Off-Camera flash

Gabby wanted grunge-I had ideas…let the collaboration begin. I spoke to my creative friend Laura Healy for location suggestions, and it seems her home town would be a perfect location. Laura got permission, and it’s off to grunge land for us. My grand-daughter has an artsy flare and always has. Below Gabby’s gallery, you’ll find my process for executing off-camera flash.


EQUIPMENT: Gitzo Explorer tripod with BH 40 head, cheapo monopod for off camera SB-800 Speedlight, on camera SB-800 Speedlight, Nikon D3s, Nikkor 28-70 2.8.

SETTINGS: 60mm, ISO 200, 60@5.6. Remote SB-800-camera left near subject. SB-800 as master flash on camera. Bounce cards extended. The exposure mode was aperture preferred and flash settings are TTL.

Nikon flash mount, Cheapo monopod, Gitzo Explorer, RRS BH-40 (L). Nikon SB-800 speedlights. Bounce cards extended (R).

Flash power ratios unknown. Tweaked according to camera histogram. Flash heads were rotated to feather light as needed.

2015 GabbySr-175First camera angle testing ambient light as well as flash/fill-flash

Laura Healy, a former student of mine (UE Cont. Ed classes), met us in Norris City, IL. She had a location in mind. Laura was like a little birdie sitting on my shoulder. She saw what I missed and whispered to me. We worked like a polished team though it was our first time working together.

Processing samples: Camera file (L). LR edits (C). Single HDR edits (R).

Collaboration: Laura spotted the angle from the next room.  Alisha (Gabby’s mom)  tweaked the light position on my command. She was fantastic at small movements adjusting fall-off light. Gabby moved in small increments like a pro.

2015 GabbySr-185_singleHDRFinal image. Photoshop CS6: Combined HDR and LR images, masked to lower saturation and exposure everywhere except Gabby, added a warm SPOTLIGHT filter for additional depth. What a team we made!

Oh and, a senior portrait needs a graduation year, like a mailbox needs it’s home number.
One final note: Try combining off-camera flash with HDR.

If HDR interests you, follow this link. It’s time to explore HDR!

If this tutorial was helpful, please comment. If I left out a step you needed, please let me know.


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