We teach about off camera flash on our Flash Photography Course in London. The images below were taken by Anita Staff on the course using off camera flash. You can check out more of Anita’s work on her website.
The first image, taken on the course in the depths of London’s Southwark, uses two off camera flashes, one in front, and one behind & left of our model (you can also see this flash in the frame). The main flash obviously lights the model, and the one behind creates a hair and rim of light to give depth to the photo.
Next we have a simple, one light set up, with the flash left of camera. This is a softer look, and was created using an umbrella which modifies the light to take away the hard edge of the shadows.
And finally, some experimentation, using rear curtain sync, with 1/3s shutter speed, and flash off to the left of the camera. This is a great (if hit and miss!) technique which can give interesting results.
Off camera flash techniques
Off camera flash techniques let you take much better portraits. By triggering the flash away from the camera you can change the angle at which light hits your subject and therefore be much more creative about lighting. As you can trigger more than one flash at the same time, using off camera flash also gives you the ability to introduce additional lights such as fill light, hair light or background light. Additionally you can shoot your flash through many different light modifiers such as umbrellas, softboxes and snoots. The possibilities are endless.
Our off camera flash course runs approximately every 6 weeks in central London. We begin by talking about the principles of flash including metering, flash exposure and ambient exposure. We work with a model all day so the you have the chance to shoot a range of portraits using flash, and become comfortable using one, two and three lights, and a range of modifiers including umbrellas and diffusers.
Check out our Flash Photography Workshop if you’d like to learn about off camera flash.
by Andrew Mason.