Six tips to use your DSLR and a speedlight to make wonderful spicy holiday photos of your partner.

3/17/2015 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

Our friend Michael has six tips for you to follow to maximize the potential of your camera. With a little knowledge about how to utilize exposure, lighting and posing, you can improve your holiday photos by an order of magnitude. Get more information on

If you're taking your DSLR to an exotic or beautiful location, you're going to need to travel light with your most essential gear. These tips will give you the information you need in order to create some amazing and spicy holiday photography.

1. High end speedlight and a softbox
You'll benefit from a high quality speedlight and softbox if you're going to be doing indoor and outdoor photography. A sophisticated speedlight is going to provide you with adequate light, while a softbox will let you make full use of that light in a diffused but controlled way. A stand and a multi-boom combined with these two photographic assets are going to let you create quality shots that really pop.

2. TTL Metering
Through The Lens Metering or TTL is a great exposure when doing on location photography. TTL lets you configure your flash power without having to continually go through your controls manually. By using this method, you can have your camera gauge the level of exposure while your speedlight tries out a flash to see what works based on these readings. Then you can have an automatic flash that fills your subject with just the right amount of light. This way you're not spending all your time trying to set that manual exposure.

3. Composing in Layers
You'll also want to compose your images in layers wherever possible. It makes a photo much visually appealing. You're going for a blurry foreground, a crisp middleground and blurred background. These layers are going to engage the eye of the viewer and also help focus them on the model or subject of the shot. Layers add complexity, mystery, and intrigue with ease.

4. Posing her Chin, Shoulder and leaning her
Posing your model is also very important for the overall quality of a shot. Getting your model to align her chin with her shoulder and lean in towards the camera is a neat trick that's equal parts sultry and visually appealing. Have her turn sideways and line up the shoulder and chin, and you've got instant visual chemistry.

5. Use High Speed Sync outside
High speed sync can help you control the ambient light in your photography on a bright day. It enables flash photography at sync speeds up to 1/8000s. This way you can work with an open aperture for shallow depth of field and you can still make your subject popping out by lighting it with your flash.,

6. CTO gel for Indoor Flash
Lastly, you may want to use a CTO gel when you head indoors to artificial light. Color Temperature Orange gel will help match your flash to the Tungsten light inside, keeping white walls looking white and skin looking skin colored. Just don't forget to set the white balance of your camera to Tungsten.

Bonus: Flashpainting
Lastly, if you want to try something new, use your speedlight in a dark room to do a 'flash painting' of your subject. Using a slow shutter speed like 10 seconds and a hand held speedlight, you can create a unique photo that looks crisp and amazing.

Use all of these tips to take your own spicy holiday photos and see first-hand how much fun it is!

Gear used in the video:

Phottix P200 light-stand: link to
Phottix Varos II BG Umbrella Holder: link to
Multi-boom 16" Flash Bracket: link to
Easy-up 60x90cm (42") Umbrella Softbox: link to
Mitros+ Speedlight: link to

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