• Rich - RICH Photography

Making the Impossible, Possible (strobist tip)

If you reading this you probably a strobist, you love your flash and your lighting.

So why is this technique something you should try do...we all know that the closer the light source, the softer it is and the more accurate.

We definitely not the first or only photogapher to use this technqiue but its definitely worth having in your bag of tricks. We will be making a YouTube video on this, but for now we will keep it as simple as possible.

So this is what we do. Firstly we set up the shot, as you can see below, we get the light/stobe/softbox as close as we need to the model/subject. As soon as the flash fires, the assistant will quickly move out of frame with the flash and then take another shot (without moving, as long as you fairly stable or lying down you dont need a tripod, if you would like to use a tripod, it will make the post in Photoshop a lot easier)

Example 1:

Shot 1 (flash in frame)

With Flash

Shot 2 (assistant removes flash/softbox)

Without Flash

So from here its pretty simple, open both photos in Photoshop, put your "flashed image" on top of the "unflashed" image and create a layer mask. By using a brush coloured with either BLACK or WHITE ink you are able to "brush out" the softbox/light source out of the first image, revealing what is underneath (the unflashed image).

And this is your final image. This is a very confined example so we have done another below.

Final layered image

Example 2: (thank you to Karin Anker from TDSP for assisting with this shot)

Shot 1 (with flash and assistant)

With Flash

Shot 2 (assistant removes flash and out of frame)

Without Flash

Then apply the same process as explained in Photoshop creating layers to remove the assistant.

Final layered image