How to Create Artificial Sunlight Through Trees with an Off-Camera Flash

For many of us who inhabit cloudier climes, getting the look of a sunny day, whilst the weather is stubbornly overcast can be a challenging problem. In this short video, British fashion photographer Damien Lovegrove shows us how to re-create sunny Spain in a decidedly cloudy Manchester. To create the dappled sunlight look Damien uses a dingle, which is basically a small bush or branch with leaves on it:

These are the key points of Damien’s technique:

    • Attach the dingle to a lighting stand so that the leaves protrude above the stand.
    • Raise the lighting stand to a reasonable height to suggest a low angle of sunlight.
    • The sun is recreated using a wireless controlled flash positioned behind the dingle.
    • When positioning the flash, make sure that the wireless sensor will be visible from the photographers position.
    • The flash gun is set to maximum zoom and the camera is set to the required exposure.
    • The closer the flashgun is to the dingle, the softer the dappled effect will be.
artificial sunlight with flash

Faking Sunlight with a Canon Speedlight

For most people, it would be impossible to tell that the final shot was made in grey industrial Manchester and not the sunny Costa Brava.

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

One response to “How to Create Artificial Sunlight Through Trees with an Off-Camera Flash”

  1. ml says:

    very interesting, the understanging of light in photography never ends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever