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Friday, July 08, 2011

On-Camera Flash And Small White Room

Last week I had a chance to participate in an open photo shoot organized by Terry Jorgensen at The Bulb Studios. It was my first time to shoot in a studio with those big mono lights with their big soft boxes. The first shot I took with those big lights made me drool over them and makes me wanna get myself some of those lights too. I will someday.

Okay let's get back to the title of this post before I get carried away with those big lights introduction. What I really wanted to share and concentrate on was my favorite shots that I was able to take outside of the studio, actually it still inside the studio but away from the big lights -- the reception area of the studio. The reception area that was about, maybe 10 feet by 30 feet with a ceiling height of about 10 feet also. What was great about the reception area was it's painted white all over -- the walls, floor, and ceiling. One more thing, the entrance to this area was a glass door that allowed lots of light to enter into the room.

Model: Cathy Frey
The photo above was shot in the reception area. The reception door is on my left (model's right) side. I had my speedlite on my camera and from what I've learned, direct on-camera flash isn't really flattering at all. I have been practicing how to bounce flash with on-camera flash and I believe this is one big accomplishment for the little speedlite. I bounced my flash towards my back angled up about 45 degrees. This filled up the room with light scattering all about and bouncing all around the walls and ceiling and floor and created this big soft light source. As a result of this, the shadows behind the model and the motorcycle was almost eliminated and created a wrap around light on the subjects. As I didn't have much experience with big studio lights but have ample experience on bounce flash, I was able to get this awesome shot! Below is another shot on the same setting.

Model: Cathy Frey
At the opposite end of the studio entrance was the reception desk and it had a stair case on it's right side still painted white. Again, I was able to use it as my "own" small studio with only having my speedlite as the light source. I applied the same technique as I have done above but tweaked the angle of the flash.

Model: Stephanie Gaña

In the photo above, I believe the flash was toward my back-right hand side. On the next photo, the flash was on the opposite side as the model change positions, I had to adjust the direction of the flash. If I didn't change the direction of the flash, I would've lit the model's hair instead of her face.

Model: Stephanie Gaña
I was able to make good use of the white walls and on-camera flash using bounce flash techniques. I have to thank Neil van Niekerk for his tutorials on flash photography techniques. I did quite learn a lot from his blog on the use of on-camera flash bounce.

The rest of my photos from this photo shoot session can be seen here: Heroes & Villains Open Photo Shoot by Terry Jorgensen.

Again, thanks Terry for the spot and opportunity.