I figured I’d start simple, with the simplest of strobe setups, the single umbrella. I wanted to see how my angle to the light as well as the distance to the light affected the pictures, so I put my SB-28 on manual mode, 1/2 power, shooting through a 43″ umbrella. I held the camera out in front of my face zoomed wide and shot away after confirming the shot exposed reasonably well, then shot away, rocking out to The White Stripes. I even dressed up for the occasion.
This is a great exercise to see how the angle and distance affect the image as well as seeing the Inverse Square Law in action. The background in this picture looks much darker than is was since I, a) used a fastish shutter speed – 1/180th – which pushed the ambient light down in relation to the flash, and b) I was very close to the umbrella, just outside of the frame. Yes you could add a small rim light to the camera’s right to kiss a little line of light on my side to separate me from the dark background but this wasn’t about capturing a good image, rather learning where to put things to get the look you’re after. I think keeping it very simple with a single light is just what the doctor ordered for this exercise.
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