Last year I made an investment in new lighting equipment so I could take better portraits and party/reception photos at events. I added 4 Yongnuo 560 III flashes, a 560TX remote control, two sets of color correcting and effects gels and a Rogue Imaging flash bender with softbox scrim. Last night I had the opportunity to take a photo I’ve wanted to for a while, a backlit portrait in a snow storm.
The setup for this was pretty simple. I stood underneath a streetlight near my house with the camera about ten feet away. There were two flashes mounted on a multi-flash bar, vertically behind me, set to between 1/8 and 1/4 power, un-gelled. In front of me, I had a 1/2 CTO gelled flash set to 1/8 – 1/16 inside the softboxed Flash Bender between 6 – 8 feet off the ground. The camera was set to tungsten white balance, ISOs 100 – 200, f2.8 and shutter speeds between 1/6th of a second and 1/2 of a second.
Focus was an issue since I did this alone and couldn’t focus the camera on a subject so it was a combination of guessing, moving forward and backward and then marking the ground where my feet needed to be to keep the images fairly sharp.
The black and white was a single exposure. The color uses several images blended for focus, lighting and atmospheric/background elements.