Recently, I was at a shoot where I was only able to bring a very limited amount of equipment. Professional strobes were not available nor there were any modifiers such as grids or anything elaborate at all. I also had a very limited amount of time with this model since she was in relatively high demand during the event that I attended.
I started out with a concept of a strip light, but ended up with something very different. The above image is straight out of the camera without the aid of Filters, layers, or adjustments of any kind.
I asked to the model to pose next to two full size V-flats. I took my speedlight and placed strips down the lens so that only a narrow slit of light emitted. I next zoomed the speedlight to its max setting. I then adjusted the position relative to the model both in height and relative to her sides.
As you can see, it almost looks like I used a beauty disk with a very narrow grid. Shots from this technique ranged from glamorous to almost creepy looking.
I really did not know how what exactly the effect of my little 'experiment' was going to be on my subject, but the combination of her white dress and golden blond hair certainly worked in my favor. You may or may not like the effect, but the point of this post is to try to experiment now and again with lighting. Use a piece of equipment in a manner unlike what you have ever done before.
This certainly does not only apply to professionals in a studio, but to anyone with any sort of camera. Experiment with getting down lower to take images, stand on a ladder, place a colored piece of plastic in front of a cellphone lens. By trying new things you may never that you may be creating a masterpiece of art!
Bob Barford is an award winning photographer based in Southern PA.