Since I started my photography business, I’ve been mostly a natural light photographer. I typically only get out the flash for receptions, when available light is scarce. I have experimented with an off-camera flash for portrait work a few times, but usually with peers who are a bit more seasoned.
Off-camera lighting is challenging…but equally as rewarding when done well. It allows the photographer to manipulate the lighting conditions, creating more dramatic effects in some cases.
My pal Stephanie, whom you might recognize from her wedding and her extreme bridal…which won me two awards…was a dear and volunteered to model for me. Here are some of the images… (I admit, I didn’t focus much on poses etc… was mostly trying to harness the light…)
I’ve edited this to add in notes on the set up…
I used a 580exII on my camera to trigger (I turned the master flash off, and just used it to fire the slave, which was also a 580exII.)
I set up the flash to my left…probably a 45 degree angle between Steph and me… To see actual camera settings, click on the photo and it will take you to the FLICKR upload… then click on MORE PROPERTIES on the bottom right under ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
I had the off-cam flash shooting through a large white umbrella…
This was essentially the same set up, but I lowered the flash and she is sitting. 😉
For this one, the flash was at my right, I folded the umbrella down and turned it around so it shot the light directly at her… rather than losing it in the diffusion.
these next few are the same set ups as the standing/sitting ones above…but cam settings were adjusted.
She reminds me of Mandy Moore here…for this one, the umbrella was folded down, too…and I incrased my shutter speed to kill most of the natural light.
Ain’t she gorgeous??
Ok, for these laying down ones, it was quite hard. I didn’t have someone to hold the flash for me, which would have been VERY helpful. But I wanted it to point downward…but due to the umbrella’s long stem, I couldn’t get my light to do just that. SOOOOO… I somehow became a pretzel, intertwined with the lightstand…and shot holding it aimed downward… and then for some of them, I just lowered the stand and fired the flash upwards into the umbrella…closed down…so it would come back down at her.
Despite my radiopoppers malfunctioning and having to rely on the flash’s laser for the trigger… I would consider this bout with off-cam flash a success. THANK YOU, STEPH!!