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Photoflex Lighting School

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Leading the Cheer with Photoflex Gear!

Lighting Equipment

Recently, Pro Showcase Photographers Alycia White and Benjamin Edwards teamed up to produce a lesson and video on some simple-yet-powerful indoor and outdoor lighting techniques.  Alycia shot indoors, while Benjamin shot out.  In addition to what you'll find in the video, here's what each of them had to say about their shoots.

 

A Classic Indoor Portrait
Alycia:  For this first shot, my goal was to light the model, Kelly, with a clean, crisp light.  I used a three point lighting technique with the Photoflex FirstStudio Portrait Kit.  I placed one umbrella to camera left as a main light (about three feet away) and another umbrella to camera right (about four feet away) to serve as a fill.  Then, I added a third umbrella behind and to the side of Kelly to add a lovely little rim light to separate her from the background.

If I'm being honest, I really just wanted to show off Kelly's adorable shoes in this image!  I was thrilled with how the constant lighting really made her skin glow.  Another great thing about the constant light was the fact that there was very minimal adjustments I had to do in camera.  I just set what I needed to and shot away!

Something a Bit More Dramatic!
Alycia:  For this next shot, I took away the fill light from camera right and repositioned the main light to come directly from the side of Kelly on camera right.  This created more shadows on the opposite side of Kelly's face, offering a much more dramatic light.  I also removed the umbrella in the back and replaced it with a speedlight directly behind the model.  I wanted this rim light to be BOLD and explosive, as if the model were walking through a really bright light.

It's important to keep in mind that the exposure of the flash in camera is controlled by the aperture and that the shutter speed controls the exposure of the continuous ambient light. Because my main light was continuous, I set my shutter speed according to how I wanted her face to be lit and then set my aperture according to how I wanted the speedlight in the background to be exposed.  My favorite thing about this scenario was how easily I could get two totally different looks simply by adding a speedlight to the FirstStudio Kit!

The Jump!
Benjamin:  After Alycia's indoor shoot, I decided to head outdoors and shoot in an alleyway just downstairs from the studio.  This would give me the chance to capture Kelly showing off her huge hops.  While I vowed never to shoot someone against a brick wall again, it's what we had to work with, given the time constraints of the day.  Sometimes you make do, right?

I hadn't actually planned on having her leap off of something until I saw some school desks that a nearby coffee shop had placed in the alley for people to use while they enjoyed their brew.  Once I had the idea set up and everything placed, I figured out how to light it.  This isn't how I always work; sometimes I see the light first and then decide what to do with it.  Having the proper lighting tools on hand allows me to work either way.

The light in the alley was tricky - half shade, half bright sun.  I knew that by using high speed sync, I'd be able to use a shutter speed that would darken the ambient sunlight and allow my speedlight to be the dominant light source in the scene.  I was shooting at f/2.8 to allow for (dangerously) shallow depth of field and increase the sensor's sensitivity to the main light source.

My go-to light modifier for my speedlights, as well as mono lights, is hands down my Photoflex Extra Small OctoDome. This box is 1.5 feet in diameter and I use it for just about everything.  To get the OctoDome and speedlight in the right place, I used a super versatile tool from Photoflex, the LiteReach.  Simply put, the LiteReach helps you get your light where you need it to be without the weight of trying to lift an entire stand and hold it in position.  My assistant was thankful for a "lighter" approach!

Placing the OctoDome at roughly a 45-degree angle, feathered toward the wall a bit gave me the lighting look I was going for.  After a few jumps, we had the right expression, and BAM! FINI!

Another Brick In The Wall
Benjamin: This was essentially the same setup as with the jump.  Did I mention that this setup is versatile?  After we nailed the jump shot, I had Kelly do a quick wall lean for this portrait.  With the OctoDome feathered, I had the super soft light I was looking for.  The LiteReach made it super simple to position the light.  And with the foot attachment spread out, we could set the LiteReach and OctoDome down in between shots to give my assistant a break.  Not that she needed it - she's buff!

To sum it up, much of the time you need a modifier on your speed or mono light that gives you soft, pleasing light.  For two years, the Photoflex Small OctoDome and Shoe Mount Hardware have been my go to rig for wedding and portrait imagery because it's easy to travel with, affordable, and stands up to everyday use.  I've now incorporated the LiteReach into my kit for the very same reasons.

Rock on!

Written and photographed by Alycia White and Benjmain Edwards.  To see more of their work, click on the links below:

Alycia White
Benjamin Edwards

 

Lighting Equipment

Comments

On August 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.
could you pleas for location the must use the flash or reflector?
thank you.

On August 31, 2012 at 01:26 PM, Keith Robins said:

As you mentioned highsped sync you must be using Pocket Wizards? F2.8 is as you say very risky for any sort of action shot. I don’t use less than F4, even when my Canon 84mm 1.8 lens is attached. When I want the BG out of focus I tend to go for a longer lens and back off further as the radio triggers can easily handle the distance.
However, I really love your images and will be copying your technique this weekend, although I prefer the wrap around light from a 600m by 1200mm softbox without the front panel.
S first class set of techniques so thank you Alycia and Ben and look forward to more similar articles.

On September 02, 2012 at 01:21 PM, Hamid Ghelichkhani said:

Do you use the reflectoe for inthe landeskayp?

On September 02, 2012 at 01:50 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.
Do you have image from your work.
in the photography in the landescap?
thanks for you .
Have a nice day?

On September 02, 2012 at 11:30 PM, Keith Robins said:

Hi Hamid - I love taking portraits in front of a setting sun, the challenges of balancing both flash and sun are extreme as there are only a few minutes before the moment is gone. Have a look at my four images of Jamie Leigh on a hilltop overlooking the flatlands of Somerset UK. http:/www.keithrobinsphotography.co.uk/portrait-weekend-in-march-saturday-evening/
These closeup portraits of Jamie are lit via a technique used by Monte Zucker from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, plus an extra one where I bend his main rule almost to breaking point and cross the line with my lighting.
Yes I do love the softness of big reflectors outdoors and am now using traditional landscape techniques, plus my all time favourite style of closeup portraits and happily use off camera flashes, or even studio lights running on a 240 volt battery pack, via a large recangular softbox.
The authors of these Photoflex articles really know what they are doing and got there by trial and error experimentation - and making notes, always make notes. Keep trying new techniques until one of them begins to gel with you and you can develope it into your ownphotograpic style.
All the best - Keith Robins

On September 03, 2012 at 01:44 PM, Hamid said:

Do you have studio When do you answer to me?

On September 04, 2012 at 12:44 AM, Keith Robins said:

My studio is the great British countryside, the coast, the rivers and streams, beneath overhanging trees, in poppy fields, or amid wild flowers. It costs nothing more to light the great outdoors than a couple of off camera flashes, a softbox or two, the whitewashed wall of a country cottage makes for a brilliant reflector. So too does an old brick wall, with a little custom white balance.

On September 04, 2012 at 11:24 AM, Hamid said:

Hello KEITH ROBINS.
Thank you from guide .Can i queastion from you
when i problem
Which country do you work & When time reply me?
thank you.
Have a good day.

On September 04, 2012 at 01:21 PM, Hamid said:

Hi.KEITH
I have tow flashes in the studio one flash key light & another flash fill light.Why when will photoghaphy from subject.
photo is very yello & red

On September 04, 2012 at 11:00 PM, Keith Robins said:

Sound like you have the wrong white balance set in camera. Click WB button on camera and alter to the flash or lightning bolt symbol. Also, Google in how to set your custom white balance with your make and model of camera. This tip is for when you’re using some really old flashes from the 1970’s, I have four of these which require a different WB seting than my Elinchroms kit.

On September 05, 2012 at 11:44 AM, Hamid said:

Hello KHITH ROBINS.
Woud you please. Can you elucidate for me.
Woh do you white balance set in camera in the studio & campus ?
Thanks for you.

On September 06, 2012 at 11:42 AM, Hamid said:

Hello KHITH ROBINS.
Woud you please. Can you elucidate & instruct me.  that Woh do you white balance set in camera in the studio & campus ?
Thank you

On September 06, 2012 at 12:27 PM, Hamid said:

Hi KITH
for photography in the garden. The must use the slash & reflector or enough jost reflector?

On September 07, 2012 at 03:08 AM, Hamid said:

Hi.KEITH
Wy you don’t answer to me?

On September 07, 2012 at 10:22 AM, Hamid said:

Hello KHITH ROBINS.
Woud you please. Can you elucidate & instruct me.  that how do you white balance set in camera in the studio & campus ?
Thank you

On September 07, 2012 at 10:37 AM, Hamid said:

the best for Key light in the stuio soft box 60x60 OR beauty dish?
thank you.

On September 07, 2012 at 12:15 PM, Alycia White said:

**the best for Key light in the stuio soft box 60x60 OR beauty dish?
thank you.**

Hamid, it depends on what kind of light you’re looking for but I would suggest the soft box personally smile

On September 07, 2012 at 12:22 PM, Benjamin Edwards said:

Thanks everyone for checking this out… Keith, agreed that 2.8 is risky, but with the 70-200 I’ve also learned to trap focus, as in predict where my subject will land—focus lock, then shoot. With a static subject, i even use f1.4.
While shooting stopped down at f4 or more give you less chance of error, it also means you’ll need much more flash output. If you use a vari-ND filter rather than high speed sync, you’ll gain a good 1 1/2-2 stops of power out of your speedlight(s).—Note, it doesn’t make your speed light more powerful, just increases the light hitting the sensor…
Hamid, it might be more appropriate to continue your conversation through email with Keith, however, here is an article that might assist you:
http://www.macworld.com/article/1150860/whitebalancebasics.html

In regard to the best key light, typically the larger the source the softer the light—typically. It depends on the look you want to achieve—I’ve used both, for different outcomes.
Try using a double litepanel with diffusion and firing a speedlight or mono light through it, gives beautiful light and easy to pack around.
Thanks everyone!

On September 09, 2012 at 11:39 AM, Hamid Ghelichkhani said:

Hello.
Do you have instruction to me.
How do you white balance set in camera canon elucidate to me?
thank you.

On September 09, 2012 at 12:31 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.KITH
Do you have instruction to me.
How do you’r white balance set in camera elucidate pleas to me?
thank you.

On September 09, 2012 at 01:02 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.Do you have instruction to me.
How do you’r white balance set in camera in the studio elucidate pleas to me?
thank you.

On September 10, 2012 at 11:26 AM, Hamid said:

Hello.I use the tow soft box 60*90 fill light &key; light for studio so for backrand socket
do you discretion correct ?

On September 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM, Hamid said:

Would you pleas send me some from pull your tackle in the studio?
thank you.

On September 11, 2012 at 12:49 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.
what is undertaker flash meter.do you have usage in the studio?
thank you .
Have a nice time.

On September 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM, Hamid said:

HELLO.
I’m Hamid
Do you discretion Flash light after3 OR 4years.
the light must substitute.
thank you?

On September 14, 2012 at 03:06 AM, Hamid said:

Hello.
Wy. period photography in the studio one flash & another do’t work
radio flash on the key light

On September 14, 2012 at 03:08 AM, Hamid said:

Hello.
Wy. period photography in the studio one flash & another do’t work
radio flash on the key light & fill light don’t radio flash?
thank you

On September 14, 2012 at 08:46 AM, Hamid said:

Hello.
I have four flashes key light & another flash fill light so back light and hair light .I radio flash on the connect to key light but when I will from subject take photo key light function but another flash do’n tfunction?
Thank you

On September 14, 2012 at 11:45 PM, Rahul Kr. Prajapati said:

i like very much.. your tips….......
Superb.

On September 15, 2012 at 10:48 AM, Hamid said:

Hello.
I have four flashes key light & another flash fill light so back light and hair light .I radio flash on the connect to key light but when.wy I will from subject take photo key light function but another flash do’n tfunction
problem from are flashes?
Thanks for you
Have a good day.

On September 15, 2012 at 11:02 AM, Hamid said:

My problem is there in write upside ?
thank you

On September 15, 2012 at 01:17 PM, Hamid said:

hello. would you please tell me .Were is My problem

On September 15, 2012 at 01:48 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.I have the some question in the studio.
I have four flash light in the studio Key light&fill; light.so hair light &back; light I connect radio flash on the key light but When I will photography key light function but fill light don’t function .
Where is my problem?
Thank you.
Have a nice day.

On September 16, 2012 at 07:25 PM, VICENTE CARDONE said:

Hello. I am not a pro, but want to make the better work I could for indoor portrait. My equipment is Canon SX20 (with pop up flash of course), one flash wich can work e-TTL and as slave (GN 42) and another unit just as slave (GN 38). Let me ask how can I should positioned the units with the pop up flash as controller and the other 2 as slave for 3 ligths portrait. Aditional I have 2 bounce cards (small and large)  but no umbrellas or other reflecting equipment. Until now I use the e-TTL on camera as main (bounced on ceilling) and the slave as side enhaced at 45 to 65° angle, direct at 1/8 power. Camera on Av. f 6.5, 1/60”, ISO 200 As I said befor I want improve this technique. Help is wellcome. Thanks a lot. Vicente.

On September 25, 2012 at 02:11 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.how do you have regiment your camera in studio .you teachable me.would you please write in the mail?
thank you.
have anice day.

On September 27, 2012 at 11:56 AM, Hamid Ghelichkhani said:

hello.
which for heair light from use the paraphernalia?

On September 28, 2012 at 08:09 AM, Hamid said:

Hello.
Can i for use the White blance canon camera from whit backrand ?

On September 29, 2012 at 02:26 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.
Would you pleas say me.How do you process for adjustment Your camera in the studio?
Thank you for your guid me.
HAVE A NICE DAY

On September 29, 2012 at 02:33 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.
Would you pleas say me.How do you process for adjustment Whitebalance Your camera in the studio?
Thank you for your guid me.
HAVE A NICE DAY

On September 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.if my subject take photo can i have white balance or with white cloth ?

On September 30, 2012 at 02:45 PM, Hamid said:

Hi when do you go to work?

On October 01, 2012 at 01:50 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.if my subject take photo for regulation your camera can i use the for white balance or the must use the white cloth ?

On October 01, 2012 at 01:56 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.if my subject take photo for regulation my camera can i use the for white balance or the must use the white cloth ?

On October 04, 2012 at 01:02 PM, Hamid said:

If my wite or yellow modeling light flashes. your sound my righteous Or unsound?
Thank you.
have a nice day.

On October 04, 2012 at 01:19 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.how do you have regiment your camera in studio .you teachable me.would you please write in the mail?
thank you.
have anice day.

On October 04, 2012 at 01:56 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.
In the camera sRGB with RGB what are diffrent?
thank you.

On October 05, 2012 at 01:39 PM, Hamid said:

Hello.
Do you think lenz 70.200 for studio to work OR element ?
thank you.

On October 06, 2012 at 02:19 PM, Hamid Ghelichkhani said:

Hello.
How do you white balance camera in the studio?
Thank you.

On October 07, 2012 at 02:57 PM, Hamid Ghelichkhani said:

Hello.
Do you think.the best for hear light use the soft box OR socket flash?

On October 07, 2012 at 03:03 PM, Hamid Ghelichkhani said:

The best hear light which concord position .
position key light Or Fill light?
thank you.

On October 08, 2012 at 06:04 AM, rinawm tonsing said:

One Request Pls.. make Video tutorial for Costume White Balance… hehe.. i used to read from the net… but cant really make it out.. maybe i’m missing something..

On October 08, 2012 at 02:29 PM, Hamid Ghelichkhani said:

What’s you mean from this writeing?

On October 09, 2012 at 02:48 PM, Hamid Ghelichkhani said:

Do you think I need the flash metter for in the studio?

On October 11, 2012 at 02:56 PM, Hamid Ghelichkhani said:

Can i show vidio take photo in the studio?

On October 11, 2012 at 02:57 PM, Hamid Ghelichkhani said:

Can i show vidio About take photo in the studio?

On November 21, 2012 at 10:43 AM, nlaphotographer@gmail.com said:

 

On November 29, 2012 at 03:18 PM, Hamid said:

Hello. what kind of used the lens for landeskap?
thank you.

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