We're continuing on from our strobist introduction, to intermediate strobist technique with multiple flashes.

The concept for this shoot was to have the road going out of sight behind the subject and to have the sun backlighting the scene. This is a tough scene to capture correctly with available light and/or a pop-up flash because the subject may end up being under-exposed, and the background blowing out (extreme highlights). A pop-up flash doesn't have the power necessary to reach all the way to the subject in this setting, and is also not powerful enough to balance with the strong sunlight. Since the sunlight is behind the subject, we also need light in front of the subject to be able to expose properly for the foreground and background (and keep the details).

Using natural light- under exposed subject and blown-out background

For this scene, three external flash units were used. All of them were set at either 1/2 or 1/8 power, and shot bare (no modifications like umbrellas). Two of the units were on stands (pointing down) to my (the shooters) left. One unit was also to the left but on the ground pointing up.

The set-up

These final images were taken near sunset when the sunlight was truly magical. The same flash set-up as described above was used...

Equipment used: Canon 7D, Canon 15-85 EF-S IS USM and Canon 70-200 2.8L IS, 2-Nikon SB-28 flash units, 1-Vivitar 285HV, 2- 8ft light stands, wireless radio trigger and wein optical slave triggers.
All images © Patrick Douglas