All posts by Sarah Lavoie

One Step to Improve your Photos

Why you need to take your flash off your camera.

So you’ve invested in a Speedlight, but you’re disappointed in your photos. Do they look something like this?

The child is adorable – but we hate that shadow. And his face is pretty flat and one dimensional.

Try taking the flash off your camera. In this next example, we used a single Speedlight and we set it to TTL. We used a MiniTT1 on our camera and a FlexTT5 on our Speedlight.  The flash was simply held to the right of our subject.  Our camera was at f3.2 and we used aperture priority.

This portrait definitely has more dimension! Half of his face is well lit and the other half has a few shadows. In addition to adding some dimension, it adds a little bit of drama which is perfect for this pose.

In this last example, we added another Speedlight to the left with another FlexTT5.

Dimensional lighting with no harsh shadows!

Which one is your favorite?

Remote Flash for Beginners – Rim Lighting

This technique to make a silhouette pop is easy with PocketWizard and your speedlight.

The best time to take a shot like this is either at dawn or dusk, when the light is low but you can still see some environmental details.

These shots were taken at the beautiful Shelburne Farms in Vermont, just a few miles down the road from the PocketWizard headquarters. The moon was nearly full and rising just after sundown so there was still a bit of ambient light.

I placed my light about 6 feet in front of my subjects. In this example, I used a speedlight mounted on a PocketWizard FlexTT5 which was then mounted on a light stand. There is screw mount built right into the PocketWizard radio to make that easy. If you don’t have a light stand, you could put it on the ground or even have your subject hold it. A second FlexTT5 was mounted on my camera’s hot shoe. We set the camera settings to perfectly expose the dark scene without over-exposing the full moon. After some tests, I decided on the following settings:

• ISO: 500
• Aperture: F4
• Exposure Time: 1/200

My advice – take lots of shots, experiment, and have fun! My subjects were thrilled with the results!!