Small Flash: Drama Lives in the Shadows

Step Four

Creating drama with small flashNow that our model really popped out of the photograph, it was time to address the rest of the frame. To create a little more depth to the image, I decided to bring my background back into the equation just a little. So that the model didn’t appear to be floating in the darkness, I needed to light the wall behind her—but I didn’t want to contaminate the rest of the shot that we had so selectively lit. Here, a softbox, umbrella, or even a zoomed-in bare flash wouldn’t have produced a tight-enough beam of light to sneak in where we needed it. To solve the problem, I attached a snoot to again narrow down the light, this time from a second small flash. The crisp edge of the snooted light created a nice highlight on the textured background as it scraped across. 

In the end, my initial photograph did everything right with soft light, even exposure, and balanced histogram, but it lacked the kind of punch that I was looking for. We found this only after embracing the shadows and further controlling our light. Great photos thrive off that balancing act between the light and dark, so don’t be afraid to introduce more of it into your images! 


Want to touch up your skills on the Creative Cloud Suite? Try our CC Resource Center! Once you have your photo, if you need to deal with some flyaway hair, check out this tutorial, “Compositing Unruly Hair“.


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