5 Creative Speedlight Photography Ideas You Should TryUpdated on October 31, 2022 in Photography by Alifiya Mustafa
Speedlight photography is performed by using the Speedlight that creates a bright burst of light to illuminate the subject. It is one of the most common types of lighting equipment that every photographer should use.
What is the Difference Between Speedlight and Flash?
Speedlight is powered using a set of AA batteries. On the other hand, A flash is powered by either a battery or an A/C to power its multiple small LED bulbs. Also, a Speedlight is usually smaller and more compact than regular flashes.
What is the Difference Between Speedlight and Strobe?
Strobe lights have a faster recycling time, have a built-in modeling light, and create more brightness than any other photography lighting equipment. At the same time, Speedlight photography equipment is much more versatile, compact, lightweight, and can create almost similar effects in terms of lighting.
Do You Really Need a Speedlight Photography Equipment?
Lighting plays a huge role in illuminating the subject adequately so that you can capture stunning photos. And, to fulfill that purpose, you do need Speedlight photography equipment.
Its powerful brightness is perfect for illuminating indoors like a ballroom, church, and reception areas. Use it for indoor lighting when working in low light.
The Speedlight photography equipment is also great for sunny days when the harsh sunlight is creating hard shadows and intense sunspots.
5 Creative Speedlight Photography Ideas
1. Create creatures of light
The most creative and exciting Speedlight photography idea is to create creatures and capture themed shots.
Speedlight photography equipment is very compact and you can set them on very low power. This will allow you to direct the light in only the desired direction and illuminate only the particular area.
Since there will be no additional light bouncing around, you can capture magical shots with creatures of light.
To create this effect, simply cut a silhouette of your favorite or themed character like a witch, unicorn, or mermaid on transparent tracing or butter paper.
Tape the cutout on a toothpick and fix it in the desired place. You can use glue, an eraser, or modeling clay to keep the toothpick and the cutout in place.
You can use additional props to create a setup and tell a story in the image. Now illuminate the cutout with Speedlight and capture the photos. It will appear as if the cutout is made with light and will give you a surreal effect.
2. Create your DIY moon
Creating a white light background is super easy, but let’s take a step ahead from that and try a more creative approach to Speedlight photography. Why not create a light Moon and make your model look like a fairy?!
For this you need a large black paper – I mean a VERY large black paper – and cut out a huge circle in the middle of it. You want this circle to be larger than your model’s head so that it looks like a bright moon behind her head.
Fix this paper on a diffuser and place the Speedlight behind your Moon. Congratulation, you now have your DIY Moon.
Instead of a circle, you can create different things like a huge dragon or a whale to capture more creative themed shots for your Speedlight photography.
3. Capture steam in motion
This is among the best Speedlight photography ideas. As you can control it to the fullest extent with the help of the cheapest things, you can capture the mightiest steam or smoke.
All you need is a light modifier. You can use a proper snoot or make a DIY snoot.
For your DIY snoot, take a cylindrical pipe and a cardboard box. Make a hole big enough in the box to fix the cylindrical pipe. Keep the bottom open and place your Speedlight in it.
Place this whole setup behind the source of steam or smoke. The backlight from your Speedlight photography equipment will not only clearly capture the steam but also make it appear almost shiny.
You can create steam by pouring boiling water or brewing coffee in a mug. You’ll want to hold the kettle slightly above the cut to let the steam flow freely and also keep the kettle out of the frame if needed.
However, do make sure that you perform this task with safety and that all the other equipment remains safe from hot water.
For a different approach, you can also capture splashes of beverages, colors, and more with the help of Speedlight photography equipment and the shutter speed.
4. Make subjects glow from the inside
Trying to unleash creativity and fun with your Speedlight photography ideas? There’s nothing more fun than illuminating the subjects from the inside.
You can use the ‘Halloween pumpkin’, a fake skull, or a fancy jar as your subject. Since the Speedlight is very small and compact, you can place it underneath everything.
Simply place the Speedlight below any subject and let the magic happen. Make sure that some of the space is left for the light to glow.
You can create a similar effect by making shaped holes in a box or writing a quote on a piece of paper and poking the holes over the words. These holes will allow the light to pass through when the Speedlight will be put behind and the words would appear to be glowing.
For such creative shots, I’d also advise you to ensure that the rest of the light around the area is dim so that the effect of the Speedlight photography equipment is noticeable.
5. Add drama with silhouettes
Creating silhouettes is one of the most interesting Speedlight photography ideas. You can either create silhouettes of your live subject, i.e. your model or fake pare cutouts and objects.
To create a silhouette, you’ll need to keep your Speedlight on high power to produce a very bright light. Place this light right behind your model and avoid using any light at the front or sides.
When the back of your model will be illuminated, the front will appear dark black which will help you create a thin silver boundary around your model appearing as the silhouette.
For creating silhouettes of small objects of paper cutouts, you may use the same technique as we used for making the moon. This time, you’ll have to invert the process. The cutout should not be hollow and made with tracing paper, but it should be opaque and made with a black chart.
The shape could be a circle, stars, building, haunted house, or any magical creature. For small objects, use the same snoot you used for capturing smoke.
Place the snoot and the Speedlight behind the object or the opaque cutout and capture the image. You can incorporate the smoke, color gels, and other props to make the scene more dreamy and dramatic.
Experiment with new Speedlight photography ideas every day. Its small and portable size makes it excellent for every type of photography and to carry anywhere.
You can use it for various creative purposes as explained above or use it for more important photography lighting needs such as using it during low light, night photography, using it as a fill light, product photography, studio photography, and creating intentional dark shadows.
It’s perfect to fulfill the day-to-day photography needs for your outdoor as well as indoor photography.
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