Saturday, 30 May 2009

Going The Strobist Way

Ever since I was introduced to David Hobby (aka Strobist) via Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) last year, I have been experimenting on and off with off-camera flash lighting techniques. The results always inspire me. Now, I'm not saying that my results are good or unique, but I always feel that I am taking one more step in the right direction.

After this years GPP '09 event I was yet again inspired to try out these techniques once again. While attending one of the Dubai Strobist events, I happened to come across a burned down warehouse. Not really sure what caused the blaze but, I wonder if it had anything to do with insurance as are quite a few blazes rumoured to be caused by here in the UAE. Anyway, I scooped out these 'spaces' that had the right mood and ambiance for a strobist style shoot.

A few weeks later I visited this place with my wife on the way back from a weekend outing. I convinced my wife to pose for me. 'Convinced' (though she loves to be in front of the camera), because she felt that I hadn't given her sufficient warning for her to get ready!

Her mood is reflected in the first picture. After a few clicks and showing her the result, she gradually warmed up to the idea of this style of picture taking.

Basically, my setup is one Canon 580 EXII flash mounted with an umbrella in reflective mode on a stand connected to a Pocket Wizard.

First picture taken with the camera at ISO 400, 1/60 sec, f5 shooting at about 58mm.

The second was taken using my macro lens as it opens up to f2.8. Since I wanted to freeze the jump, blur (as much as possible) the background and decrease the ambient by increasing shutter speed to 1/100 sec I captured this exposure at f2.8 at 100mm while sticking at ISO 400.

The last picture was taken at f4.5 @ 1/80 sec using the 100mm macro lens. I intentionally put up this snap as it just shows the umbrella on the top left of the frame.

Overall, this exercise helped me build up my confidence in the strobist ways. I have since used the experience and knowledge gained to apply in my paid assignments. I hope to post some of them soon....




  1. Hey Charles, Glad to see you ventured into the warehouses next to Capital D. Last time we didi that the owner showed up and was horrified that we caused injury to our models or ourselves resulting in claims against him. Thankfully after a few words he quietly disappeared and left us to our own devices.

    We'll be heading down to Capital D this Sat 6th Jun, so if you have some free time come along. You're welcome to bring your good lady as a model if she wants to join us.

    Keep shooting, Nigel

  2. Trying to research the whole OCF thing and have been torn between the radiopoppers and the pocketwizard mini ttl/flex5 pair...have you used either?