Flash?

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Just hearing the word flash is enough to make some photographers break out into a cold sweat.  It seems that you either love to use them or you join masses that that will crank up the ISO to 25E7 to avoid having to.

I was asked by a friend if I could do some head shots for his daughter’s theatrical audition portfolio.  I’m always up for a challenge, it was something I’d never done before so without much thought I said sure.

Now I just had to figure out how to make this work.  It was to cold to try and do anything outside with available light so plan A was out the window.   I’m comfortable doing an environmental portrait and using fill flash but I have to admit that rarely do I do studio settings where all the light is artifical.  It was time to charge all the double AA batteries I could scrounge up as I was going to have to use my speedlights.

One of the perks of shooting Nikon is that their engineers have put together a lighting system that can be driven from a Master Flash that just works.  So I found some empty space in the gameroom, set up a backdrop, pulled a stool out of the garage, put a softbox on a light stand and within ten minutes had a make shift studio. 

In my mind I knew that I wanted to shoot relatively tight and I wanted the images to be tac sharp so I used a Nikon 200f2 lens.  Morgan was a great model and a true professional in front of the camera.

The above image uses four lights, one is just used as the Master on the camera to drive the other three.  The main light is a softbox, there is a kicker light shooting onto a white Trigrip on the floor for fill and the third flash lighting the backdrop.  Just to throw a few more variables into this equation I decided to use a Nikon D3s that I was just getting familiar with and to tether it to my Macbook Pro running Lightroom 3 so I could show her parents what we were getting.   I’m a Photoshop guy …… like I said, I love a challenge.

 Nikon D3s, Nikkor 200f2.0, SB-900 Speedlights, Lastolite Softbox, Lastolight TriGrip, Finished in Lightroom 3 and PS cs5.

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