Softboxes and Stairwells – Moody Portraits

Having been inspired by Zack Arias’ One Light Workshop, I went right out and got myself a portable softbox kit from eBay.  Zack’s whole philosophy of the “one light” approach comes down to cost – being bankrupt and having to rebuild his career, he was forced to create professional editorial quality images on a budget because it was all he could afford. Anyone starting out will understand just how expensive it is to pursue photography as a hobby alone, and “turning pro” is very, very, very expensive.  Being able to shoot with just a single light source is a huge skill, and obviously, half the price of using 2.

My light source was a Canon 430 EX ii, something that I’ve only used 2 or 3 times in the few years I’ve owned it.  Any on-camera flash, not just those built-in pop-ups on entry-level cameras,  always gives awful results. I’ve been scared of shooting with flash, and avoided it until recently when I got myself a 2 metre long TTL cable which allowed a little more creativity.  This year I’ll be forcing myself to use it more, especially now I’ve got a basic understanding. My next step is to get a set of Pocket Wizards and work wirelessly, but just like Zack says, you gotta earn them.

Here’s a couple of what we took on the day.

Unfortunately just as we were starting to get into the swing of things, that cheap, crappy,  TTL cable started to die. The flash kept misfiring, then not firing at all so we cut the session short and got hot chocolates.