The trick to wide angle photography with flash is a tried and true “voice activated light stand”


posted Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 10:46 AM EDT

Michael Zelbel of Good Light! Mag has a variety of tips for using flash when shooting portraits with a wide angle lens. Using artificial light for wide angle portraiture can be difficult, but with Michael's tips you'll very likely improve your results.

With fellow professional photographer Carla Victorio, Michael photographed pre-wedding photos for two couples on the island of Lanzarote, and a wide angle lens was used to allow Michael to capture more of the environment. The issue arises when you want to use off-camera flash, because you are capturing such a wide field of view that your flash will in many cases need to be quite far from your subjects.

Using a "voice activated light stand," in this case Carla, Michael is able to direct her while she holds a flash. Rather than continually moving from a tripod-mounted camera to a stand-mounted flash over and over, while fine-tuning the flash's position and ensuring that it's as close to the edge of the frame as possible without actually entering the image, Michael is able to have his colleague moving around with the flash. It is a much more efficient and organic approach to the situation that makes everyone involved more comfortable and relaxed.

When Michael needs to heighten his flash, rather than find a taller voice-activated light stand, he uses a Benro Travel Angel tripod. This tripod has a detachable leg that you can attach to the center column to create a stable extendable monopod. To quickly adjust the power of his off-camera flash, Michael uses Phottix's new Odin II controller.

Screen capture from the video above.

Visit his website to view more of Michael's work, and you can view Carla's work here. Check out Good Light Mag's YouTube channel for more lighting tips.

(Seen via ISO 1200