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In this installment of the Lighting with Flash series, photographer and Strobist.com publisher David Hobby demonstrates using strobes to freeze action while capturing the strength and grace of a dancer in motion. After working through the lighting challenges of a dance studio, David sets up a white, seamless background and shoots some test shots, adjusting the flash units to create a white "blow-away" background that will enable the photo to be easily composited. Next, he photographs the dancer, working with her to capture a relaxed expression as she leaps and strikes various poses. After the action shots, David lights and shoots a portrait.
So show me which way--show me how you want to jump and then let's rotate you around and see what the best angle is going to be for that, see more that way. Try, yeah, try that, see what that--okay, rotate that 30 degrees and try that again, because yeah, the arm wasn't a problem at all. That's cool, that's cool, and I could light you from the back, which puts your face in the light but your armpit in the shadow. And I can dial that shadow up and down with the Orbis Ray Flash. So, yes remember that angle, and I am going to take this light, I am going to wrap it around and get you from the other side, okay? All right, it's going to take me two or three minutes.
Yeah, let's pull this. So we are going to slide it over to camera left and then we are going to pull it down and just literally just rotate the beam around to flip that flash, okay? I've learned not to keep it up all the time when I am moving it around like that. At least--I think I got it, yeah. It's balanced really well, so when we fixed the balance earlier-- Speaker: Yeah, you tested out earlier-- David: It's all clamped down, but I can pick that up with David: one hand, because--and so that's not putting any stress on this clamp, and it's not really wanting to fight against the bags.
It doesn't need to be this high as it was last time. You know what? Rather than just--why don't we kill two birds with one stone? Can I have you stand and just turn and look over your shoulder without leaning your feet? Okay, so I want this like to be more over you. It's so over you. It's almost like behind you a little bit.
All right, let's try that. One second, I am going to rotate it just a little bit. Okay, you don't need to jump. I am just going to look. Okay, may/be for just a tad, and I think we are there.
I think your face is going to be in a little bit of a different place when you are jumping too. I am just trying to get it close, so we can just be fine-tuning. Okay, my accent lights are firing. Okay, so you are like this. Where would I want that light to be coming from? I think just one. I am going to use this.
So with the accent light, I am pushing back up against the fill light. I mean the key light. And that wall, do you see there is a flash pointing against wall, is doing everything for on camera. So, nothing is going to be in total shadow. I can control every depth of every shadow independently. Okay, if I sit in right there. This may be too hot at this distance, 164th. All right, you don't even need to leave your feet; you are just kind of throwing yourself horizontally around that--I'm going to catch you.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I just need to move it around and catch your face more. This is set at 164th power on an 85 mm throw, so it's pretty zoomed in. And that mostly to concentrate the light and keep it from furling into my camera. All right, one more of those, if you could.
Yeah, that's defining you really well. Okay, so let's--yeah, I am going to back up so--and the reason I am backing up again is to give myself more paper. I am probably still going to need to cut this out a little bit. I need to be low. Let me focus on you. Okay, whenever you are ready.
Okay, I think I am a little late on you, because your feet are starting to come back down, but hold your face as long as you can, okay? Okay, all right I am going to focus on you, and yeah. Okay, my miss. I like that, yeah. So there is something going on behind your eyes there, as opposed to you being an amazing mannequin, now you are a person who is doing something amazing. Okay, that's good! Your face is where it needs to be.
Let your eyes just be more relaxed. You don't have to push your eyes. Your eyes don't have to lead where your face is trying to go. Just don't push your eyes so far up. Your face is pushing up really nicely, okay. That looks cool. Try a couple of those. You have got that same that spungness, in the one that you like coming across.
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