Two photographers going head to head, natural light vs. strobes
Natural light or artificial light? Sure, it’s a matter of preference, but photographers Manny Ortiz and Jessica Kobeissi made an interesting challenge out of these two approaches. They had three rounds of photographing the same model in the same studio. Jessica used only natural light, and Manny added off-camera flash. Let’s check out the results and see which you prefer.
The model Sophia changed three outfits throughout the challenge, and both Manny and Jessica photographed her in their own style. Jessica used a Canon 5D Mark III paired with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, which is her go-to setup for portrait photography. As for Manny, he used a Sony A7R III and changed two lenses: 85mm f/1.4 and 35mm f/1.4. As for the flash, he used an eVOLV 200 TTL Modular Strobe with a Glow ParaPop 38″ softbox.
Certainly, whether you’ll use natural or artificial lighting (or both) depends on many factors such as your budget, style, and preferences. And there are advantages and disadvantages to both, as Manny and Jessica point out in the video.
One of the main challenges of natural light, as Jessica explains, is that it isn’t constant. Sometimes the sunlight changes too often, so she constantly needs to adjust the camera settings. On the bright side (no pun intended), natural light lets you have a more dynamic shoot and experiment with posing.
As for the off-camera flash, Manny points out that the greatest disadvantage is that the model needs to stay in one place. Manny sees it as a limiting factor when it comes to posing. On the plus side, shooting portraits with OCF lets you control the ambient exposure. In this particular video, it allowed Manny to expose for the natural light in the windows and fill in the shadows on the model with the flash.
Manny and Jessica point out that this is more of a comparison than a challenge. So, here are a few photos for you to compare the results. Whose photos do you prefer and why? Tell us in the comments below.
Jessica’s photos (natural light)
Manny’s photos (off-camera flash)
[Natural light vs Off Camera Flash CHALLENGE ft. Jessica Kobeissi | Manny Ortiz]
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.