Creating shadows with flash - or even Speedlights

This shoot was all about creating shadows with speedlights. The final images use window light, flash and a combination of the two. Apologies right away, I call a speedlight a flash because I am British and old - I hope that doesn't confuse anyone.
Interesting shadow can add drama and create mood. To 'make' the shadows I used a remotely triggered flash (or speedlight if you prefer) on a stand and put different objects in the path of the light to create the shadows. If you are trying to this then you need a hard light source, hard really just means as small as possible. One way of making the light harder is to move it further away but obviously on location this can be difficult. Another way of making the light harder is to physically make it smaller. I uses a small piece of hobby foam with a slit cut into it which i put over the lens of the flash - this effectively makes the light harder. For a much better explanation of this technique check out David Hobby's blog post.

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I wanted the shadows to fall on the model as well as the background. This can cause some issues if the model is closer to the light source the shadows can appear significantly bigger. That said this is something that can be used creatively.
Anyway, enough waffle from me ...
This shadow is the lovely Lucy holding a clump of Bamboo

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This is the shadow the Bamboo makes

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Using the Bamboo shadows creatively.


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This is an old plastic meat tray with some slits cut out


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This is the shadow it makes


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Now mixing the meat tray light with window light.


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This is the shadow created using a waste paper bin - apologies I didn't photograph the bin


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And here is the shadow put to good effect


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One word of warning ... when using this technique remember the light is very hard so having a beautiful model really helps. You can see more images from the shoot here