Test Shot

I spent yesterday shooting portraits. And here is my test shot:

Why “a test shot”?

For outdoor portraits, I set up a single softbox. I check my ambient light and underexpose that slightly: I start with 100 ISO, 1/250th second, then see what aperture that needs. Then I set my flash to the desired brightness to give me that aperture.

But then I do one single test shot – that is all I need. I check:

  1. Is the background dark enough? (*)
  2. Is the foreground bright enough? (*)
  3. Do I see a catch light?
  4. Are glasses free of reflections?
  5. Are the shadows in the right places?

(*) I judge this by means of using a Hood Loupe, and/or using the histogram, and the “blinkies”. Not just visual inspection of the rear LCD in bright sunlight!

Of course here since I am holding the camera and a pocketwizard, my expression and the composition are not quite right, but that is not the point. The light is right.

And provided I do the setup right, one test shot is all I need.

Come to NSI to learn more – Sunday-Thursday next week!


2 thoughts on “Test Shot

  1. Hi Michael:

    Were you sitting in Manual mode? I am confused as to what you mean by, “Then I set my flash to the desired brightness to give me that aperture.”

    Are you referring to manually setting your flash output or are you using e-TTL?



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