Ambient light, off-camera flashes, and Abraham Lincoln at sunset


posted Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 5:08 PM EDT

Photographer Jay P. Morgan has published an informative tutorial video for portrait photographers looking to add some off-camera flash to sunset portraits.

Morgan breaks down the scene as he continually adds more lights for the various features of the scene, sharing the resulting images along the way. As he continues to add light and fine-tune his image, the sky gets darker so he has to make constant changes to his shutter speed to maintain the correct exposure for the sky.

Ultimately, Morgan utilized four off-camera lights. One was taped to the back of the lantern that the Abraham Lincoln model was holding, a small Dynalite Baja B6 was camera right to light a cannon and add some rim lighting, a Rosco Vector was set up to provide a bit of fill. Finally, a Dynalite Baja B4 was set up to provide the necessary lighting on the model himself.

Screen capture from the video below showing Morgan's lighting arrangement.

Morgan used a Canon 5D Mark III with a Tamron SP 35mm lens to capture the portrait. By the time he had gotten the lighting the way he wanted, the sun had long been set, so he ended up needing to use 1-2 second exposures to bring out some of the color above the horizon.

You can see the written tutorial and still images at Jay P. Morgan's The Slanted Lens. To see more of Jay P. Morgan's work, visit his website. He has many more informative videos here.

(Seen via Fstoppers