Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Low Key Photography Anywhere (flash tips 2)

Here is a quick video and tips on how to do a Low Key image anywhere you go.

This is easier than the high key shot you see in the blog post below

here are the details for this one
(click on more)

Here is the first thing many people ask me. What is that little beauty dish?
I got it from the  Interfit strobies set


After I have my flash in the beauty dish which by the way has a bit of a special way to be put on.
heres a video for your reference (link to video) I set it to either TTL or as I like to do it some times I just have it on manual setting usually a high power something around 1/2 power. I then set my camera so that it is at a setting which would make a totally black photo, in a dark location like this I'll have it set at 1/250th of a second, and around  f5.6 I will also turn off all the lights in the background.  I set the model a good distance away from any walls and the background so that any light bouncing round doesnt affect the image.

I bring my flash in close to the model (really close) almost touching her face and snap away, if it is too bright on her face all I need to do is stop down the aperture take it to f8 if I feel it needs it.

Get the model to tilt her head down just a touch and bingo you have your low key shot! nice and dark in the background and strong shadows which help slim and model the face. All with a great catch light in the eye from the mini beauty dish.
 Shot taken with the tamron 28-75mm f2.8 and the nikon d300 but i advise getting the nikon d7000 if you are in the market for a new camera.

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  1. Dom,

    Got a question:-

    What's the best diffuser for a strobe? I noticed you use the Strobies pack (they seem a bit cumbersome?). Are they worth the £90?

    I'm considering the Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsable (£60). Difficult to tell if it'd be any good. Seems that there's a lot of marketing puff out there but few genuine reviews. Again, any thoughts?

    I recall (from a video you did ages ago) that those plastic rectangle cover things are pretty rubbish. Perhaps I should consider something like a small soft box instead?

    Last question, what's the difference between Slow-sync, rear-sync, rear-curtain and all those other flash settings? If you've done a video on this already - apologies I missed it.

    Finally, a big thanks for all your videos and tutorials. They're brilliant!

    Thanks for your time.


  2. The first shot is a classic, or nearly so. The second shot is great, and I like the third shot, though a bit less than the other two.

    What I'm looking for with the beauty dish is information from anyone who might have used one in outdoor car photography--I have NO idea whether or not it's even worth trying. Obviously, if used, the angle and placement have to be carefully chosen to eliminate reflections. I don't shoot portraits so can't justify the cost unless I get a lead on using it to do something other modifiers don't do.

  3. I would not get a beauty dish for car photography, i would get a big big softbox though!

  4. Dom

    Great info thanks i always enjoy your postings. i just purchased that beauty dish for my sb900 and it works great. i use it in ttl and the results are excellent. now i just need to step up from my D90 and i will be set. cheers

  5. I Don, Can whe do the same efect whid the shot on the model full body?

  6. hi dom, how did u get ur shutter speed to 300....is it only certain semi-pro/pro camera that can do this?

  7. Hi Dom,

    How far away was the model from the wall? Even at f/11 and my flash at 1/50 power i can still see the wall at just over 10ft away. TIA

    1. I sure wish Dom would answer this one! I have the same problem, maybe even more extreme because I'm at 1/64 power and f22. Still see the backgound. I notice that the example shots are cropped, maybe Dom's background would be visible if they weren't? I'm also trying to replicate this: http://ricknunn.com/strobist-setups/how-i-shoot-lowkey-portrait

  8. hi Dom!

    I'm planing to start on flash photography, do you think a sb 700 strong enough to do low key photos? and how did you fire your flash gun without firing your in camera flash to trigger the flash? Cause I've read that I need to use in camera flash to trigger external flashes without pocket wizards. And do you recommend the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8? btw, my camera is Nikon d7000

  9. how can you change the power output to 1/2 in remote mode?

  10. Hello Dom,

    Could please suggest me a not so expensive but good flash to use with a canon 7d? I'll shoot with a 50mm 1.8



  11. how is he controlling flash wirelessly

  12. Then, to use what you have saved all you do is rotate the dial on the shooting mode to U1 or U2. Bingo, you are ready to go. In other models you have to go into your menu and change things there when you need to but not with the Nikon