Home is where the art is

You should find it fairly quick to set up a stu­dio in your front room – con­trol­ling the light is the key

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

01 Fix the um­brella

Flash­guns are a small light source, so the light is hard and un­flat­ter­ing. Fixed in front of your Speed­light, a white um­brella trans­forms the harsh light into a bank of soft, dif­fused il­lu­mi­na­tion. At­tach your flash to a tri­pod us­ing the thread in its stand, then rig an um­brella in front of it.

03 Get con­nected

If your flash­gun is com­pat­i­ble, you can con­trol it wire­lessly with your cam­era’s pop-up flash. If not, use a sync lead or re­mote trig­ger. Go to Menu>Flash Con­trol for Built-In Flash>Com­man­der Mode. Set Built-in to -- and pick a power for Group A. Set the flash to Re­mote mode, Group A.

05 Shoot at eye level

Por­traits taken at eye level cre­ate a con­nec­tion be­tween viewer and sub­ject, so when tak­ing pho­tos of chil­dren, get down to their level. It might mean you need to crawl around on the floor, but it re­sults in much bet­ter por­traits than shots taken from an adult’s point of view.

02 Set up the liv­ing room

You’ll need a plain wall to shoot against. White or cream is best, but other colours can work too. Clear enough room so that you can shoot from at least a cou­ple of me­tres away; if you’re too close then you’ll have to use a wide-an­gle lens, which will re­sult in dis­tor­tion.

04 Qual­ity counts

When us­ing flash, the high light lev­els mean that you should almost al­ways set your ISO to 100. Use Man­ual mode, and set your shut­ter speed to about 1/200 sec. Set the aper­ture to f/11 and take a test shot. Ad­just the aper­ture or flash power as needed to get the cor­rect ex­po­sure.

06 Try a wide aper­ture

Shoot a se­lec­tion of poses, then try some close-ups. The great thing about flash is that it lets you con­trol depth of field. A high flash power and nar­row aper­ture gives more depth of field, while a low flash power and wide aper­ture makes it shal­lower, which is ideal for close-ups.

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