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Using 2 SB 910's against white seamless

joeylibbyjoeylibby Member
edited June 2013 in portraits & people
I need to take a full length portrait (feet included) using 2 Nikon SB 910 speed lights only against white seamless. I do have 2 umbrellas and 2 light stands. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • jhilgersjhilgers Member
    edited June 2013
    I see two options you can use:

    ***If you have a radio trigger that you can use on your camera that can control the two flashes use them both off camera ***

    1. Off camera you can place one on a stand with the umbrella. Elevate the umbrella up high enough (45 degree angle up from their eye level) above your subject. Place the umbrella out far enough in front of your subject so you get a clean coverage of the front of them. You will have to experiment with the placement to achieve front side lighting in the form that you want.
    Place the second flash directly behind your subject so their body is hiding it. Point the flash at your back drop and zoom it out (35mm or so) so it covers your back drop in a clean even manner. This will provide a bright backlight that when done properly creates a rim light behind your subject and makes them pop out from the white backdrop. I would place this flash in manual mode on a very low power. If you put out too much juice on your backlight, the light will start to wrap or bleed around the front side of your subject in the final photo shot - you don't want this. You will know what I am talking about if you ever see it happen.

    This is option 1.

    *** If you don't have any radio triggers use option #2 ***

    2. Place one flash on your camera and make it the Master flash. I would place it in TTL mode and zoom your flash out some (105mm or 200mm) for this purpose. Have this Master flash control your other flash which I would place behind your subject as I recommended in Option #1 (in manual mode, low power).
    Using the techniques that Neil describes in his blog about bouncing flash (http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/4-bouncing-flash/), I would recommend using your on camera flash to either bounce light behind you or to the sides so when it comes back it will light your subject in the manner your are looking for (from the sides or straight on). The more above and behind you that you aim your flash, the more flat, bright, and plain it will look on the front of your subject.

    If you trying to light the entire front of your subject evenly, then you will want to go for the flat lighting approach by bouncing up and directly behind you.
    If you are trying to achieve nice lighting that looks like it is coming from the sides at an angle, then you aim your flash up and to that side you want your light to come from.
    It all depends what effect or appearance you are trying to achieve.

    This is my two cents on the matter.
  • The white seamless must be fully lit from head to toe , no shadows. please advise
  • I suspect regardless of your setup you may need to do some touch-up in post production to get pure white from head to toe. At least this was my experience two weeks ago with three flash units (two on the background and one on the subject). One thing I didn't try that might help is to lay white tile board on top of the white seamless. The shiny surface should reflect lots of light and therefore blow out much closer to pure white than the white seamless. Zack Arias' tutorial illustrates this:


    Good luck!
  • jhilgersjhilgers Member
    edited June 2013
    Are you doing full-view shot that someone in the military will use to put in a package that will be reviewed by a board for application to a special program or something?
    That is what is sounds like to me. If you don't know what I am talking about, simply ignore this post. Lol
  • The person will be standing on the white seamless. Where can i put flashes to have all of the seamless white?
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I was thinking of that exact same tutorial that jcgoodson posted there where Zach explains how he would set up white seamless.
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