Today’s tutorial is from the wonderful Andy Lim.
Within the world of photography, speedlights give portrait photographs that professional, polished look when used correctly. Here are some tips to use speedlights to your advantage when working with clients.
How To Use Speedlights Effectively
Here is a list of equipment you will need to complete this tutorial:
- Nikon (or Canon) camera of your choice
- Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 lens (or Canon 70-200mm F2.8 lens)
- Two speedlights
- One Reflective Umbrella
- Lastolite Triflash holder
- Orange gel filter (usually comes with Nikon speedlights)
My assistant was holding the speedlights and umbrella, which were mounted onto a Lastolite Triflash holder. I asked the couple to push their bicycles forward while my assistant walked backwards.
I always shoot in Manual mode, both for the camera exposure as well as the flash (speedlight) exposure. This meant that my assistant had to keep a fairly consistent distance from the couple as they moved forward.
The warm color is achieved by putting an orange gel filter on one speedlight, and leaving the other speedlight without any filters.
This effectively creates what is commonly referred to as a half CTO (color temperature orange). A full CTO would have created too warm of a cast on the couple, and I wanted to make sure that I balanced the flash color nicely with the ambient light.
The angle at which my assistant stood in relation to the couple is important. In this shot, he needed to be to the left of the couple, aiming the light to the right. This creates short lighting, which is generally flattering.
Short lighting is essentially lighting the side of the face which is furthest from the camera. In this scene, it creates depth by highlighting the couple and separating them from the background.
The shot below still uses the same lighting tools (speedlight and umbrella) but as a separator light instead of a key light. Used as a hair light, it now provides separation of the couple’s heads from the background.
Again as a very subtle hair light, below.
and here too:
Interestingly, all 5 images were taken with a Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 lens, at various focal lengths. Different impressions of depth-of-field are created in each because of varying subject-to-camera distances, and subject-to-background distances.
Love this tutorial?
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