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Lighting with Flash: Capturing a Dancer in Motion
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The photo shoot


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Lighting with Flash: Capturing a Dancer in Motion

with David Hobby

Video: The photo shoot

Yeah, yeah, three quarters. You can keep everything on. So, face away from me, and you were coming over. Wait, which shoulder were you over? Okay, good. I was going crazy here for a second. Okay. I am just going to look. I am just going to look and take a test. Okay. So, here is my very first test, and I am already being okay with this, but I want to work this more. Okay? So, I am going to micromanage this light so it sculpts your back.

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Lighting with Flash: Capturing a Dancer in Motion
1h 38m Appropriate for all May 17, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Assessing a space and setting up a background
  • Lighting a background to create a "blow-away white"
  • Working with umbrellas and ring light adaptors
  • Lighting to show musculature and form
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear Flash Photography Lighting
Author:
David Hobby

The photo shoot

Yeah, yeah, three quarters. You can keep everything on. So, face away from me, and you were coming over. Wait, which shoulder were you over? Okay, good. I was going crazy here for a second. Okay. I am just going to look. I am just going to look and take a test. Okay. So, here is my very first test, and I am already being okay with this, but I want to work this more. Okay? So, I am going to micromanage this light so it sculpts your back.

You see how different that is now? This is like, by day, she is a dancer, by night, assassin ninja. I like that little catch that's happening on your eye right there too. I don't know if I want to leave that or not. But this little wrap on your shoulder, that's what that other picture didn't have. So, that's all that's coming from the top. So we are defining you. So, I think maybe turn away from you a little more, and I will just catch a little less of your face. And I am going to play. And I want you to think tight with your back, so, well not like -yeah, but like you are about to take-- I told like right before the ball gets, my son, who is a goalkeeper, I'm like, tighten up your armor, and everything just you know. Okay.

So stay on your mark, and I mostly want to light for your--now, come around towards me with your face a little more, back over your shoulder. There you go! Okay. That's getting close. I think I need to back away from you just a little--no, no you are fine. You are fine. Rather than move the light, I am going to move you. It's all relative. So, your mark is now 3 inches to this side of the mark. Yeah, towards me, towards me, yeah! Now, come back around, and eyes down at the ground, yeah, yeah. Sweet, sweet! Okay, go that way about 2 inches towards the background. Yeah.

Now, rotate around, around 15 degrees with your feet. Camera left. That's right. Okay, now when you come around, yeah, there you go! And down, yes, that's good. That's good! Okay, rotate around a little more, keep with your feet, keep doing that, and come back around towards me. There you go! Okay. I want you to see what this is looking like as you're coming around.

It's very theatrical. Now, I want to see how this innerplay is starting to happen on your back now. I like that. I like that your face is in shado like that too. Okay. So, I am going to push you back onto the mark again and keep you with that amount of rotation--in fact a little more rotation. There you go! I like your hands behind your back like that. Try that, try that. See, I leave you alone and you fall into things that are way better than I can ask you to do.

Stephanie Yezek: Is that true? David: That's true, that's true! Okay. David: Can I get someone to raise that background-- not you Stephanie--anyone else to raise that background stand 2 feet or so, whatever you can give me out of it. Okay. Good, good. All right! Okay, come on around. That's good. Without moving eyes at me. Okay? Chin around a little bit more towards me. Okay. Chin up, a little more. All right! Relax your hands for a second, bring your hands in front.

So, bring your hands in front. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now back around towards me like you were doing. Okay. Now my question now is, do I put a little bit of fill on your face? Okay, so I am trying to--I am basically wrecking my light to get your eyes, and I don't want to do that. So, be looking off towards, maybe towards Dave Kyle a little more. Yeah, chin up a little confidence. This is good. Okay. Don't move.

Now is when I am going to bring out that little Orbis flash and fill you. Then I think we are out. I am just going to take a guess and put it on 116th power and see what happens. Yeah, look right here for a second if you would. And I will actually try to take the picture, a 61 frame. This is actually getting a tad heavy. Got that. Okay.

Yeah, now I can see when you turn around. Okay? Relax for a second. There we go! I am going to take this back. All right! Bring it. Give myself a little more power from the front. So I am going from 116 and two-thirds, I've just added one stop. Okay, all right! Here we go! This is really nice. Don't move! Look down and away like we were doing earlier.

Come around towards--yeah, there you go, but just not at me. Arms folded. Okay. See, when you are looking at me, I want to be able to see your face. I want to be able to see in your eyes. Let me go, before I did the ring, and that's all just. I don't see in your eyes that way. I think that's kind of cool too. I like playing with your hair a little like that.

Stephanie Yezek: That's very sculptured. Isn't it? Cheekbones and everything David: You've got just an amazing like layers of muscles on layers of muscles. This is fantastic! Thank you! Thank you so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! I am looking forward to playing with these on the computer. Stephanie Yezek: Great! So, great! Stephanie Yezek: And thanks everybody else! That's right! Dave, my other brother Dave, my other brother Dave, my other brother Dave!

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