Apart from a slight change on composition the two above pictures are near identical and shot within a matter of minutes of each other. The top one was lit by flash and the lower image was lit only with available ambient light.
I posted the two images on my FaceBook page recently and asked my friends which ‘look’ they preferred.
The opinions given were pretty evenly divided between liking – or not liking – each one for the same reason. Some liked the vibrant colours at top and others the more muted ‘natural’ colours of the lower image. One comment was made that the lower image was ‘calming’, Nobody complained that their eyes hurt after looking at the brighter, sharper picture.
I don’t think that one or the other is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in it’s lighting, I think that the point demonstrated is we all like different ‘methods’ and as long as you have an understanding of what your audience, or your client, want then you should be able to provide what is desired.
I get bit of stick from the Wife sometimes, for ‘over enginering’ my light, and I concede that sometimes the softer natural light can be a more pleasant way, but give a man a strobe and watch him run!
Ps. I like the top one……
Pps. My Wife likes the bottom one!