This is part 1 in a series of posts created to show the many benefits of freeing your flash and getting it off your camera. Although this information may be very basic for some, we have found that there are many photographers who have yet to discover the benefits of getting their flash off their camera. You will see through a series of very basic images, how an image can come to life by simply taking your flash off your camera and putting it where you want it to be. I’ve provided a simple overview of the series and then more details on each of the photo. All photos were taken in Aperture Priority mode using one or two Nikon Speedlights set to TTL. A MiniTT1 for Nikon with AC3 ZoneController was used on a Nikon D800 camera and FlexTT5s were used to trigger the Speedlights.
The first series of images were taken by Heather Simons, our Technical Support Specialist, outside of our office in South Burlington, VT. Our model, Gavin, is the son of our Administrative Assistant and provided us with many creative poses and constant entertainment. We really had a great time working with him on the images for this post.
This first image was taken with the flash directly on the camera with the camera positioned directly in front of the subject. There is uniform lighting across the subject which tends to make the photo look somewhat flat and non-dimensional.
For this second image, the flash was taken off the camera and placed to the right of the subject. Getting the flash off the camera and placing it at a different angle provides some nice shadows on the left side of Gavin’s face. This lighting effect just happened to work out perfectly with his expression. Gavin is quite the ham!
And for this final image, we added a Speedlight to the left of Gavin in addition to using the Speedlight on his right. Adding the second speed light provided additional lighting to help balance the light, which worked well with his pose. When compared to the first image, the light is softer and there are softer shadows which create more depth to the photo.
The second series of images were taken inside our studio and were a collective effort between Heather Simons and myself. Again, all photos were taken in Aperture Priority mode using one or two Nikon Speedlights set to TTL. A MiniTT1 for Nikon with AC3 ZoneController was used on a Nikon D800 and FlexTT5s were used to trigger the Speedlights.
The first image was taken using an on-camera flash and the direct light is quite apparent. There are harsh shadows (notice the one on the back wall!!) and the image appears fairly one dimensional and flat.
For the second image, we placed a Speedlight to the right of Gavin and you can see a shadow on the left side of his face which gives it dimension. Again, Gavin nailed the pose for the lighting. We just love the effect we achieved by simply moving one Speedlight off camera.
And for the final image we kept the Speedlight to Gavins’ right and added one to the left. This provided great lighting on both sides of his face which worked well for this pose. The image has some dimensionality to it and is dramatically different from the first photo. This was done simply by moving the flash off the camera, placing it to the side of the subject and adding a second flash to fill in the light.
One thing to note with all of this is that Heather Simons and myself are far from Professional photographers. In fact, I would say we are quite amateur at best. We simply were having fun in the studio with a great model that kept us entertained while we created content for our Blog. This entire shoot took about 45 minutes. The point I am making with this is that it’s really difficult to free your flash from your camera and put the light where you want it. All you need is a few PocketWizard wireless triggers and the creative possibilities are endless!
Until the next post,