Combining Off-Camera Flash, City Lights, And Interior Ambient Lighting

In this video, professional photographer Gary Fong shows how dramatically you can improve a portrait over even soft, natural window lighting. In a departure from the “Ugly Room” series, these videos are set in desirable locations with desirable available lighting. Included are livecam videos and detailed instructions

Gear List: Sony a7R, Sony 24-70mm f/4, Video Devices Pix 240i, Manfrotto 5001B Nano Black Light Stand, Manfrotto 458B Neotec Pro Photo Tripod, Kenro 222 Joystick Head, Phottix Mitros+ Sony Mount

This is demonstration is a continuation of our new Beautiful Room Series. We are in Las Vegas in a gorgeous penthouse condo and we have the beautiful city lights behind us.

The objective is to bring in all natural lighting, mix it so we pick up the beautiful night lighting, but also make it look invisible. The way we’re going to that is simply with two off-camera flashes.

The flash unit on this camera is used as a controller and does not contribute to flash lighting. You will see a pulse of light come out but that does not happen when the exposure is happening.

In other words this is a blind flash and does nothing but trigger the other two flashes.

I have one flash on a stand in front and to the left of the model. I’d say it’s about two or three free above the subject, aiming downwards. This flash is fitted with a Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Snoot

A second flash directly behind the model is also fitted with a Lightsphere Collapsible Speed Snoot. This flash is used the PowerGrid to control the light from spreading and direct it to the subject’s hairline to create a nice backlight.

Both flashes are on TTL and if we look at the camera right now you’ll see that I’m at ISO 1600 because I want to pick up a lot of this ambient light.

Below is an image taken without flash at 1/45 shutter speed and aperture f2.8 using a 50mm lens. It’s quite nice available lighting but not spectacular yet.

Now we’re going to turn the flash on. With the flash on, what will happen is we’re going to mix this available light with the spot light created by our two off-camera flashes.

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