Sometimes you need to improvise. Scrap that. You always need to improvise.

For a model or portrait shoot I would like at least several lights.

Recently, on a shoot I had only one available flash, a 430EX speedlite in an umbrella on a stand. So I used the 580EX on my camera to fire that 430EX flash through the umbrella on the camera left side:

I did that as follows:

  • 1D Mark IV with 580EX on the camera as “director” (master) only, otherwise disabled
  • 430EX in slave mode firing through a useless Opus umbrella (useless because it broke and kept coming apart) on a stand
  • Flash compensation of +2 stops – this is what I needed because of the white wall. I set the Flash Compensation so that the histogram went exactly to the right edge.
  • I moved the umbrella as close to the moel as possible. This makes the light softer. Farther away makes it harder.

I would have liked the umbrella on the right, since that is where she is looking – but during a model session you cannot keep moving the umbrella.

And it worked, didn’t it?

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