Jason Christopher, LA Commercial & Fashion Photographer Bio

Update To Learn Outdoor Fashion Lighting With One 580EXII

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Outdoor fashion lighting can be a problem with some photographers.  We have the elements to deal with, the hot sun, the constantly moving sun, wind etc.  Add the fact that if it is a test you can’t afford to hire an assistant to lug heavy lighting gear around for you.  Most of us don’t own a Profoto 7B pack because they cost around $4,000 to $5,000.  So what does one do ?

Outdoor Lighting With a Speed Light

Outdoor Lighting With a Speed Light

I shot this fashion photo with one Canon 580EXII and that’s it.  No bounce cards or any attachments to the flash and it was attached to the hot shoe, not off camera.  The time of day was 1:25 pm.

As you can see the sun is facing the model.   Many photographers would think you don’t need a flash, the sun is hitting her.  Well that all depends on the look you are going for.  I like to use flash no matter where the sun is.  In this case the flash brings out the details more and gives the image a crisper look.

So I put my flash on the camera.   I was standing about 6 feet away from the model on a wide lens, 44mm so I could capture the entire scene around her.  I set my flash to hi speed sync mode so I could shoot at 500th shutter speed.  Why shoot at such a high shutter speed ?  So I could capture a nice blue sky and not blow out the background.  My  fstop was 6.3 ISO was 160.  Now when you use such a fast shutter speed you obviously need to demand more power from your flash.  Also using an fstop of 6.3 demands more power.  So I set my flash exposure compensation to plus 3 stops !  I also set my zoom head on the flash to 80mm instead of letting it set itself to 44mm automatically.  As you can imagine I was asking my flash to do alot and demanding a ton of power.  So I had a Quantum battery pack attached to it to give the flash the extra power it needed.  And that is really all I did with this shot.  I didn’t haul out the Profoto 7B with a beauty dish and another light for her hair.  I positioned her so that her hair was lit by the sun and my key light was my flash.

This situation is why I cannot stress enough that you MUST  know your fundamentals.  If I had put the camera on auto then this shot would look nothing like you see now.  ** This and many other photography fundamentals are techniques I teach you in my fashion photography workshop. It’s a two day workshop and you come out knowing MUCH more than you did when you first walk in.  Check out the workshop page for more info and please feel free to call or email me with any questions you have concerning  the workshop.**

If you have any comments or questions about this post, ask away !  :-)

tree swing flash outdoors

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Shot this with my Canon 1DS at 28mm. I actually used a polarizing filter to richen the blue sky and green grass.