Although it’s hard to deny the beauty natural light provides, it’s not always the most predictable or convenient light for a high profile photo shoot. Luckily, as photographers, we have the power to control the elements and build an entirely new scene. Jay P. Morgan demonstrates how he brought to life an otherworldly environment by utilizing the high speed sync function of his handheld flash:
High speed sync allows Morgan to shoot the scene at a small aperture and maintain a shallow depth of field without losing details in the highlights. By setting his Canon Speedlite to manual mode and turning on high speed sync, he can capture quicker shutter speeds that his camera would normally be incapable of processing fully.
To supplement the Speedlite, Morgan also employs an Octodome as well as a Dynalite MP800 strobe kit. By setting the strobes to “slave”, they take on the lead of the Speedlite. Any time they sense an influx of light from the smaller device, the larger lamps are automatically set off.
Despite the fact that the photo shoot began during the day and continued well into the night, the artificial strobes completely blocked out any indicator of the world outside of the image. Amongst fog machines and potted planets, it’s easy to forget that the model isn’t a part of some distant fantasy world. Reflectors and puffs of smoke allowed for Morgan to further manipulate the lighting around his model to create surreal results.
Whether you’ve been working as a professional for decades or have just started exploring photography as a medium, Morgan’s shoot is much more than just a brief tutorial on how to properly use equipment. Instead, he takes us through his creative process and reminds us of just how much we’re capable of creating as artists.
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