1:1 shoot session ~ Pictures and techniques

Jul 17, 2009 | Flash, Location, Studio | 13 comments

Floating on air, lit with an SB800, triggered by the pop up flash on a Nikon D700.

Floating on air, lit with an SB800 and triggered by the pop up flash on a Nikon D700. Chloe is the Angel of The South.

A 1:1 shoot session can be tailored to your needs exactly. This session was Nikon based and involved location shooting with natural light and off camera flash plus a session in my studio using flash and daylight. Here are a few of the pictures.

Natural light at the edge of the woods.

Natural light at the edge of the woods. I was drawn to the ripples in the bark of this beech tree and used them to provide a strong element in the composition.

To shoot on manual or aperture priority was the first decision to be made for this shot. I love manual shooting but the sun was in and out all the time throwing 2 stops of variation into the frame. With aperture priority the slightest change of the composition required a chance of exposure compensation. There really was no right answer and we were constantly fiddling to nail the exposure. I usually aim to get the exposure right first and then start to engage my subject. I then work for as long as is required to get the frame I want without further consideration for the exposure. But on this shoot I just couldn’t do it.

This is the same spot as above but this frame is lit by a SB800 Speedlight being fired into my large silver brolly.

This is the same spot as above but this frame is lit by a SB800 Speedlight being fired into my large silver brolly. In a wider shot, this lighting would be perfect for a family group. The tree has become uninteresting now that the lighting is from near the camera and would not get included in a group shot.

Punchy light and shadows created by the sun was matched by punchy light from my SB800 Speedlight. Chloe is in the same place as she was for the first picture of this set against the cumulus clouds. We just shot the first frame from the other side. Luke, one of our picture editors, has given this shot a post production effect in Lightroom.

After a hearty lunch at a local family run Italian restaurant we set off to the studio for a shoot session. I’ve chosen to share a few more of the studio pictures than the location shoot pictures because we kept the session very simple and the pictures are striking as a result.

This classic example of 2 point lighting utilises a key and kick technique.

This classic example of 2 point lighting utilises a key and kick technique. The background is a light grey paper roll that has been lit with a geled flash head. The key is a beauty dish and the kick is a honeycomb grid spotlight.

The same lighting as in the shot above.

The same lighting as in the shot above. The shadow under Chloe's cheek bone on the left side of her face is crucial to the success of this shot. Reflectors tend to kill shadows and that is why I rarely use them in the studio.

This one light portrait utilises Julies pre

This one light portrait utilises one of Julie's pregnancy lighting set ups. When I'm shooting in the studio I often switch of any lights that are from the camera side of my subject.

This shot was a little interuption in the sesion. I opened the studio door and asked Chloe to stand in the doorway.

This shot was a little interruption in the session. I opened the studio door and asked Chloe to stand in the doorway. Shot on my D700 with the 70mm-200mm f/2.8 lens. I love a bit of designer flare but it is far easier to control when you don't have filters on your lenses.

I used a single soft box and a painted wall for this shot. Luke has knocked back the saturation somewhat.

I used a single soft box and a painted wall for this shot. Luke has knocked back the saturation somewhat.

An identical set up as above but with a single hard light instead of the soft light. One light is great for studio work.

An identical set up as above but with a single hard light instead of the soft light. One light is great for studio work.

Chloe turned around and I opened my lens 5 stops to get this shot. Same lighting as the shot above.

Chloe turned around and I opened my lens 5 stops to get this shot. Same lighting as the shot above.

Please feel free to comment on these pictures below. Why not join me on a studio lighting workshop this autumn. You can find details here

13 Comments

  1. damien

    Hi Joseph,

    Thanks for your kind words. Yes you are right we were in Ashton Court :-)

    Reply
  2. damien

    Hi Dave, I’ve written a whole new post on the subject of setting up Speedlights in manual mode. I hope you find it useful. Damien.

    Reply
  3. Dave causon

    Cheers Ian, I have 1 of damiens flash brackets and your right they’re ace, I use it in conjunction with another cheaper alternative on another stand and there is s big difference. Hopefully unless I lose it, it should last forever.

    Reply
  4. Ian Freelance

    Dave
    You are welcome. I am not sure of how much off camera flash work you are doing, but if you have not got one of Damien’s flash brackets then I would recommend you get one. They are not set up for working with umbrellas, but when used with a naked flash they are fantastic. The main advantage is that you can set up the flash horizontally, which is not possible with most of the other designs I have seen. I picked up a couple while attending one of the Urban Portrait shoots and have used them in anger a number of times and I am very satisfied. In case you are wondering….I do not get any commission from Damien for such recommendations :-) But I am a firm believer that if something is good then it should receive the praise it deserves.
    Good luck and have fun with the off camera shooting.
    Ian

    Reply
  5. Dave causon

    Cheers Ian, much appreciated, I’ve looked at the site briefly but on your recommendation I will have a proper look. I would still like feed back off damien on the subject and I’m really looking forward to the new pocket wizards with ttl. I’ve heard that damien is a master of explaining using flash guns quickly on manual so I’m very intrigued on his response. Cheers.

    Reply
  6. Ian Freelance

    Hi Dave
    Have you taken a look at the David Hobby site called Strobist. It marries very well with the off camera work of Damien, however the Strobist approach is very much in the direction of manual flash settings and pocket wizards. The Strobist fraternity are incredibly creative and I would recommend that you check out the blog.
    Thats not meant to take anything away from the work of Damien who I am also a fan of, however it never hurts to look a little further afield. Hope this is helpful.
    Regards
    Ian Freelance

    Reply
  7. Dave causon

    Hi damien, I was wondering if you have any hints and tips for setting up off camera flash units in manual mode. I’ve got all your DVDs but they don’t explain your thought processes when settng up the units in manual, for instance with pocket wizards plus 2 etc, which until the new pocket wizards are sorted with TTL on canon flashes manual for now is the only option.
    Very looking forward to all your new DVDs. Many thanks.
    Dave.

    Reply
  8. damien

    Hi Nigel,

    I loved your company, we had a great time and the shots are testimony to that. Thanks for the kind words, get processing and lets get together soon.

    Damien.

    Reply
  9. Nigel

    It’s great to see some edited shots from Wednesday and they’re looking even better than they did in-camera.

    These were all from a very successful 1:1 day I had with Damien. As this trip over to Bristol involved traveling over from Northern Ireland, I was keen to ensure maximum usage of the day to cover what I considered my key areas, namely natural light and off camera flash light on location, with consideration to the commercial aspect of family groups for portraiture, and also studio work beyond the ‘safety’ of conventional soft box set-ups. While asking a lot, we did manage to cover all these areas and in great detail.

    I’ll take this opportunity to thank Damien and his team for a great day in every way, and a special thanks also to Chloe who was very patient during set-ups etc. and also Blaise for all her help and attention leading up to shoot day, thus ensure the day met my needs fully.

    I’d thoroughly recommend this experience to any photographer like me, who is keen to hone in on new techniques and skills in an attempt to stay ahead of the game, and with the added bonus of a bucket full of new wow-factor shots for your website/studio window/portfolio.

    Nigel

    Reply
  10. Nick

    Great photos here Damien, No2 just love the lines in the trunk leading to Chloe and the lighting is awesome. Lighting in No3 is just magic, love that shot. The rest are all great, but I’ll be here all day commenting on them.

    I feel I owe it to myself to do a 1:1 with you at some point and I’ll be in touch as soon as I am ready.

    Nick

    Reply

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