That wired effect

Here’s a picture I just took of my favourite patient model. I used some technique to get that dramatic “Wired” effect:

The way I made this picture:


  • Camera: Canon 7D with 50mm f/1.4 lens
  • Set to Manual, 1/125th sec, f/8, 100 ISO


  • Multi-flash TTL with one on-camera and two off-camera flashes.
  • One “A” Flash on the camera (580 EX) as fill flash and “commander”;
  • The main lighting was rim lighting: two 430 EX flashes either side of the model, slightly behind, set up as “B” flashes.
  • I was using a 1:8 A:B ratio.
  • The 430 flashes were each equipped with a Honl 1/4″ grid, to stop their light from hitting the entire room.
  • Flash compensation -1 stop to avoid overexposing the rims (this is common when your main flash lights only a small part of the picture).


  • And finally, I desaturated the colours in Lightroom: Presence +15, Vibrance -20 and Saturation -40. I also did a version where I desaturated only red and orange, and increased sharpness, which is the usual technique.

Try it yourself, or come to our two-day Light workshop 10+11 April to learn exactly how to do this.

0 thoughts on “That wired effect

  1. How bout a personal lighting class in Manila fir moi? You spend on the ticket and knowledge- I’ll throw in a vacation at a beach resort for 2 with spa treatment?! And I’ll then shoot your portrait with my newly learned knowledge 🙂

  2. Mdee, I’d be willing to attend, and make it “slightly-less-than-personal” lighting class on the beach.

    Excellent tip Michael. A look that’s definitely been popular as of late, finally explained!

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