"The Doorhof is always open." Translation: My friend and fellow Kelby Training instructor Frank Doorhof is always available to share how-to photo info with photographers around the world.
What's more, Frank's door – literally – is always open. He invited me into his studio in Holland last year for a cool studio shoot.
Frank is an expert on speedlites, so he was a natural choice as a guest blogger for my 6-day speedlite series. Scroll down for previous tips in this series.
Take it away, Frank.
Small flash : How to make a difference and maximize results.
When my friend Rick asked me to give a quick tip on small flash, it did not take me long to come up with an idea to share with you guys.
We all know the problem: You're on a location and everything goes as planned. You shoot the stuff your client wants and you all go home happy. But how often does it happen that afterward, your client says something like, "You know, the look is great but . . . ."
Well, the following tip will make sure that this problem is solved before it happens. It may also give you more revenue from your shoots.
When shooting on location, always make sure that you deliver two series of pictures: one with speedlites and one with only the natural light. That way, you can deliver two different looks for the price of one. Even if your client says that he/she only wants the strobe versions, just do it anyway because sometimes it's not only the on-site client that makes the final decision.
The first image in this post was taken with only natural light, and the other two were made using two Canon speedlites. We used two strobes stacked with Rogue Flash Benders from ExpoImaging to light the model.
I set my speedlites to HSS (High Speed Sync) to fight the super bright ambient light – and to get a moody, almost fairytale atmosphere in the photographs. By stacking the two strobes, I got an increase of one stop of light output, which was not really needed here, but with two strobes, the recycling time is much faster, and the batteries last longer.
Now most of you (including Rick "Mr. Canon E-TTL" Sammon) know that I almost always use light meters. One of the biggest things you can learn you about using light meters is to know when you need them and when not. In this case, I wanted results quick and very variable, because the window of time to shoot this was really limited, so I used manual mode on the camera and E-TTL on the strobes. Annewiek (my wife) was holding the strobes and walked around the model, changing the position of the strobes for different takes.
I knew I only wanted to use two-three shots from this location, so I wanted to maximize my photo choices. To meter everything after each change would limit my time, so in this case E-TTL rocked. However, it's not perfect or consistent, but because you're not shooting a series in a single location and you want to maximize the results, it's a great option to use.
For more photography tips, please visit my web site. While you are there, please check out my instructional dowloads. And remember, the Doorhof is always open.
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Thank you, Frank, for your great advice, and for sharing your wonderful photographs.
Explore the light,
P.S. If you have a speedlite shooter in your family, here are my holiday gift recos.
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