My clients sometimes ask me why I do what I do. For example, "Why do you run around like a crazy person putting that thing all over the place?" as I move my light from one corner to the next often tripping over my own feet in the process.
"I'm making magic," I tell them. "I got mad ninja lighting skills." I typically get blank stares and rolled eyes. They aren't convinced but at least they stay out of the way and they do eventually get used to various strobes firing in various locations. Sometimes startling people and making babies cry (sorry about that little one). But there is a method to my madness.
You see photography is literally the "study of light". And most people are just comfortable using the light on their camera. That's fine and dandy. It's a good way to light a scene and show you what's going on and I often use that method to document a scene. It's safe. But most people leave the light on their camera all the time and get by. I'm not most people. To me photography is a delicate balance of light and shadow. It's brightness meeting darkness and combining in a magical dance of poetry. So I'll often taken the light off the camera and put it somewhere else. Sometimes it's a miserable failure of nightmarish shadows and blown out faces. Good thing there's a delete button. But when I succeed, my lovely clients oohh and aahh and say "how did you do that?"
So today I'm going to share a few images of off camera magic. It's often a simple technique of trial and error. Take a look below.
In the below image, the strobe is off camera and to the rear of model on my right.
The one below was actually shot with two lights, neither of them on the camera. Each was about 45 degrees to either side of me in between me and this lovely couple.
Shooting with multiple light sources give dimension to a scene. Notice in the comparison below how the scene shot with one light on the camera appears more flat while the image shot with one light behind the couple and one light on the camera has more depth and appears more 3-dimensional so to speak.
It's fun to play with lighting and I'm always eager to try new set-ups and new techniques. Like I said, there's always that delete button.
Lisa On Location Photography