182 
Compare this picture of a softer Lauren with the
previous harsh flash shot. It’s much nicer, dont
you think?
For the softer Lauren shot, I held my camera the
way Marco is holding it in this picture.
 183
To sum up and to reiterate, strive for a natural-
looking flash picture—a picture without harsh
shadows and lighting that is too strong. Think
soft, as I did when I put my camera on a tripod
(and bounced the light off the ceiling) for this
family photograph.
184 184 
Practice Makes Perfect
If you are serious about getting good flash pictures (and good lighting kit pictures, which is cov-
ered in the next lesson), one fast, easy, affordable, and fun method is to buy a mannequin and to
use it as your test subject. With an ever-ready, one-time-fee “model,” youll be able to practice the
aforementioned techniques, as well as your own, at your own pace.
Mannequins, which youll find on the Web by doing a Google search, sell for about $200 each.
They never get tired of being photographed! What’s more, their position and pose are consistent,
so you’ll easily learn how moving a flash unit/light—and adding flash units/lights—can make a
big difference in your result.
Here are five examples of how I used different flash setups to light my mannequin, who my family
came to know affectionately as Kim La Mannequin during this shoot…bad hair day and all!
For each photograph, I used a flash with a large diffuser to soften the light, and I mounted each
flash/diffuser on a sturdy stand. I triggered the Canon 580 EX flash units from my camera with a
Canon ST-E2 wireless remote control unit that fits into my cameras hot shoe.
In noting the positions of
the flash units that I de-
scribe in this sidebar, keep
in mind that those positions
also work for hot light kits,
as well as strobe light kits.
For this photo, I positioned
one flash unit slightly above
eye level, in front of Kim
and to my left.
If you were to look at a
diagram of this setup from
above, and envision the face
of a clock, Kim would be
in the center of the clock
face, I’d be at 6 oclock, and
my flash unit would be at 8
Kim and I were in the same
position for the remainder
of the pictures in this side-
 185  185
For this photo, I positioned one flash
unit slightly above eye level—in front
of Kim and to my left (at 8 oclock). I
positioned a second flash at shoulder
level, directly behind Kim, to illumi-
nate the background. That second
flash unit provided some separation
between Kim and the background,
which is why the second light here is
often called a separation light.
To light this photo, I positioned two
flash units slightly above eye level,
in front of Kim, one to my right and
the other to my left (at 4 oclock and
at 8 oclock). I set the flash unit at 8
oclock at full power and the one at 4
oclock at 1/3 power, for whats called
ratio lighting.

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