Off-Camera Flash Photography on a Budget

Using cheap gear for a photo shoot doesn’t mean you’ll end up with cheap quality images. You may have some limitations but the end result depends on your skill and how you make use of the tools at your disposal. Photographer Francisco Joel Hernandez demonstrates how you can take great images on a budget using off-camera flash (OCF):

Gear Needed

  1. Light Stand. The pricing of a light stand will vary with the material it is made of and the height. Consider how high and strong you want your light stand to be and choose accordingly.
  2. Light. Francisco recommends using a manual speed light. The Flashpoint R2 Zoom manual speed light by Godox has a built-in transceiver and supports high-speed sync (HSS).
  3. Bracket. You will need a bracket if you are using a speed light as a light source. Francisco recommends using the Godox S-type bracket, as it comes with an umbrella holder and a Bowens mount.
  4. Modifier. A light modifier softens the light coming off of a flash. It also ensures that harsh shadows are not formed and creates a natural look. Francisco recommends using a 31 by 31 inch foldable softbox, as it creates a beautiful soft light and can be easily folded to be carried around while traveling.
  5. Transmitter. A transmitter is a device that helps in communication between the camera and the light. The one that Francisco suggests to be used with the Flashpoint R2 Zoom is the Flashpoint R2 Transmitter. Make sure that you get a transmitter that is compatible with your respective camera system.

off camera flash

Technique

As Franciso demonstrates in the video, you can either use a single light source or use one light as a key light and another light source as a kicker light to add highlights on edges and hair. If you feel the need, you can also add in a reflector to bounce some light onto the model and fill shadows and even use a gel on the diffuser to add a creative touch.

off camera flash

off camera flash portrait

off camera flash portrait

These images clearly exemplify that you don’t need high-end equipment for off-camera flash photography. If you’re just starting out with flash photography, this kind of setup is a great starting point.

For further training: The Electronic Flash Photography Guide at 52% Off

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