It's too bright outside. Quick! Hand me a flash!

We do not use flash “because it is too dark” – at least not just.  We very often use flash because it is too bright outside.

By using a bright flash, we can:

  1. Decrease the exposure of the background, thus making it less bright
  2. Then use the flash to increase the exposure of the foreground, to avoid darkening it as a result of step 1 (becasue this would otherwise happen).

Step 1 also

  • Increases the colour saturation.
  • Allows you to make your subject stand out against the background.

Step 2 also allows you:

  • To accent parts of your shot,
  • To “model” shapes,
  • To throw light where you want it.

At yesterday’s all day Country Creative Lighting Workshop in Mono, Joseph Marranca and I used technique to do exactly that. So you turn a simple snap into this, instead:

A female runner

Female runner on a country road

For this, we used technique. Technique that included (apart from a talented model):

  • The use of two speedlites, set to manual, fired by Pocketwizards
  • A Honl Photo Traveller 8 portable softbox on one
  • Manual camera exposure settings

Two simple off-camera speedlites can create a shot like that? Yes they can. 430 EX speedlites can overpower the sun? Yes they can. Try it!

0 thoughts on “It's too bright outside. Quick! Hand me a flash!

  1. Great shot.

    Two questions:

    #1) Where were the two speedlites positioned?

    #2) Any reason why the horizon is tilted? Was it to give it a downhill running look?

  2. Thanks, Robert.

    One on her left, bare, and one on her right,, with a Honl Traveler 8 soft box. Both In front of her and both using 430ex speedlites fired by pocketwizards. This is the kind of thing we teach in our workshops.

    Ha ha.. It is actually a fairly steep hill, so she IS actually running downhill! I just added a little more tilt.

  3. I am brand new to digital photography and I have been reading your blog for the last few months and now following you on Twitter. My only comment is…Thank You!! I am very grateful for your willingness to share your knowledge and expertise.

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