Studio-Style Portraits of Bob with one, simple, speedlight

No studio? No problem. It’s cheaper than ever to get flash guns that you can use on- or off-camera. In fact, some enterprising brands are now offering complete sets of flash guns with transmitters and receivers for under £200. With a little bit of thought and one or two light modifiers (including a simple white-painted wall), you can recreate studio-style portraits in any location.

In this video, my friend, neighbour and very patient portrait sitter Bob steps into the studio. I’ll show you:

  • How you can use off-camera flash to create high key portraits and low key portraits
  • How you can bounce the light from a flash gun to soften it, whether on- or off-camera
  • And how you can use bare, direct flash for harsher, more dramatic shadows

What are some of the cons of using flash guns? Firstly, they don’t have the power of dedicated studio flash. Secondly, they don’t have modelling lights. This means that you can’t see how the light will fall on your subject before you take the picture. Nevertheless, a little bit of guesswork and experimentation will lead you towards the result you’re looking for, as you’ll see in the video.

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