want f2.8 for creative reasons then that’s what I’m going to go with, if that then requires a change to the light or adding ND filters then that’s what will happen to achieve the initial concept.

  3. Hi Karl,
    Why don’t you put the camera on the tripod and turn the live view on and set your framing just to make things faster. After that you can chick your lighting options.

  4. Hi Karl,
    I was asked to do some corporate head shots the other day and experienced the following problem. . .

    I was in poorly lit room with shaded window light from an adjoining office building. . .
    To set my ambient exposure I had to dial in an ISO of 1600 making the light sensitivity high for any flash.

    I set up my softbox and studio light (Bron Siros L) in restricted space had to be quite close to the subject and consistently kept getting an overexposure of the subject.

    Whats more, the room was all glass like a smart corner office and client requested I include the office environment behind, which had no natural light and was darker in ambient than the room I was in – This meant my current settings made the office behind look dark. I could not place a light in that office.

    Siros was on power 2 and still too strong. Tried flash and same due to high ISO.

    Was this just me or a tricky Corporate head shot environment?

    How could I have dealt with it better please?

    Kind regards


    1. Hi James, it sounds like a tricky one but it also sounds that the underlying problem was not being able to control the flash power because of the ISO being too high. Obviously I wasn’t there so it is difficult to say, potentially you could have reduced the ISO but increased the shutter speed to record more ambient light and this would not have had an affect on the flash power.

  5. Ok, so it was a tricky one. . . great for a first client head shot job!

    I was syncing at 1/200 to /1/160th for sharp images but yes, I could maybe have gone slower.

    Cheers Karl for the reply.

    The training is excellent by the way. So valuable and so thorough in explanation as to ‘why’ it has helped me a lot!

    Best regards


  6. Great lesson Karl, the last light you added made a great difference!

    I have a non-technical question, at the beginning you mention that you would not tether when doing business shoot, is there any specific reason I should be considering? thanks in advance and again, thanks for the awesome training videos


    1. Hi Raul, I do tether when doing business shots in my studio? If I’m on location I might do if I had enough time but generally you are trying to work quicker and sometimes if the client can see you shooting tethered then they can get quite nosy!


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