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I would like suggestions for getting better directional light.
This photo reminded me that I am not satisfied with the shadows I get:
How I usually shoot is to set up 2-4 light stands with flashes in subtle or hidden spots where the stands don't show so much, and the lights are typically about 8-10 feet high (as high as my stands will go), and are more or less in either opposing (1x1) pattern, triangular pattern, or square pattern depending on the number of flashes I put up. However, I always find that the directional light has many strong shadows that can be very unfavorable - if not to one subject in the frame, then surely to another in the same frame - and I have to be very careful if I want to avoid the harsh shadow cutting a face the wrong way. Yes, I can get good shots this way sometimes, but not 1. if there are other people nearby blocking part of the light, or 2. if my timing is off. It has many limits and I end up less than satisfied with the net result. Even using on-camera fill flash bounced somewhere obviously does not avoid the sharp lines of shadow produced with these bare flashes.
This brings up the question: When you light receptions, do you have multiple lights facing the SAME direction from different points in the room? Do you personally have a solution to those shadows that can very easily hit the wrong spots on the face? Do you have one or two lights set up to add "fill" to the room?
In the image I linked to, only one person has that kind of ugly shadow (the foreground person lower right) out of ALL those people...which IMO is a really good ratio.