Creating Your Own Environment

Today's post comes from the book Multiple Flash Photography: Off Camera Flash Techniques for Digital Photographers by Rod and Robin Deutschmann. It is available from and other fine retailers.

Adding light offers a multitude of options. While in the field, the photographer can manipulate his scene, creating an environment that is unique to the message he wants to convey. This type of control was once thought only to be found indoors—but for the multiple flash photographer, the world now becomes his studio.

Using three modified flashes on light stands, we produced enough light to illuminate our model, creating an environment filled with rich color and tones. The key is to set the base lighting in your camera first, then add flashes where additional light is needed. Here, we placed two large, diffused lights on either side of our model, with a third behind her for backlighting.

We can virtually create any environment we desire—including a darkened background to help isolate our model and make her stand out. Here, we placed a large softbox and an umbrella on either side of our model. The softened light looks natural and the additional softboxed flash behind our model’s head added a pop of backlighting to her hair.

You don’t necessarily have to wait for the sun to start setting to take advantage of “great lighting.” As multiple flash photographers, great lighting is only a camera bag away.

To achieve our setting sunlight environment, we used three flashes connected by a TriFlash shoe on one light stand and modified with an umbrella, creating a very large light source. Strategic placement of this light source gave us the setting-sun environment we were looking for. Once we added a fourth flash behind our model for backlighting, we were set to go.

The world does not have to look the way it does. Making your background appear darker than it is can add drama to your images.

Once our base light was achieved in-camera, creating the moody environment, we began adding lights to illuminate our model out of the darkness.

For this image, we used three unmodified flashes on light stands to create a dusky environment. A fourth flash was added as top lighting to highlight the model’s fur hood.


No comments:

Post a Comment