View 69: Dark Bus Portrait

What if you are in a dark Limo Bus interior, dark night, a camera with one speedlight, no reflectors and want to make a portrait without boring head-on flash. What do you do? Well, if you have been reading Joe McNally’s new book, The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes, you’d think to yourself, Joe would find a way and so should you.

Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/4, 900 ISO, EV -0.3, 18mm Focal Length, SB-600 Speedlight at -1.0 EV

Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/4, 900 ISO, EV -0.3, 18mm Focal Length, SB-600 Speedlight at -1.0 EV

I set my Nikon D70 digital camera and Nikon SB-600 Speedlight to work using the Nikon Creative Lighting System or CLS. CLS allows for using the speedlight off the camera’s hot shoe while the pop-up flash on the camera triggers it wirelessly. I can even control the speedlight’s power output right from the camera. The SB-600 can cover an area as wide as 24mm so, at 18mm, there was some direction to the light as I held it off camera left and about a foot higher than the lens. It took me a few shots to get the light pointed in the direction I wanted to highlight her face and to lower the output to -1.0 EV on the speedlight to get a nice modeling light. Those are windows behind her, and by angling the speedlight, I didn’t get any flash coming back off them. I was about 3 feet from her.

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14 Responses to View 69: Dark Bus Portrait

  1. Gerry says:

    This stuff just amazes me. I love to listen to people talk about their work, whatever it may be. The best stories are always about meeting challenges.


  2. burstmode says:

    That is an inspirational shot. Wow.


  3. shrewspeaks says:

    Ohhh I have been dying to try off camera hot shoeing since I got Joe’s book!

    This looks so good. Have you tried gels yet? Huh? huh?


    • Oh, you got to give it a try, Shrew. It’s easy to do and Joe’s book gives lots and lots of examples and ideas. Haven’t tried the gels yet. Really itching to try that tungsten white balance with blue/tungsten balanced gels trick he shows a few times.


  4. imac says:

    Magnifico, great post and super shot.

    pop and see my – Parallels Of Time.
    by S. Mackinder (c) April 1994.


  5. Mitch says:

    Nicely done; great shot of daughter #2 🙂


  6. giiid says:

    Very impressing light-work, and interesting to read your notes, too, not to forget a compliment to your lovely (and patiently) model.


  7. yesbuts says:

    Congratulations on a great image. Wonderful managed lighting.


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