Photography Tutorials & Photowalks

Flashing Lights: Working with what you’ve got

If you are an avid reader of our dear blog you may have recently seen our Adrogynous post from a couple of weeks ago (if not – praise the internet, you can still catch it here). We were really pleased with the shots we got that day (not that we’re biased or anything) and so I thought I would share with you the story behind our lead image.

The intention at the start of the day was to try and capture something that was a little bit different for us (as much as we do love a brick wall there are only so many you can shoot before you start to become the subject of ridicule from your friends and loved ones). Anyway, I digress. We were pretty happy with the results we’d gotten up to that point, but I felt that we still lacked that stand out image. We played around with a few ideas and started to work on a paparazzi-style shot.


Luckily, I had brought what shall now be known as ‘The Flash Pack’ (this is not official terminology, I just made it up a second ago. All it actually means is that I packed a couple of flashguns in with my kit) on the shoot with us and so had the option to shoot with additional artificial light. This would have the effect of freezing the action and getting much closer to the pap-style shot we were after. Unluckily however, I had neglected to pack a rather essential bit of kit which would sync the camera to the flashgun (therefore allowing the flash to fire at the same time as the picture was being taken). I should of course point out that I am totally lying to save face; luck – or lack of it – played no part in this sequence of events, I am merely a forgetful fool. Despite this rather glaring oversight on my part we carried on regardless. Although much more difficult to capture and involving a bit of trial and error, I was able to fire the flashgun manually at the same time as pressing the shutter button on the camera. Several days later we finally got the shot (just kidding, it took a surprisingly short amount of time considering it was a completely manual process).


Overall we’re pretty happy with the final result – of course there are a few things I would alter given the chance to shoot it again with all the correct equipment, but it just goes to show that you don’t necessarily need all the gear all of the time to shoot something different that mixes it up a bit. Learning to be resourceful with what you have to hand is just as important. Here endeth the lesson.



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