Showdown at sundown: available light versus off camera flash…

A challenge/annoyance when working with back light is the blown-out sky that results from exposing for the subject. Blah, washed out results can make for a dull image. Off-camera flash to the rescue to add a little drama to the subject at hand.

Goplen-3373  A Boy and his Pickup

The above portrait is available light only.  Flash did not fire.  Sometimes the soft lens flare look is one I want, depending on the subject.  I wanted a strong, vibrant look for this situation so the  lighting above does not match my goals for this portrait.

Goplen-3404pophpcr_richsh2A Man and his Truck

For the portrait above I used 1 Canon Speedlight on ETTL triggered by Pocket Wizards about 6 feet or so from camera right and about 8 feet from subject. I had the flash on a light-weight light stand held by an assistant (Mom) and moved it when necessary for correct effects.  I was able to keep detail in the sky and rim lighting on subject is from the late day sun.
F11 at 1/200 ~ ISO 160 ~ 5D Mark 2 ~ Canon 70-200 IS L lens

I often like a shallow depth of field for portraits, but in this case I also wanted the truck in sharp focus.  High speed sync would have been something to consider to allow a wide open aperture, but this aperture seems to work fine for now.

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