THE SET UP CONSTRUCT YOUR RAYS OF LIGHT
Arrange your scene to create beautiful shafts of sunlight through the window
We need to fill the air with particles, as these catch the light and create our rays. A smoke machine is an inexpensive way to do so. The mains-powered one we used cost about £30 online, plus a little extra for the liquid it needs to create the smoke.
04 THE SUBJECT
Whenever we backlight a subject like this only the edge of their figure will be illuminated, any parts of the body facing the camera will be in shadow. So a side on pose can often be the best choice, with the face angled towards the light.
To make smoke or any other airborne particle show up backlight it by moving the light behind the subject, angled towards the camera. Our Speedlite is positioned outside the window, but if you prefer to use the sun you’ll need the right time of day.
05 LIGHT RAYS
To create shafts of light it’s important that the quality of light is hard. Soft, diffused light won’t work. The smaller a light source, the harder the shadows. We need a small, strong light source like the direct sun, or a Speedlite fired bare like this.
To split the light into separate shafts you’ll need some venetian blinds or shutters. But you can try all sorts of other shapes, like slatted panels. Or you could simply craft your own by cutting some holes in a piece of cardboard.
06 FLASH TRIGGER
When using a Speedlite through a window like this we need to be able to trigger it wirelessly using radio triggers. Our Speedlite outside of the window is fitted with a receiver, while the transmitter sits on the camera’s hotshoe.
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