Using passive and active fill to madimize shadow detail and dynamic range

Fill is not a person, but he is your friend

As photographers we might obsess about this modifier or that one, believe me I have, but often times we fall short when it comes to shadow detail. This is something I struggle with from time to time when shooting in a new room and every shoot poses its own set of problems, so the purpose of this post is to share some basic concepts that I hope will help you maximize dynamic range and develop more details in your depictions.

My garbage can full of photo modifiers

A garbage can full of modifiers, that’s perfectly normal right?

Let’s pretend for a moment I am sitting inside a reality show confession booth. Instead of disparaging the other characters on the show, I’m going to disparage myself (not really, actually. In my garage I have a garbage can full of modifiers. It looks like an episode of Hoarders in miniature, only instead of holding on to teddy bears and half-full beer cans, I collect things that make hard light look soft and in turn, make me look good.

Chicago Photographer John Gress Steady Focused Interview

Steady Focused Interview: Going Full Circle

A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure and honor of spending the lunch hour chatting with Simeon Hendrix, and recording an interview for his Steady Focused web series. Which covers photography, filmmaking, lighting, lenses, cameras, etc…. discussing how to identify weak points, overcome struggles, how to succeed and how to live a fulfilled life. Their most important rule is to work hard, love yourself and have fun!