As someone who shoots on location a lot I’m often given a choice on what I like to call “popping” or “blending” a subject into a scene, in short this really as as simple as using your main light source to either complement the direction of a natural / embedded light source in a scene (a candle, window, lights etc) or contrasting it completely so that the subject “pops” out and suspends the belief that they are illuminated within the scene naturally.
Here’s what I mean:
This is a shot that suspends the reality of the natural light source (the sun) and allows the subject ultimate isolation, this works really great for those more “modern” looking shots such as Joel Grimes etc where you really want the background to be a backdrop for the subject rather than an equal role of importance.
And here is a shot where the flash / key light is placed to the other side creating far more reality to the scene with regards to the believably of the subjects illumination.
So there you have it, a quick little nugget to think about on your shoots when you place a subject in a scene with a visible light source that isn’t your flash / strobe.
Do you guys have any examples where you’ve deliberately chosen to follow or contrast a light source in a scene? Share your pictures!