Off Camera Speedlights - part two

Peggy Farren 2012-09-26

Our second most popular hands-on photography class is "The Outdoor Portrait" (most popular is DLSR Exposure). In "The Outdoor Portrait" we teach basic flash photography and also the simplest way to use off camera flash (OCF). Yesterday's post talked about a speedlight on a monopod with no diffuser.

A diffuser can manipulate light for different effects.

This fabulous family portrait in Naples, Florida by Tim Gibbons is a good example of OCF. Tim used one speedlight on a small lightstand, using an adapter so he could attach an umbrella. The speedlight shot the light into the umbrella, which bounced it back at the family for a wider light than if he had directly pointed the speedlight at the family. It's slightly off to the side, to give dimension to the people.


Off camera flash bounced into an umbrella

Any time you use an off camera light, pay close attention to where the light is falling and to the shadows. I recommend looking at the back of your camera and zooming in to really examine the first picture you take.

Tim's lightstand is held by his lovely wife, Ursula, also known as the "Voice Activated Lightstand"! If you decide to use an umbrella on the beach, you will need someone to hold it.

Do a search for "speedlight umbrella adapter" to find one that you like. They range in price from $10-$30. Umbrellas usually cost about $20-$50. We used the Cactus v4 triggers again for this shoot. We love them! They are a very affordable Radio Frequency trigger system. A set of transmitter and receiver is only about $45.

Speedlight into an umbrella
Speedlight into an umbrella

We generally hold our "Outdoor Portrait" class every month. However, instead this October we are hosting a Professional Photographers of America workshop about Speedlights on October 15, featuring professional photographer Valarie Hoffman. More information is on our meetup site and you can register on the ppa.com website. PPA members will receive one merit for attending this workshop. http://www.meetup.com/UnderstandPhotography/events/72679492/

You do not need to be a PPA member to join us for the two "Super Monday" workshops we are hosting. You will love our friendly and professional group! We encourage beginners to join us instead of floundering around, trying to figure everything out via Youtube videos and blogs by beginners. You will love our friendly group AND you will grow as a true professional!

And that's my blog for today!! ~~Peggy

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