It Doesn't Cost that Much to Make Good Portrait with Off Camera Lighting / by Scott Cook

That's what I learned this week. Off camera lighting does cost, but not that much. I made this picture of our daughter Sarah using:

Sarah_Blue_Hour.jpg
  • an el-cheapo reflector umbrella and stand (cost $42 new)
  • an  SB800 flash that I bought years ago, but a $75 YongNuo would work just fine and will be my next purchase as a second flash
  • remote flash triggers, I've upgraded but started with this $32 trigger set.

I don't have any illusions that the cheap umbrella and flash triggers are in it for the long haul. But they will last a year or so and give me enough run time to decide if I like the concept and decide if you want to make a bigger investment. In my case, I do and as I said, the flash triggers have already been replaced by Pocket Wizard PlusX's with the allowance I've saved up.

YouTube has plenty of instructional videos to get you stated with the basics on the set up, and you'll be on your way. 

Settings for this photograph:

  • Shutter: 1/15sec. 
  • 100ISO
  • f8
  • Flash at 1/2 power with omni bounce and reflected out of the umbrella
  • Flash zoom 24mm
  • Flash aperture f2.8
  • Light stand set about 45-degrees to the left, 4-feet from subject, and extended about 7-feet high.