The final word
Joe goes crazy with Speedlights, using no fewer than seven to light an environmental portrait
So, how do you get from the standard, point ‘n’ shoot office shot on the right, to the cool, office professional of the main image?
Light! The above shot shows off, I think, the strengths of ‘small’ flash (as opposed to ‘big’ studio flash), and why you would use one over the other at any given time.
Flash power ain’t the issue here. Control is. I needed to drive a main light to the model, and then just accent certain areas of the photo with little splashes and pools of warmish light. The dominant light in the room is the blue of the window, so I wanted to go warm on my lights, to a degree, to get some cool/warm visual vibrato going.
This ‘office shot’ photo involves seven SB-5000 units, all radio-controlled. I am directing their behaviour via the WR-R10 transceiver plugged into the ten-pin on my D5. The lens is a 105mm f/1.4. The main light, from the direction of the big computer, comes from the new Ezybox Softbox from Lastolite. It’s just out, and the prototypes I’ve been working with have been giving off a wonderful control and quality of light, especially considering it is a small light shaper.
Three warm-gelled Speedlights are against the far wall, on the floor, creating a little glow off the brick. Two others are pretty much bounced off the surface of the desk, near the two computers, to give them a touch of detail. Another gelled light lightly caroms off her dark hair. A bunch of small lights, each doing just a little, adding up to the wholesale shift of the look of the room. Shaping light is kind of like a puzzle. There are small pieces and big pieces.
No flash? No white balance control? No gelling on the flashes? It looks like this