I took the above photo using two flash units off-camera.
I was inspired by Rod and Robin Deutschmann who make a good case for “expressionism” in their book Off-Camera Flash: Creative Techniques for Digital Photographers (Amherst Media). I could merely have grabbed the book cover from Amazon, but why not try for an interesting effect using flash. In this case, crafting highlights on the bedspread which didn’t exist in the dark room where I shot the photo. I also added a warming gel to one of the lights, an orbis ring to the other.
I suspect the authors will be will be pleased with me since they avidly promote making pictures as opposed to taking them.
Thus, Off-Camera Flash manages to pack a good deal of inspiration into a slender volume of just 128 pages. Although it covers gear and accessories close to the heart of strobists everywhere, the emphasis here is on creative exploration… crafting the light to fulfill one’s artistic vision.
“Pride in workmanship and skill aren’t camera modes and you can’t add them later with postprocessing. Creativity is not a filter or contrast adjustment. True artistic expression comes from inside the artist; it has very little to do with which camera, lens, flash, or computer program he’s using.”
The book includes lots of photos guaranteed to make you yank the flash off the hot-shoe and go barefoot. Indeed, the idea is to take risks…shoot manual and learn from your mistakes.
Amherst Media publishes a lot of helpful guides and this one is pure gold.
You can order the book here.