Lighting has always played a massive part in my photography ever since I started. I remember the first time I got into flash photography and the photos were very much – flash one side and then shoot and guess. Now I’ve learnt how lighting a scene is more about using the flashes to build with the environment and light in layers. This same concept was used the other night in my first skateboarding photo of 2016 and since I can remember?!

Lighting What you Already See

A lot of times with lighting people use their flashes against what is already there. Whilst you might light the subject nothing looks natural and sometimes can be a little over the top. Stop and see where the lighting is falling on the scene/subject and try to match the flashes to that. This was my aim last night with my skateboarding photo. Once I picked my composition I then tried to work out the flash set up. Below is what I came up with and the reasoning behind it.

Lighting Information

Yes there’s a lot of flashes around but here’s the reasoning behind it –

The main lighting it from a Lumedyne P2XX Action Pack which is on the right side next to the pillar. Giving a side light and being from the angle of where I’m shooting. On the barrier side a SB-910 is positioned on a zoom of 135mm to throw light at the subject and fill some more of the shadow in.

Now the rear lighting. This was another Lumedyne P2XX Action Pack, however you might be wondering why the other SB-910 is pointing away from the action?! I basically only had one H-Prong sync cable so had to use the SB-910 to fire an optical slave in the rear of the flash (always make sure you back your bag right!!)

There was one final light I added to the scene as when I was shooting from the top of the ramp, the main wall as scene on the right was just in darkness, meaning a big nasty shadow. Added a hint of light but not too much.

The Lumedyne on the right was the only flash triggered via a PocketWizard, all the rest of the flashes were set to a slave mode waiting for that burst of light from the main flash to fire.

The Final Results

So you’ve seen and read about how all the flashes played a part in lighting the photo, so now time for the final photography. Overall I’m extremely happy with my first skateboarding photos have come out. Stopping to think more about the lighting and layering the flashes to create a truly dynamic image. Here’s to some more soon…..fingers crossed!