My son wanted to go outside and sit on the deck the other evening, at sunset. I decided it would be a good time to try out my new gels that I bought for my speedlites. I put one speedlite on the banister angled to shoot up to the white porch ceiling, above and in front of my son. With a yellow gel affixed to the speedlite, the light bouncing off of the ceiling would be even and slightly yellow, which warms up the skin tones a bit. The flash was on a low power, so that it would illuminate the foreground with my son, but allow the beautiful sunset in the background to remain an integral part of the portrait as well. With the aperture open wide, the pine trees in the background became very soft, but still distinguishable as pine trees. This sunset portrait with a speedlite is interesting just because there is so much in the image for your eyes to take in.
The next three portraits were made using the same general principle, except this time the speedlite was directed mostly towards, a little in front of, the subjects at an angle relative to the camera. Once again the flash head was on a low power. The little girl is the daughter of a close friend, and it was nice to get to take pictures of the two kids together playing.
You can see in a few of the portraits, that there is a bit of movement visible, but the faces remain in focus. That is caused by using a slower shutter speed, but the critical points of focus are frozen by the emitting light of the speedlite. You can see in the progression of the pictures that we were losing more and more light. However, the light in the background from the sunset is still vibrant and colorful.
It’s not often that we have great sunsets like these, but Im glad I could capture some great portraits with a single speedlite to make them precious!
View my other post lit by speedlites in the bamboo garden!