Street Portraiture 

Helloooo and welcome (back?)!  

I have recently been playing with my Fujifilm X100S. This is truly amazing camera, however I fell out of love with it after becoming accustomed to the fast autofocus of the XT2 - the X100S's autofocus system has much to be desired. 

I gave myself an ultimatum - to either use it, or sell it. After a month of it sitting on my shelf, I realised that it needed to find it’s niche to stay in my camera bag and not in someone else’s. 

One of the defining feature of this camera is the built in leaf shutter - allowing for unlimited flash sync speed! Great, I know nothing about flash photography. Despite this, I bought a cheap Yongnuo speedlight (yn560) and started to experiment. 

I have always loved low-key portraits. And after researching the technique to achieve this effect, I decided that I would challenge myself to take them on the street. This is where the leaf shutter comes in to play, being able to sync the flash and camera at any speeds means that low-key photography is possible even in daylight! Amazing, right? 

The technique to achieve this effect is to set your exposure manually to be totally under exposed. When you shoot whilst firing the flash, the subject will be illuminated against a severely underexposed (black) background. 

I began by using the mounted to the hot shoe of my camera, however, after being totally dissatisfied with the results and more research, I discovered that moving the flash away from the camera will yield more pleasing images. So, how do I fire a flash held in one hand and a camera in the other? 

Well, I tried using a cable, but this was unwieldy and unreliable. But using the slave mode on the camera… now we are talking! Now I can freely manoeuvre the flash in one hand and the camera in the other. Boom! Some of my images are below. 

 

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