Tonight, I shot my model with her new short hairdo using the simplest of means. And yet, they look like studio shots. With the minimum of post work done, the images look like this – and this was an hour or two ago:
What did I use for this? Simply an available background, a camera, and two speedlights.
One on the camera, and one on a lightstand, equipped with the Honl Photo Traveller 16 softbox. This softbox, which is much larger than the Traveller 8, looks like this:
(Can you tell that Halloween was a couple of days ago?)
The baffle makes the light spead evenly, but it does mean the Traveller 16 is not the obvious choice for outdoors daytime, where power is at a premium. But for outdoors on darker days, or for indoors, it is perfect:
I used this setup:
- Canon 1Dx with 24-70mm lens.
- Camera on manual, 1/200th sec, 800 ISO, f/5.6.
- Speedlight on the camera: 600EX, set as master, but also firing, bounced off the ceiling on the opposite side to the softbox.
- Main speedlight: 580EX II as slave, with the Honl Traveller 16 softbox on a lightstand.
- Master:Slave ratio set as 1:8 (meaning the bounced light just adds a little fill light – three stops below the key light).
Always take a pullback shot! Here’s the main flash:
The results? They are, as you see, very good.
One thing I like about the Honl softboxes is the nice round catch light:
The point of this post: That with simple tools, you can get very good results. You do not always need the clinical studio setting. In fact, I avoid it as much as possible: clinical means intimidating, and strobes mean arthritis.
If you can do it with one or two speedlights, as I did here: do it!