One of the biggest benefits of belonging to a photography group is you always learn something new. This past SmugMug meeting was no different. Ken Robert (co-organizer of the Meetup) lead the the mini-workshop on using multiple flashes for lighting a model.
Ken started the session explaining that just because its pitch dark doesn’t mean you have to crank the ISO up to 800 or more. By using the 2nd curtain (or rear curtain) sync you can keep your ISO & shutter speed down and still walk away with properly exposed shots.
A quick sidebar for those unfamiliar with 2nd curtain sync. When you switch to 2nd curtain sync you are causing the flash to fire at the very end of the exposure (rather than the beginning). What this does is allow the ambient light to come into your camera first and then your flash will fire to expose your subject. This way you get your subject exposed with the natural background light as well. It gives you some depth and detail to the image. Without it turned on, the flash will fire at the beginning of the shot, expose your subject and end the exposure. What you get then is your typical point and shoot flash shot, background pitch black with the subject lit up like a Christmas tree. Back to the parking lot.
For the better part of the night, Ken used three speedlites to shoot the model. These consisted of a key light inside a small softbox, an unmodified flash for rim lighting, and a hand held flash bounced into a reflector for fill light. Most of these techniques I’ve used, but it was good to see how someone else implements them as well.
Ken’s gear was Nikon based so I was unable to use his light setup. But I was able to use my Canon speedlite to grab a few decent shots. Would of been nice to mount my flash on a stand to get better directional light, but given the group size it was not practical.
You can see a few of Ken’s shots here: http://blog.kennethrobertphotography.com/2010/10/20/lighting-it-up/
Until next time…