I was on assignment shooting video and still photography last week in Alaska. As is common in Alaska, the weather was always changing and unpredictable. We set out on day one hoping we’d get enough of a break in the wind and rain that we could create some image of our model collecting wild blueberries. It can be nice to photograph while it is overcast as the light and shadows are soft and flattering. I decided to try and simulate some sun backlighting the leaves and our model so I setup a speedlight on the ground behind the subject. [Read more…]
This is part four in a series of posts about learning off-camera flash. Find the previous posts here:
- Learning Off-Camera Flash: Part One
- Learning Off-Camera Flash: Part Two – Studio Strobes
- Learning Off-Camera Flash: Part Three – Studio Headshots
Quality of Light
As you experiment with light placement, you’ll start to be able to anticipate the results certain light setups will produce. Professional photographers learn and practice their camera’s settings and features until it becomes second nature. They do the same with off-camera flash.
We do it for one main reason: As you develop these skills it will give you a tremendous amount of creative power. You are no longer just pressing a button and hoping to get a good shot. With enough practice and skill development you are able to construct the vision you have in your head. Your camera and lights are just tools you use to craft the final image. [Read more…]
This is part three in a series of posts about learning off-camera flash. Find part one and two here:
Maybe the most basic use of off-camera flash is the classic studio headshot. When you are learning flash photography, setting up a simple headshot is a great way to quickly pick up on how the position of your lights effect the final image. Grab a friend or family member and find a white wall, screen, or hang up a poster board to use as a background. I suggest starting with one light and get the best image you can with that one light. Then, if you have more lights, add them one at a time and adjust as you go to get the desired results. [Read more…]
In Learning Off-Camera Flash: Part One we talked about the cheapest way to get into off-camera flash photography. I highly recommend learning about flash with speedlights and umbrellas first, before purchasing any studio strobe equipment.
Speedlights are ultra portable and ultra versatile. If you invest in a set of speedlights and umbrellas you can use them in the studio as well as on location. Later, if you decide to get into dedicated studio strobes, you can use your speedlights inline with the studio strobes to compliment them. Speedlights are also much less expensive than studio strobes. [Read more…]
The topic of flash photography can be intimidating to the beginner photographer. Some even go as far as to label themselves “Natural Light Photographers” and avoid artificial lighting all together. There is nothing wrong with developing a style around natural light, but I contend that learning flash photography is an important part of growing as a photographer and increasing your understanding of how light works. [Read more…]