Lighting102 - Lesson 1.1 Position

Well ... I finally got some time to get started on Strobist Lighting Bootcamp - Lighting 102. The first assignment was to take a series of photographs with a single off-camera strobe, keep it the same distance from the subject but, change its angle to the subject.

I kept my study pretty simple. The flash was positioned over the top of the camera at a direct angle to the subject, moved 45 degrees to the right and again to 90 degrees or full side.

As for the equipment - I used my D70s with an 18-70mm zoom. I mounted a Nikon SU-800 on the camera. This is a great piece of equipment that acts as a remote commander for up to three groups of flashes on three different channels.

I put my SB-800 Speedlight on a lightstand and raised the stand so that the flash head was at about the same level as the camera lens. The light was kept about 4 - 5 feet from the subject and the subject was about 5 feet from the background.

Setting Summary

Camera: Mode @ Manual, Shutter @ 1/60th, Aperture @ f/5.6 (that was about 2 stops shy of a correct ambient light exposure of which there wasn't much).
SB-800: Mode @ Remote, Channel 3, Group A, Zoom @ 70mm
SU-800: Mode @ Remote (not Macro), Group A set to 1/64 power on Channel 3

The Results


I put together this composite shot to closely compare the changing light positions. I'm glad that I kept the flash head at the same height as the camera lens because the result is quite dramatic.

What struck me about the differences in the light position is look closely at the left side of my face. All of a sudden there is detail given to even the smallest variation in texture. The definition given to the shape of the face is quite dramatic as well. There's character that didn't exist in the shot with front light!

Looking at the 90 degree shot shows even more defined qualities. And drama! Movie poster stuff! Now, I'm not too sure I'd use this exact technique for a senior portrait but, being able of adding just a little drama to an otherwise dull teenage condition might prove useful and profitable.

i shoot nikon

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