Friday, May 09, 2008

off camera flash

I took this photo recently and thought i would post it to talk about the importance of planning your lighting. My client wanted all these people around this driving simulator and wanted the screen to show. If i had hit the scene with on camera flash the screen would have taken a hit and not looked good. I could not bounce my flash off the ceiling as it was way too high and probably would have affected the screen also. I brought a light stand, an extra flash, and two pocket wizards with me just to be safe. I usually have the car packed pretty well just in case i run into a situation where i need more equipment.
Once i saw the setup i first picked my shooting angle and then placed an off camera flash directly behind the screen and up quite high, with a pocket wizard attached. I placed a second flash on my camera which i did point straight up with the white reflector card pulled up about half way. This on camera flash provided fill on the dark side of the people, i set it lower in power compared to the off camera flash. Both were set to manual so its easy to adjust, if one is too bright just dial it down. I set my shutter speed for the driving screen, i think it was somewhere around 1/60 sec.
Now if you dont have pocket wizards dont worry. You can get a cheap optical slave for your off camera flash and your on camera flash will set it off. They dont work great outside but work very well indoors.
This type of lighting is by no means rocket science. It is actually very easy to do and really makes your photos better than the easy on camera flash only technique.

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