Flash Photography Behind the Scenes
When I was new to photography, I was always fascinated with flash photography. I always wondered "how did they do that"? Flash photography always interested me because the pictures that are made with off camera flash are so unique and present a look that is not seen with the eye in real time. If you are one of those people that love flash photography and want to get a little insight on how I use off camera flash, then this is your "how to" guide! First, I will start out by telling you the equipment that was used for this photo. By the way, I am a Sony user!
This photo was taken around noon in Tyrone Pa. in between two buildings. For me, it is always best to find a spot with some shade. That way I can use my lights more efficiently. I used my main light or key light to light up his face and the secondary light to give a highlight to the back and side of his face to add more dimension and to make the photo more interesting. The biggest trick is to get the exposure correct or as close as possible. There are 3 different exposures that you have to watch out for in this photo. Ambient light, key light and the back light. I first like to set my ambient exposure, then add in my key light, and last, my back light. I'm not going to go into the exact powers and ratios of the off camera lighting, but I will say that the back light is about half the power of the main light or key light. I wanted to get a nice blur in the background and the best way to do that using this particular lens was to shoot at a wide open aperture. Since my sync speed on my camera is 1/200 of a second, I had to use an 8 stop neutral density filter on my lens so that the photo isn't completely blown out or over exposed. In other words, if I use a shutter speed higher than 1/200th of a second, my main light will not sync with my camera. Since it was such a bright day and I'm using such a wide aperture to blur the background (which lets in a lot of light to the sensor), my only choice is to use a neutral density filter to darken everything down. Ok, so here are the settings I used:
As you can see, a lot of thought goes into a photo, especially if you want to use off camera flash. The total amount of money spent on equipment used to get this photo is close to $4000! That doesn't include the knowledge needed to use all of this great stuff or the time my wife and I spend on the photo shoot itself. Oh, and don't forget the hours afterwards for post processing the photos. If you ever wondered why photographers charge so much, that's why. I know, I used to wonder the same thing! Of course, I could have just used a camera and maybe a reflector, but then I wouldn't have been able to get the unique look; in this situation, that sets us apart from other photographers. Don't get me wrong, I love natural light photography and I sometimes do that as well, I just prefer flash and off camera flash photography. If you have any questions or if there is anything you feel that I didn't explain well enough or didn't cover, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Please share this blog to your favorite social media site by clicking on the tabs at the bottom of this page. Thanks for visiting our website and reading our blog. Remember, if you are looking for photographers in Johnstown pa or the surrounding areas, we are the ones to contact.
Finished product with slight retouching done in Lightroom 4