If you already own a hot shoe strobe you already have one of the most powerful tools for shaping light. Now, if you only took it off camera it would do a great deal to the final image. And you’d be surprised at how low of a cost it actually takes to move a hot shoe strobe off camera.
There is a lot of power you can master once you go from available light to even using one strobe. Photographer Manuel Ortiz demonstrates it in this short video where he compares two shots right out of camera (of course the photos can be later enhanced, but for the sake of this experiment, it is better to show them SOOC)
All photos are taken with the Sony A7RII and a Sony G master 85mm 1.4 lens which really gives great color and a wonderful bokeh, so the starting point is very similar. The first shoo in all the demos below is set to available light. Note how Diana (the model) is correctly exposed in all of those, but the background is very distracting and it really takes away from the photo.
Lighting gear can get really expensive really quick. $500 for a speedlight, $300 for a softbox, $100 for a light stand and mounting device. Already, that’s almost a grand for one of the most simple lighting setups out there.
Not all strobes shots need to be big budget though. Photographer Matt Granger has shared a video showing how it’s possible to achieve an impressive off-camera flash portrait for only a tenth of the above example. [Read more…]
As somebody who owns what some would describe as a ludicrous amount of speedlights (although, nowhere near as bad as Joe McNally), and regularly grids some of them to provide a selective rim light or to throw a little splash of light in a dark corner of an environment, Chris Cameron’s project intrigued me.
3D printers are becoming more and more affordable, with technology advancing so quickly, getting faster and more accurate with each rapidly released generation, that I would bet most of us know at least one or two people who own one of some form or another.
Speedlights often go hand in hand with shooting portraits on the street, especially at night, but small flashes have one big issue. Due to their size, they often give very hard, harsh and unflattering light, especially if you’re forced to use one on the hotshoe.
After being asked to photograph a night time outdoor music event, and wanting the minimise the risk to expensive equipment, photographer Tom Simone came up with a DIY solution to help make that light a little bigger and provide a more pleasing look with help from a Chinese paper lantern lampshade.
Joe McNally is one of the photographers I first started
stalking following when I decided to start shooting portraits, and his books, The Hot Shoe Diaries & The Moment it Clicks, are two that will ever remain on my shelf.
Year after year, for several decades now, Joe has continued to inspire and educate photographers all over the world through his books, his blog, in-person workshops, and his YouTube channel.
In this five minute video, shooting a Nikon D810 with a mix of SB-900 and SB-910 speedlights, Joe introduces us to Dominick European Car Repair in New York, and explains how he turned a garage into a studio.
36 years ago, Profoto released a lighting accessory they called the Softlight Reflector. Today, we call this creation a beauty dish, thanks to its unique design that softens light in the perfect manner for portraits.
Last year I made an article about getting good gradient reflections on surfaces, but after a while of using this that I’ve come to realize that I actually get slightly better (and easier) results with a different technique.
You can consider this as he second part of the How To Get Gradient Reflection On Surfaces tutorial.