Canon Powershot A60, rockin’ full auto. Rabi-en-Rose and Dejiko, (possessed Ver) c.2005

As I’m an avid amateur photographer, from time to time I might post some random photography stuffs here. :D

So let’s talk about flash. Flash is a double-edged sword. It’s a great creative tool if used properly, but if you’ve ever tried using the flash on a point-and-shoot camera at a party, you’ll know what I mean. Deer-in-the-headlights look, or worse.

Recently, I picked up a new flash (SB-700, woo!) and have been trying to learn how to use it in a multi-light setup, especially for figure and con photography.

When taking photos for the previous Hatsune Miku Cheerful Ver. Review post, I tried using 2 off-camera strobes, a first for me. In the past, I’ve used a single SB-600, or just available (room) light. However, Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS) allows several compatible flashes to be fired wirelessly, and so I had a good deal of fun trying out different things with my ghetto cardboard “studio”.

SB-700 w/wide-angle diffuser as single key light. Harsher shadows, dramatic effect.

The first picture above shows the kind of effect you can achieve using just one off-camera flash. Pretty nifty. but still missing something.

SB-700, slightly angled upwards.

Merely changing the angle or position of a flash unit can really do a lot. In this case, it distributed the light far more evenly. Miku is much better lit, but the left side is kinda dark.

SB-700 key light, SB-600 rim light.

An SB-600 was added in the rear to spice things up a bit. Note the highlights that have appeared. Ideally I would’ve mounted it opposite the SB-700, but the cardboard box I was using as a table wasn’t big enough.

2 strobes + cross-positioned reflector.

Always resourceful, I added a reflector opposite the key light to even out and well, reflect the light. Much better. She’s slightly overexposed, and there’s a dark spot on the top of Miku’s hair because the rim light isn’t up high enough. But you get the idea.

Reflector detail :3

Really anything big, shiny, and relatively light colored can work as a reflector of varying effectiveness (it depends on how big and shiny it is ^^;) Note that if your reflector is anything other than white, your light will be accordingly color-cast. In this case, I made use of a certain emo magical girl anime poster that happened to be lying around.

So there you have it. I look forward to posting more about flash photography in the future. If you have any ideas, advice or tips on how to use flash, or want to share your own experiences with flash, feel free to comment below! Figure/cosplay related is especially welcome!

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