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Tips & Tricks

How to Create Dramatically Lit Images With Your Flash | Minute Photography

By Pye Jirsa on April 4th 2017

The following is a sponsored education post.  

Flash is an essential tool, but bare flash is going to send light everywhere, destroying the ambient light needed to create dramatic imagery. What we need is light control and an effective light modifier for speedlights.


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which speedlight modifier should you use?

If you are looking to create dramatic images the best light modifier for your speedlight is either a grid or a snoot. These speedlight modifiers pin the light on your subject similar to how a spotlight on a stage would work. Magmod flash modifiers do a great job at focusing the light with minimal light spill and can easily be attached to speedlights without the hassle of velcro or tape.

For this photo we used the MagSnoot since we want optimal light control and this tool allows us to do that with four differing levels of precision. You can also use 1-2 MagGrids to prevent light spill and pinpoint our light.

Here is how to used the MagSnoot to create our dramatic image in three simple steps:

step one | set exposure for ambient light

Before you even touch your flash, dial in your camera settings to expose for the ambient light in the room. Although the subjects in the photo are silhouetted, our background is exposed to reveal detail in the shadows and rich color in the highlights of the bar.

[REWIND: HOW WE SHOT IT: USING OFF-CAMERA FLASH IN THE SHOWER]

STEP two | add flash modifier and adjust direction

Light control is all about the prevention of light spill. In order to pinlight just our groom we reached for the Magsnoot to avoid hitting portions of the bar and other groomsmen. You can see a full tutorial on how we conceptualized this photo in our Photographing The Groom workshop available in SLR Lounge Premium!

STEP three | adjust flash power & position

Remember that the MagSnoot varies in light spread depending on the level of extension you choose. The power of our light will appear more concentrated depending on the precision of the snoot so dial in a flash power setting that is appropriate for your subject without blowing the highlights.

need inspiration? check out these facebook groups!

Stuck on how to use your MagMod flash modifiers to create artistic imagery? Join the SLR Lounge and Magmod Facebook communities to see what your inspiring peers & educators are creating!

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Find out about more about MagMod‘s light modifiers for speedlights here and check out SLRL Premium for more invaluable speedlight modifier tips!

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About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

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