As a photographer continues to grow and learn new techniques and push themselves many start experimenting with flash and eventually off camera flash. Off camera flash is basically defined as any flash unit that is not built into the camera and can usually be moved around the subject while the camera can remain stationary. This can open a whole new world of lighting and techniques for a photographer to experiment with, but can also be extremely intimidating as many things we thought we knew using natural light gets flipped on its head REAL quick.
In the cosplay world a great example of this is with armor. Especially armor that is built with a lot of dimension and details. If you get your light off even a handful of degrees it could make a completely different feel to your image. Sometimes this can be a very welcome surprise and sometimes it can be a massive frustration.
When I started into remote flash for cosplay I started experimenting with how different lighting positions would affect my shots and had some really interesting results. Below is a sample quick reference I made with the armor made by my good friend Steven from SKS Props. I had one remote flash in a softbox and started with it just out of frame in the 12 o’clock potition. I then rotated it around at the same distance at 45, 90, 135, 180, 225, 270, 315 degrees to complete the circle.
As you can see there is quite a bit of difference in what parts of the armor pop. I hope this helps the next project you shoot to take some time and experiment with some unconventional light angles. You may be surprised with what you find out!
(Links below to the Lindsey Sterling Dragon Age video that actually used this armor as well as affiliate links to all the gear I used to do this. Enjoy!)
Below are affiliate links to all the hardware I used to create this quick reference guide. This is the setup I use for all of my single light shoots now. Typically I use two or three lights in my shoots now, but this is the basics and will get you going without breaking the bank. (Note that you also need an SD card for the camera)
Below is the music video for Lindsey Stirling’s Dragon Age where this same set of armor was used. Enjoy! (Mute on by default – you’re welcome 🙂