Friday, 1 October 2010

Cancer Charity fashion show (strobist)

Oh how I enjoyed showing a lighting tech he was wrong!
He came up to me as I was setting up my little Nikon sb-900 flashes on stands right beside the big stage lights.
He turned on the stage lights and said "your flashes wont have much affect compared to these"
"HA I said, then took a photo at 250th of a second at f4. The place was black!
I then did the same thing again but added my flashes to the equation and Bang! the whole place was lit up!  he couldnt believe it! 2 tiny flashes Compared to his 4 Massive stage lights!
oh how the pen is mightier than the sword!

 So this fashion show event was held in Edinburgh, It was a charity gig and everyone modeling or helping out had in some way been affected by cancer. 

More details after the Break

The background is a massive mirror and what you see in it is the huge iron candle chandeliers on the ceiling. What you are also seeing is the white of the ceiling that is being illuminated by my nikon sb800 which in turn was triggering two sb900 flashes, one at either side of the hall.

The flashes were zoomed initially both to 200mm and working on a manual power setting of 1/16th power, I later changed the right hand flash to 85mm zoom.  They were both on light stands that were being weighted down by my hanging my rucksack off the height adjustment hinge. The lights were at about arm height above my head, I had both of them facing the center of the stage but this still gave them enough angle to shoot the models as they came to the side of the stage.

Notice the double shadow from the legs .  but yet it gives a good exposure on the face.
All photos were shot at roughly 1/125th to 1/250th of a second and the aperture was always around f3.3 to f4.5. This was the best exposure I could get having my camera and flash set on manual.

If I had been trying to use the flashes on TTL the onboard flash would have to pump out a lot more pre flash power as would the remote flashes, and would have caused my flashes to heat up very quickly. Instead I knew where the models were going to be standing, and I knew that if they went to a side of the cat walk where they were closer to one flash than the other, it also didnt matter as it meant the other flash was not exposing them and thus half the flash power was hitting them, if they got really close to the flash all i had to quickly do was dial in a touch more aperture (ie go from an f3.3 to f4.5)

As you can see with these shots, the models are at the side of the stage, closer to one flash than the other and having some lovely off camera flash expose them

The shot above if you look closely will give away the lighting set up..... can you see it...
Look at the top red baloon. and you can see to flash dots, one on each side.

Here is a shot from behind part of the catwalk, here you an see in the far left bottom corner the stage lights hitting the lens but you can see the front of the model is exposed by one of my flashes that is off to camera right and also my flash on my camera at this point was pointed to the model and put on ttl but with a minus 1.3 compensation to give in some form of fill flash to see the back of her dress.

Here are a bunch more shots from the event for you to analyse


  1. "oh how the pen is mightier than the sword!" i like that..!!
    did u try adding gels?

  2. I have a similar shoot at a charity do in November and as it will be my first one I have been madly trying to find out what I should do, my initial thoughts were very similar to what you did (two flashes in manual mode on stands) but I hadn't thought about an on camera flash as well. have you any tips on focusing, as I normally don't take picture of people walking... I did read somewhere that you should take the picture just before the model puts their foot down

    Thanks for the post it was helpful