Following on from the last post on Nikon D4 where I shot some landscapes, here I photograph some portraits using the D4 & the Speedlights. Those of you who know me, majority of my flash work is shot using the Nikon Speedlights. I’m one of the biggest fans of the Nikon CLS and makes my on-location shoots easy and enjoyable with very little kit to carry around !
For this shoot I was joined by my 2 new ‘best’ friends. The Westcott Apollo Orb and the Westcott Apollo Strip. I’ll talk about them in detail in another post, but for now, just want to say how very impressed I am with the build quality. Quick and easy to set up, lightweight to carry them around. I got them before Christmas from my good friends at JP Distribution and have used them on a few shoots so far with gorgeous results.
These images were shot using:
My set up was pretty straight forward. The Westcott Apollo Orb was my main light and the Westcott Apollo Strip as a side or separation light between the dark background and the subject.
What I like about the Westcott Apollo Orb are the beautiful circular catchlights it produces and that it doesn’t require an adapter ring. No more missing brackets, screws, claps, etc ! Simply open like an umbrella, place the flash inside (a light stand with umbrella bracket is required) and attach. Designed specifically with a deeper profile, light is evenly projected for maximum output while simulating a round catch light in the eyes. The diffusion panel can be recessed for even more directional control and to prevent lens flare. The octagonal design means you will get a pleasing round catchlight in the subjects eyes while the umbrella frame design means it is very quick and easy to assemble and take down.
The Westcott 16″ x 30″ Apollo Strip softbox provides complete control with the convenience of being built on an umbrella frame meaning it can be quickly assembled or put away. Its narrow profile makes it an ideal rim, hair or accent light and the recessed front edge means light is even and directional. It can be mounted either vertically or horizontally providing extreme flexibility.
I always use the camera & the flashgun/s on ‘M’ mode so as to give me total control on the amount of flash & ambient light passing through my lens. I tend to underexpose the background or the ambient light and use the flashgun/s to light my subject. All the ‘pro’ Nikon bodies allow the flash to be synced at any shutter speed up to 1/8000th. This is important when shooting outdoors, specially when shooting in bright sun.
The Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 & Flex TT5 allowed me to shoot from a fair distance using the 70-200mm. Since the Speedlights were used outdoors and also placed inside the softboxes, the ‘line of sight’ for firing them wasn’t always possible, so the Mini & the Flex gives total freedom to shoot from wherever you wish. When shooting indoors, I don’t use the Mini & the Flex as the CLS works perfectly fine even when the flashes are ‘hidden’ inside the softbox.
Here are some more set up shots…
I’ll be posting some very exciting new images shot using the D4 very soon. Do do log back soon. If you have shot some images using the Nikon D4, then feel free to link them in the comment box below.
Many thanks to Nikita for being a great model in very cold conditions and to Anne McGuigan for the styling.
- Portrait Photography Tips
- Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 & Flex TT5 Review
- 2-Day Portrait Photography Workshop at Nikon
- Brushing Up Your Skills
- The Portrait Photography Business Workshop