It used to be that my goal in life was to become a good photographer with a solid journalistic style. That all changed when I started reading the work of David Hobby. Hobby has built an empire out of blogging about mostly one thing: off-camera flash. For the uninitiated, off-camera flash is the use of a flash unit that is not attached to the camera. This sounds like a small difference, but it can make for brilliant photos that were previously thought to be impossible. As netizens, we’ve often seen the results of a point-and-shoot aimed and flashed right at a person, who has that dear-in-the-headlights look and a white, washed out face. Off-camera flash allows you to mitigate those types of photos and create true art. I had used it before for weddings, but Hobby allowed me to see it in a different, more refined way, and I’m eternally grateful to him for it.
[FYI: I’m also a huge fan of the work of Neil Van Neikirk, whose detailed blog also provides a lot of help in the off-camera flash area]
I had the ability to use some off-camera flash extensively with a couple of shoots that I did recently. First up is local musician Grace Van’t Hof, who plays a pretty mean banjo. I went over to Grace’s very-interesting-looking house and we did a lot of profile-style shots as well as some more interesting poses.
In addition, I worked with a classmate recently, Amanda, to produce shots for use in her online portfolio and website. These are almost all exclusively done using off-camera flash and shoot-through umbrellas (Lumopro 160s fired through Westcott 43″ umbrellas).