Week 20 – Playing with flash

52 Rolls - week 20-012

I have a pair of studio strobes ( cheapy interfit 150 watt) and to be honest they very rarely see the light of day as if I need flash I use my Nikon speedlights.

Just as a bit of a challenge last week I decided to dig them out and shoot a roll of expired FP4 in my Mamiya 645.

I wanted a dark moody sort of look so I waited till it was darkish, shut the curtains and set up a chair ready to try a few head shots of my son Ben (who hates having him photograph taken).

As the Mamiya sync’s at 1/60 sec, even with the lowest power of the strobe with a soft-box I was shooting at f11 which I tested 1st with my flash meter and as a visual test I also tried a few frames with my D600.

I was happy with the look I was getting and then proceeded to shoot the roll, that’s where I found a problem …. my eyes … well my focusing really …. It was so hard to nail the focus on the eyes in pretty dim light.

I set up the camera on a tripod, put on the lights and focused best I could then lights off and shoot.

The last frame that I shot was hand held and quite frankly was the best of the lot (see 1st image at top) most of the frames either focused on the nose or the ears even at f11 the DOF was so shallow … ha ha … but I did get a few images that I really liked and so did my son …surprisingly 🙂

52 Rolls - week 20--3 52 Rolls - week 20--2 52 Rolls - week 20-

You can find more of my stuff at

https://usingfilm.wordpress.com/ and https://timdobbsphotography.wordpress.com/

and on Twitter as @timdobbsphoto


5 thoughts on “Week 20 – Playing with flash

  1. Great work! Now I know you were going for a moody look, but having only one half of the face lit is a bit off (in my view), I would have a reflector on the other side to give some light to the other half of the subject’s face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would usually light a little more when shooting portraits but I wanted the dark moody feel, I was going to try to have the background totally black but was limited to 1/60th sync so there was ambient light in the mix.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Week 20 – Playing with flash | tim dobbs photography

  3. Nice work putting your moody teenager to some use. I wish I’d thought to do that with mine while there was still time. Now they’ve morphed into intelligent and mostly happy adults, and their kids won’t be moody teens for years. Nice work by the way – I completely avoid shooting with flash EVER because I’m afraid of the challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

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