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‘Flash Paint’ Your Way to More Striking Portraits with This One-Light Setup


Author’s note: The below video contains no explicit nudity, but may still be considered NSFW by some — proceed with caution.

If you’re looking to spice up your portraiture a bit, Smoking Strobes has a neat little trick that you should try out if you don’t already have it in your repertoire. It’s done using speedlights, although probably not in the way you normally use them.

Rather than the speedlight being on-camera or triggered through a set of wireless triggers, this method of lighting a subject is done by ‘flash painting’ one pop of the flash at a time.

"Shoot me like one of your french girls."
“Shoot me like one of your french girls.”

It’s basically light painting with flash. You set up a long exposure shot, set your speed light to the power needed to properly light your subject, then you ‘pop’ the speedlight several times using the dedicated test button while your subject lies completely still.

After some trial and error, you should end up with an interestingly-lit image that spotlights the subject’s features as desired. Check out the video at the top to see how it’s done.

(via ISO 1200)