Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Tag Archives: off camera flash

Off Camera Flash – the answer

Odin makes lighting with Canon speedlites simple and reliable this blog site by Michael Zelbel has some answers.

“If you followed my photography tutorials for a while, then you know that I like to use TTL and that quite often I setup Canon ETTL lighting setups with the typical A:B lighting ratios. But now I got something better and I am just about to share it with you in a video.

My new radio flash trigger “Odin” allows me to use my Canon flashes together with my Canon camera in a much more simple, intuitive and reliable way than the Canon trigger or the master flash would do.

In many ways it’s similar to Nikon iTTL. So if in future videos I show you lighting setup which look like they are made with a Nikon system, then you know what’s going on.” If this is a subject area you are interested in go here and watch Michael’s video, most instructive

Here are some more links about the Phottix Odin

http://journal.phottix.com/photo-accessory-news/odin-ttl-flash-trigger-phottix-online-store/

http://www.phottix.com/en/studio-accessories/phottix-odin-ttl-flash-trigger-for-canon.html

where to buy http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Dzone2-Digital-Shop/Phottix-/_i.html?_fsub=437716719

External Flash Photography Techniques

The one question I am asked about more than any other is the use of flash, it is something that many people who are competent with their cameras feel uncertain of. This short article explains a little of the theory and practice….…more

Diffusing Light Technique..

Off Camera Flash – Get Professional Results with Small Flash Units

“Flash photography is one of the most popular topics we cover here in the blog.  Using standard system flash units on-, or off-camera is something everyone seems to be interested in. The reason is that with a little understanding, it’s pretty easy to get professional-level results with the kind of flash units that were designed to slip into the hot shoe on your camera.  As a matter of fact, you can get the look of real studio portraiture with your Canon or Nikon flash units (or any good flash), you just have to know how.” writes Ed Verosky on his blog About Photography….more  Another site worth checking out if you are thinking of using your flash units off camera is Strobist

This article on Strobist was one of the most popular on the blog with the title Brad Trent on the Fake Reality of Portraits not sure if fake reality is not just an oxymoron, anyway the post is worth reading

Another great tutorial from Ed Verosky at About Photography

Simple Direct Flash For Effect

Julie-1

There’s no doubt that light modifiers are extremely useful for controlling the look and behavior of flash. Manufacturers are constantly coming up with new ways to snoot, spot, diffuse, bounce, color, and ring-light a basic flash unit. It’s gotten to the point where you rarely see anyone use a speedlite (or speedlight) these days without some extra attachment. But it doesn’t mean your flash is useless without a mini-softbox or piece of plastic on the end of it. Many people choose to use their flash units with no modifier, aimed straight at the subject.

Classic-portrait-1

I like to use the direct approach with my flash units for a certain look people have often referred to as “dirty.” I think of it as kind of a raw or dangerous look. Not that direct flash has to look that way, it’s just the look I like to get from it.

Last week, I did a quick set with actress Julia O’Neill. The plan was to explore darker characters, so I dispensed with my usual shoot-thru umbrellas and got these shots.

The idea for the first shot was simply to have Julia get on the floor and play the part of someone who’s had too much going on that night (use your imagination). I used a Canon 580EX II positioned on a light stand to my right, at a lower power setting, and aimed in her general direction. I used a step-ladder to get some vertical distance.

Classic-portrait-2

As you can see, there are hot spots and uneven lighting which adds to the amateur or “low-budget” effect of the shot. I added some vignetting in post to add to the darkened back-room feel. A spotlight or vignette look might also have been accomplished with a grid or snoot attachment, flags, or a combination of the two, but it’s just so easy to change and control this look in post I prefer to do it that way.

I’ve included a couple of images showing how I normally setup my flash on a stand. The image on the right illustrates the shoot-thru umbrella configuration, however I didn’t use the umbrella for the shots in this article.

Shot above: 17-40mm @ 33mm, ISO 100, f/4.0, 1/250 sec.

Julie-2

In the next shot I used two lights; one positioned hard right and one just above Julia’s head. Both were unmodified Speedlites. Again, the idea was to portray a darker character in an emotionally-charged situation. In the photo below, she moved half her face into the shadow area for an intense, partially hidden look.

B/W Shots: 50mm, ISO 200, f/4.0, 1/250 sec.

Julie-3

Just remember that all photography doesn’t have to be made with soft, pretty, even lighting. Lighting is a tool you can use to tell a story, not just something you need to “get right” according to what you’ve seen other people do. Check out the work of Terry Richardson and Ellen von Unwerth for great examples of harder lighting (NSFW). Experiment with your DSLR or even a point and shoot to see how you can tell a story with direct flash on, or off, the camera.

 

You can see more from Ed on his site, here is the link