Combining natural light and flash can be tricky, but photographer Axel Rivera shared a perfect example of such image with us. He shot this gorgeous portrait in quite tricky conditions – it was during the sunset, the model was backlit, and he only had one strobe. But he did a great job, and he kindly shared his setup, tips, and tricks with DIYP.
This picture was taken for the “South Fashion Week.” It’s a national Fashion Show in Puerto Rico, and Axel shot the image for their magazine cover. It was taken in Puerto Rico, in the Ponce City Bay around 6:20 pm.
As I mentioned, there was only one strobe used for the shot. It was an Xplor 600 with the h600 head and a 48″ Bowens mount Octabox. The position of the light was over Axel on camera’s right. It was triggered by the Godox X1T-S Radio Transmitter.
As you can see, it’s a wide-angle shot, and here are the camera settings:
- ISO 100
Here is a BTS shot. It was made after the final image, but it’s just to get the idea how the shooting looked. In the final image, the strobe was on the other side of the model, and the model and the strobe were on the rocks closer to the sea:
Other than gear and settings, I was very curious how he made the dress “fly” like this. So, I didn’t hesitate to ask Axel, and here’s the answer:
To get the dress like that my assistant held the dress at the edge of the frame and released it when I was ready to shoot. The next was just lucky, timing and various tries.
After the shoot, Axel did the post-processing in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
After this breakdown, you can see that quite a simple setup was enough to create a well-balanced, dreamy and beautiful portrait. I find it additionally interesting because of the playful dress and the wide angle. I’d like to thank Axel for sharing the photo and details with us. I hope you found this breakdown useful and that you’ll give something like this a shot.
About the Artist
Axel Rivera is a professional photographer and photography teacher from Ponce, Puerto Rico. He started photography as a hobby and a way to help the local skateboarding scene in Puerto Rico back in 2005. Right now, he’s working for social events, fashion, weddings, lifestyle, and portraits. For more of his work, check out his website, like his Facebook page and follow him on Instagram and Flickr.
Model in the photo: Osdaynis Alvarez.