Who says that direct flash is a bad idea for photographing people? Most photographers learn early in their careers, that direct flash is not good if you are shooting a glamour shot or a beauty portrait. Magazines like Maxim have been doing for years - very successfully. In part one of this two part lighting tutorial, I am going to show you how I planned and photographed the images for a bikini composite shot for a young models portfolio.
I decided to keep it simple so I'm going to have the model pose standing against a white wall. The flash, in this case, I'm going to use a studio strobe, but for those of you who are into speedlight photography this technique will work for you just as well. It's placed about a foot to a foot and a half above my camera. I don't want it too close to the lens because, indeed, I don't want to have red eye, but at the same time, I don't want it too far away from the lens because I don't want to exaggerate the shadows. I’ll talk more about those in a minute.
You could do this same thing with the speed light. I would recommend getting the speed light off camera so that it's a little further away from the lens axis, but as long as you're able to mount your speed light on camera and not get red eye, go for it. It will work in this scenario. The important piece if you're going to use a speed light, you may find that if you're going to work against the white wall like I am, the TTL is going to have a little bit of a rough time reading the exposure properly. You'll most likely have to make some exposure compensation adjustments. The TTLs going to see all that white and it's going to tend to close the lens down a little more then you want it to for the best exposure on your model.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS VIDEO
Part II - Assembling the Composite Bikini Shot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx6KKGZEihI
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