Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Adding an Off-Camera Flash to Create a Winning Image

Found on DPS an in depth tutorial on how to use off camera flash for stunning results A Post By: Bruce Wunderlich

Star_gazers

This image, titled “Star Gazers”, won Grand Prizes at the 2015 Shoot the Hills photo competition. Held in the Hocking Hills region near Logan, Ohio, this competition takes place the 3rd weekend every April. 160 photographers from several states participated this year.

I initially came up with the idea for this shot over a year earlier, but my first attempt at the image failed miserably. (see below)

DSC_3387

What mistakes did I make?

If I would have checked the histogram I would have seen that all of the image was extremely under-exposed with all the data pushed up against the left side of the histogram.

  1. The image was under-exposed, because I failed to check the histogram. In the dark the image looked great on the LCD on the back of the camera!
  2. With the long exposure (30 seconds) there was no way for the subjects in the image to remain still enough to avoid blurring.

The Solutions

  1. The solution for the exposure was simple. First I turned down the brightness of the camera’s LCD screen. Then I used the histogram to determine my exposure.
  2. The length of exposure time was the main problem I had with this first attempt at capturing the image I had planned. It is nearly impossible for a live model to stand still for 30 seconds to prevent blurring. An off-camera flash was added behind the models to create the rim lighting in order to freeze their movement. Adding this flash was the major difference-maker from my earlier attempt of this image.

 

Want to read the rest of this article? Go Here

We teach about this on our flash course, 

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