Nikon D600 Lighting Practice Sessions

I’ve started doing off-camera lighting practice outside with the Nikon D600 and fully manual flash units. The sessions consist of self portraits with various styles of lighting and settings. I’ve done two so far and have plans for more.

If you find my settings odd, take note that I have been shooting with half-stops instead of third-stops. It is easier because I don’t have to scroll through a bunch of values and more importantly, the notches on the meter are easier to understand. I shoot at least one stop under exposed, but more than likely between that and three stops. Even more so with the shots at f8 in my second session.

All processed photos are located at my gallery site here. (EXIF data is under each photo’s Info tab on the right)

Session #1:
Two position-able lights on tripods. Flash were bare most of the time, but I also used the built-in wide angle diffusers and bounce cards at times. The lens I used was the Nikon 28mm f1.8g.

Session #1 video:

Session #1 Example photos:

f3.3, 1/180th, ISO 50

f3.3, 1/180th, ISO 50

f3.3, 1/180th, ISO 50

f3.3, 1/180th, ISO 50

f3.3, 1/180th, ISO 50

f3.3, 1/180th, ISO 50

You should be able to tell how I setup lights pretty easily with those photos. The horizontal example photo had a flash on the left and on the right of the camera allowing for even lighting to the front of the subject (take note of the shadows). The vertical photo on the left had a similar setup, but the flash on the left lit me chest and the flash on the right lit my shoulder and some of my back. The vertical example on the right had the two lights to my side for a strong halved look to it. If I had more equipment I might have put a weak light in front to balance things out a bit more.

Session #2:
This time I used both flash connected to a multi-flash bracket and a true light stand so I could get more height. I used a white umbrellas as the diffuser.

Session #2 video:

My goal here was to get softer light than the first session. I also wanted to play with more intense differentiation between background and foreground brightness.

Session #2 example photos:

f8, 1/180th, ISO 50

f8, 1/180th, ISO 50

f8, 1/180th, ISO 50

f8, 1/180th, ISO 50

f3.3, 1/180th, ISO 50

f3.3, 1/180th, ISO 50

For the horizontal example photo and first vertical on the left, I had the camera set to a small aperture to limit ambient a good deal. This allowed me to bump up the flash power so that took center stage. With the while umbrella I shoot through, it worked out well to provide a nice soft light to the subject. Just look at the shadows and back wall to confirm because the edges are very diffuse. The third example on the lower right was with a wider aperture, so the background and foreground are more equalized.

Right now, the only future sessions I’ve thought of would be with colored gels and also with a variable ND filter so that I can use wider apertures outdoors. If you have any suggestions, feel free to send me a message.

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