I make films, photographs and electronic music. I build electronic musical instruments

Experimenting with off-camera flash

Lately, I am experimenting with off-camera flash. It’s great for studio photography but it can also add an extra dimension to pictures shot outdoors or make pictures possible you would not be able to take without an extra light source.

This weekend I was in a little park scouting for a possible location for a short movie I’m preparing to shoot. As a movie location the park could not be used as there was too much noise of passing cars on a road nearby, but while walking around to check the place out, I found a big tree with branches reaching almost to the ground.

The Tree (available light)Time of day was 5.30 pm and the sunlight looked great through the many branches of this old tree. I took a test picture exposing for the bright sun-lit areas in the tree. Of course, the tree itself became very under-exposed.


I set up my LumoPro LP160 manual flash, using a Cactus v4 wireless receiver/transmitter to trigger the flash.

The Tree (with off-camera flash)And this is the result. I love the way the sunlight wraps around the branches and leaves of the tree. There are however two things I should have done better: 1) use a diffuser on the flash (I didn’t bring one with me unfortunately) to soften the shadows on the tree for a better look and 2) mount the flash higher to make the visible shadows less pronounced.

All in all I like the outcome and although not perfect I now know what to look out for in future situations like this.