Working With Shadows

Working With Shadows

f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-200, 55mm

Last year about this time I started the year determined to learn how to use a flash well and to pick up my game on doing portraits. This year I’m upping things again by deciding to work with two lights (not counting ambient or sunlight). A second flash isn’t quite in my budget so instead I picked up a $5.00 trouble light and a $40.00 dimmable LED 5000K temperature bulb for it with a maximum output of 14oo lumens. I also got a $10 dimmer switch to hook it up to.

This is my first attempt at a portrait with the setup. I had the flash in a softbox close in on the right, and a lovely assistant holding the trouble light just a little further back: about 2:00 to the flash’s 4:o0 on the clock face, with the camera at 6:00. I had a piece of black material taped to the wall with my trusty gaffers tape.

While I can see room for improvement, I’ve very happy with the shadows and light in this one. I’ll be looking at some more of my attempts later over the following couple of weeks, but I felt this was a pretty good start for $50.oo of new equipment.

This entry was posted in Flash Lighting, Indoor, Photography, Portrait and tagged , , .


  1. marcus dilano December 24, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    It’s a very interesting portrait and I like it! Not sure if you have heard about the company yongnuo but they make some decent flashes for under 200. I have their YN560 $65 and their Yn568 $185. Both of these flashes are more powerful than my Canon 430ex and I paid more for that flash “refurbished” from Canon. I don’t even use the Canon flash anymore. The YN565 is very popular among strobists and although that flash is manual. For $200 you can get two flashes and the transceivers and you are read to go.

    Thank you for explaining the lighting setup used to compose this photograph. I just wanted to share because I love my $65 flash and the slightly more expensive one. Check out the reviews on amazon and other site when you get a chance. Merry Christmas Leanne!

    • AJBopp December 24, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      Thank you. I have heard of Yongnuo and have a couple of YN-622C wireless flash triggers. While I was very pleased with these devices at first, I’ve found that with moderate usage over the last two months they will no longer support high speed sync. First it was just one device, meaning I had to be careful about which device was mounted on the camera vs the flash. But yesterday I discovered that neither configuration now works, so I’m kind of disappointed in Yongnuo at the moment. Still, I may do some more research into the flashes you mentioned, and thank you again!

      • marcus dilano December 27, 2013 at 5:55 am #

        Wow that’s a shame and also a little scary because I use those triggers exclusively these days. I purchased mine in October and I have used them for about 4 weddings and a few portrait sessions without problems. But seeing as how cheap they were I guess it is to be expected that they may not last as long as Pocket Wizard’s.. Keeping my fingers crossed. I hope that you are enjoying this holiday season..

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