Today was our first day of a 3 day "Small Strobes, Big Results" workshop at the VA Hospital in Battle Creek, MI We have a total of 8 workshop participants from various VA hospitals in the surrounding region. The majority of the attendees have been using "on camera" flash as their primary light source.
This has been an exciting day of discovery for the participants of the workshop! With the first demo of a "location portrait" shot with off camera flash, we had them hooked. I'm sure you remember, the first time you saw the results of "quality" flash from a hot shoe speed light.
After a full morning of discussing the principles of light and how to control and modify the quality of light from our small strobes, we headed out on location to shoot. Our first subject was a nurse from down the hall who volunteered to be photographed.
In this photo, we bounced one SB-800 off the wall at camera right. I shot this using my 85 mm f/1.4 lens, shot at 1/250 of a second @ f/2.5, ISO 200. The walls of the hallway where off white and it provide a wonderful situation for a bounce technique. Not only does the bounce wall provide a great surface to do so, the return wall provides a wonder fill on the shadow side of the face.
After the photo above, we headed downstairs to a long hallway which connects several of the building together on the VA hospital campus. We photographed Angela, one of our workshop attendees in the hallway using the windows as a design element. The first exposure (below), was shot to illustrate to the workshop the existing light we had to work with. The second photo shows the use of bounced light off the wall at camera left. Bouncing the strobe on the left wall, reinforces the feeling that the light might be coming from another window like those on the left side of the hallway.
After shooting in the long hallway, we headed to a theater they have on campus. Here we photographed two other participants of the workshop demonstrating the use of shoot through umbrellas and snooted light sources.
This photo was shot using a shoot through 42 inch double folding Wescott umbrella, 85 mm f/1.4 lens, 1/4 second @ f/1.4, ISO 200. The choice of an f stop of 1.4 should be obvious, I wanted to drop the background into a soft out of focus area drawing the viewer eye to the subject. The shutter was dragged to a 1/4 of a second in order to record the ambient light striking the back blue wall.
In the photo above, we used daylight coming through a doorway at the top of the stairs to light the stairwell and a snooted SB-800 to light our subject. 1/20 second @ f/3.2, 50 mm lens. I'm looking forward to tomorrows discoveries at the VA.