AD4803 Studio – On Location Flash

In preparation for our upcoming shoots with our subjects, we had a lesson about on location flash where we learned how to use it effectively to get specific results.

We were using a Canon 70D with a flash gun on a tripod. The flash gun was facing into a reflective umbrella which was also attached to the tripod. This enabled us to  move the flash to where we wanted the light source to be in relation to our subject (in this case, the subject was me).


After playing around for a while, we realised that the flash wasn’t powerful enough to bounce into and back from the umbrella, so we twisted it around making it more direct. The photographer shot from a low angle as we wanted to include the sky in the shot. We exposed for the sky and the subject separate to try and get the best settings in order to make the sky look dark and ‘moody’.

The image below was shot using an F stop of 18 with an ISO of 100 and a shutter speed of 1/250:


The F stop was a middle ground from the exposure reading for the sky which was 22 and the exposure reading for the subject which was 11. This enabled for me to be exposed correctly and for the sky to be underexposed causing dramatic contrast between the subject and the background. We also upped the shutter speed from the original of 1/125 to make the background darker. This is shown in the image below which was shot using the same ISO and F stop but with a shutter speed of 1/125. This has made the image notably brighter.


Once we had figured out the settings we liked, we started to experiment with capturing movement using flash. To do this, I flung my hair back and forth to capture the movement of it:


The use of flash in this image has not only enabled my hair to be frozen in movement, but has also created a hot spot within the shot and added contrast, especially with the dark background.

This lecture was beneficial as I intend on using on location flash for my final portraits of Brett Johns, the UFC fighter. Although I don’t intent for them to be as dramatic, learning about it has made me feel more confident in using on location flash.

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