Off Camera Flash for the Natural Light Photographer: Breathe Your Passion with Vanessa Joy

Off Camera Flash for the Natural Light Photographer: Breathe Your Passion with Vanessa Joy


Hi this is Vanessa Joy here with Breathe Your Passion on AdoramaTV. Today I’m going to show you how to use off-camera flash to create a natural light look. So gear that we are going to use for the shoot today, we have my Canon 1D X with my 135mm f/2.0 lens, we’ve got the Profoto system here so I have a Profoto transmitter on the top of my camera, we have the portable beauty dish, the off-camera flash beauty dish, which is on a Profoto B1 and then in the back which you might be able to see is a Profoto B2 with a CTO gel on it and it’s on an Adorama Light Stand. So my goal is to shoot Andy and Abigail in a very natural-looking way but be able to control my light a little bit more than the scenario we’re in right now. What is in my mind creatively is creating the sun flare in the background with the light that I have, with the color gel on it. Then using this Profoto Beauty Dish, which has a lovely soft light, having it mimic what a reflector would do. So I’m going to create a very natural light look using off-camera flash by following the same rules I would have if I only had natural light to work with. So we have our Profoto B2 in the back, that’s our sun, this is pretending to be our reflector and let’s get started. So to start, I want to get my exposure as if I didn’t have any lights that I’m introducing into the equation. So in order to do that I’m going to use my liveview and it looks like I will be around 50 on my ISO, 250 on my shutter and 2.8 on my aperture. Now I’m going to go ahead turn on my Profoto lights to TTL, which is essentially auto exposure for these lights. All right, what I’ll have you guys do, I love actually what you’re doing. Abigail turn towards me a little bit more with your feet. You’re going to put one foot in between his so your back is going to stay towards him. Come a little bit more behind her, Andy. That front hand, you can hold on to her hands in front. You can just cutesy let your hand go there and the other hand you come around by her waist and hold on to his. Kind of interlace your fingers, very cute, love that, perfect! So my light is pointing at them. I want my beauty dish to get as close to them as possible because the closer the light is, the more it’s going to wrap around the face and you have a little bit softer of a look. So let’s give that a try. You’re going to get really nice and close to them. I’m not going to point it directly at them. I don’t want the light pointed directly at them, it’s going to be too harsh and it’s not going to have that natural light look that we want. You’re going to point it directly in front of them. Right about there and let’s see how that looks to start with. I love what you guys are doing. Just kind of looking down almost towards Jade’s feet right there. Perfect! All right so just to start, not too bad. Looking at this photo, I want to create a little bit more dimension and it’s just a little bit overexposed so what I’m going to do is, I’m going to go up to 3.2 on my aperture. I’m also going to switch to manual on my lights. What number does that say there? Go all the way down to 4 for me and take another step closer to them. Keep going, keep going and kind of point it down a little bit. Right there, let’s see what that looks like. That’s getting much better. You’re going to come a little bit closer. I’m going to bump up my light in the back up 2 stops here to create more of that flare look and hopefully where that light is now will have a little bit more dimension. Yes, that is exactly what we’re looking for. I love this! So much fun! I like it when I get it how I thought it would look. We’re going to go up 2 more, actually no just take one more step closer to them. Right there. That should be good. Love that, love what you guys are doing. Perfect. Abigail look up at me. Eyes down again. Love that. Both of you look up at me. The hand that you guys are holding there, kind of hold onto her arm instead. There we go, that’s really cute. Abigail turn your head a little this way and chin down a little bit. Andy lean forward for me a little bit, there you go. Then just snuggle it in one more time. The great thing is once you get your light, that’s it! It’s done and you can take as many pictures as you want to, do circles around them. And that is how we get a natural light look out of off-camera flash. So that is how you get a natural light look out of off-camera flash. Make sure you hit the subscribe button on the bottom here and I will see you next time on Breathe Your Passion on AdoramaTV.

32 Comments

  • johan bauwens says:

    I don't see why you use a 1 Dx for portraits, a 5D4 is much better. And at iso 50 you have worse image quality than at iso 100

  • Gil Feliciano says:

    Great video Vanessa. Thank you!

  • Wiktor Jurek says:

    TL:DW, Use a keylight (beauty fish in this instance), and a backlight with a CTO gel on it. Use TTL to get a decent exposure then switch to manual to fine tune.

  • MisterBassBoost says:

    Quite good video, awesome!

  • Jules-Frederic Nerestant says:

    @0:42 What an adorable couple 😀

  • Jhoel Pixs says:

    I wish they would do tutorials with more affordable lighting equitments. some of us are just starting🤔

  • Memeorandum of Understanding says:

    deja vu?

  • adamaj says:

    And such affordable gear too! /sar
    Also, your 5D link is the same as the 50mm 1.2 link.

  • Richie D says:

    video is confusing.. the idea only works on high end strobes. if your using speedlights they dont show the power levels for ttl,it also took a fair few test shots to get the lighting result you wanted so why not just start in manual or use exposure compensation in ttl mode..example on my speedlight i know if i use iso 100 and f2.8 the flash will be 1/16th power if i put it one metre away for correct exposure. i could get your result in less test shots just by working out the power levels in my head before taking the first test shot.is another case of too much expensive gear and not enough knowledge..yes i had to learn because i cant afford pro gear :{ but i can get same result with entry level camera and speedlights np.sorry for ranting i had a frustrating conversation in the local camera store when the sales person tried to convince a customer he needed 5dmk4 and 24-70 to get good results,its just not true or needed.

  • Craig A Street says:

    or maybe not……a different one….v.good

  • A Baker says:

    Thanks for the great video! It would have been cool if the video would have included a quick shot of the other flash (behind the couple) to give an idea of the general placement (high/low, how far back), and whether or not it had a modifier other than a CTO gel.

  • Noel Del Pilar says:

    Great video! For those who want to know more about TTL in speedlghts, you can use FEL (Flash Exposure Compensation) for just adjust the power of light to the subject. In this video, she starts talking about using the flash just like a reflector, to fill the light. You don't need to much power flashes.

  • Gewglesux says:

    Thank you for the video. It was very informative.

  • Dimitriyus says:

    Where is that sunflare?

  • johan bauwens says:

    No offence (and to answer to peoples replies) : I think a 1DX is more suited for sports and stuff, and a 5d3 or 5d4 would be better for weddings.

  • Chris Umaña says:

    Vanessa es de verdad hermosa.

  • Zardos Spinosa says:

    yep, tend to agree, try highlighting gear we can afford, like how you fit the jeans, if you want to see high end gear and stunning images check out Studio Next Image

  • Ruslan Melikov says:

    Я все пропустил, только на фотографа смотрел.😌 Клёвая, обожаю такой типаж и телосложение у женщин!!!

  • Gustavo Ulloa says:

    For me 135mm is the perfect portrait focal range, not 85mm… Few steps back, you become your 135 in 85mm looks!

  • Valdemar Caballero says:

    Pleaaaaaase…. Can somebody tell Vanessa that when she switchs from "normal" view to "Live view" its the same as using a mirrorless camera like FUJI or SONY, but without the hassle……. please???? 😉

  • Eduardo Kostetzer says:

    What about a similar video on the same subject for travel photographers on a budget? E.G.: using speedlights off brand stuff (Adorama brand) shooting by yourself. Always good when budget is unlimited, but there is not much of a challenge, especially with an assistant…

  • Cristian Lole says:

    Where is the beauty dish? All I see is an octo softbox.

  • adamstreetboyzz says:

    I don't see why she change her aperture defeats the whole purpose of HSS. once you've got the exposer you should be messing with the light power. Shes losing her DOF

  • NF Pro says:

    i wish there were more tutorials with no equipment and just a flash. I ain't got money for that.

  • runbei says:

    Wonderful, thank you.

  • Jason Bodden says:

    instead of everyone giving her shit for the gear she uses, just do the same with speedlights or less expensive strobes. I mean, come on, it really isn't rocket science. The only thing you won't be able to do is lock in TTL settings by switching to manual. But that shouldn't be a huge deal. It's amusing to me that people on here think that these photographers shouldn't do tutorials because they use high end gear. Yeah, okay. Good luck with that lol.

  • Wendy Stumbaugh says:

    Vanessa, I love your kind and composed demeanor. You are so informative and I love hearing you interact with the subject. It cracks me up how people watch a free and informative video and give themselves the right to criticize the choices you’ve made to make the video. It defines intention – will we be whiners? Or, are we here to improve our photography?

  • Golden Touch Productions says:

    Hi Vanessa, how do you nail your white balance each time, do you use expodisk white balance to set your camera or how do you do that? thanks

  • Michelle Cox Photography says:

    Wow this was really helpful and informative!!;

  • johan bauwens says:

    Why f3.2 at 135 mm ? Bride and groom can't be in focus at the same time. Too shallow depth of field

  • Aswin says:

    👏🏻👏🏻 what was the light meter?

  • Peter Betts says:

    This is so informative Vanessa

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