To freeze action in photography, you need light. Whether that light is ambient or from an artificial light, without enough light, your photo will be blurry. If you don’t have enough natural ambient light, you’ll need to turn to a strobe. In the following video, Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens demonstrates how to freeze action using a strobe, and more specifically a monoblock.
The most important thing to understand before you begin is how your strobe works. Jay P. is using the Dynalite Baja B4‘s with a reflector in the video to light his subject, a warrior princess. There are three things he recommends to freeze the action in the shot above.
- Dial your power down
- Get the fastest shutter speed you can
- Shoot at peak action
Jay P. uses a four strobe set up to light various portions of the scene to give it more depth. Lights are used to illuminate not only the subject but the smoke and the subject’s hair as well. Smoke machines, fans, and an air cannon are used to create movement in the photo which adds to the image to make it look realistic. The image was actually created in the front lawn and driveway of a house. Using a fake rock wall and a trampoline, plus some creative lighting and some color retouching in post, Jay P. was able to create the shot as if the warrior was in the middle of nowhere ready to battle for her kingdom.
Head over to Jay P.’s original post (or watch the video below), where he gives more details on flash duration, his light setup and how he processed the image.
Watch Freezing Action with Strobes
If you’re new to lighting and want to build a foundation, be sure to check out our Lighting 101 DVD available in the SLR store now.