Make Real Rays of Light with Flash: Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey


In this video I’ll show you how to make real rays of light with flash. Hello I’m Gavin Hoey and you’re watching AdoramaTV brought to you by Adorama the camera store that’s got everything for us photographers and in this video, I’m going to show you how you can capture rays of light in your portrait photography either natural ray’s or man-made and in this video I’m going to focus on the man-made variety. So I’m using the Xplor600 with a long focal reflector, you could do something similar with a standard reflector and a grid but what you’re trying to simulate is the look of the Sun. Now the Sun is 93 million miles away. Now sadly I can’t get my Flash more than a few meters away, so there will be a bit more divergence in my ray of light compared to the Sun but the further back you get it, the better it looks. Now the first thing you need for rays of light is of course light but the next most important thing is something for the light to bounce off, so you can’t just see rays of light in an environment like this, you need to add some atmosphere. It could be something natural like mist or it could be something that you’ve added to the scene for example this smoke grenade would work really well, however today we’re at the Gatwick Aviation Museum in a building that’s about to be demolished but it still has electricity so I can use my trusty smoke machine. You can also use powder or dust but if you are doing this in an Urbex environment don’t kick up the dust in the room because you never know what’s going to be in there. There’s two other things you need to make this work and the first thing is known as a cookie. It could be something that you’ve made but it’s going to block light and let some pass through. In my case I’m just going to use these windows which should work really well. It could be branches of trees that kind of thing. The next thing is a dark background think about it, if you make light beams, you need a dark background. Light beams, light background, cancels itself out. So first thing I need to do is actually set the lights up, so let’s get a model in, let’s get some lights set, let’s get shooting. So to help me out today it’s great to have Beth back with us. Beth is going to be the model for this shoot and the first picture I’m actually going to take is no flash whatsoever. So I’ve dialed my camera in the settings, I want to shoot out, let’s take a picture and see what we get here we go Beth and at those settings, I get not a completely black picture but a very dark background. That’s exactly what I want, so now I’ve turned the light on that’s outside the other side of this wall and I’m just going to take a picture of Beth. I’ve got it on about 1/8th power middle-of-the-road, let’s just see how this changes the picture. Now straight away I can see that, that works really nicely but it doesn’t have that beam of light, for that I need the smoke machines, so let’s get that warmed up. So Sam’s added some smoke into the scene. It will dissipate fairly quickly so I’m going to take a shot now and see how it looks. Okay Beth here we go, quick test shot and immediately that feels very, very different. Now we have the beam of light covering the entire scene. I can adjust the intensity of that beam by adjusting the Flash power. So at the moment it was on 1/8 let’s take it up to 1/2 power, that should make that beam a lot brighter, here we go. So that works really well but as you can see there’s not really much light on Beth and that makes sense because the only light in this scene that we’re really seeing is coming through the windows so let’s add a second light that only lights Beth. So now I’ve got a second light. This is an Xplor400 It is in a small softbox with a grid just to put a little bit of directional light onto Beth, remember I’m shooting f/2.8 so I can quickly meter this just to see what we’re getting on Beth and it is f/2.8 perfect, so that should give me the correct exposure on Beth and also maintain the beams of light coming across. Let’s add a bit more smoke into the scene, see how this looks. Right so that looks really good. There is light on Beth. There is light coming through the windows, this works really nicely, let’s mix it up a little bit and take some more pictures, so Beth are you ready? Okay let’s go for it. Okay a little baby step that way that’s it I’ll try and center you up. Okay last 3 ready, one give me a bit of attitude, and two a really wide shot, three! So there you go, that’s how you can create rays of light using a Flash. I’d like to thank the Aviation Museum for allowing us to use this building and for Beth for being absolutely awesome. Now if you’ve enjoyed this video leave me a comment below, click on the subscribe button and the Bell icon to get regular notifications of all our new videos, right here on AdoramaTV I’m Gavin Hoey, thanks for watching!

66 Replies to “Make Real Rays of Light with Flash: Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey”

  1. Oh I thought you might bring the shots into LightRoom and play with the Dehaze slider to see what effects it might produce.

  2. Awesome work, as always, Gavin. You also gave me inspiration for an upcoming "jungle" shoot a model wishes to imitate with me. No electricity available, tried Atmosphere In A Can at home, but, very poor results…no idea what I am doing wrong, but I do have smoke grenades and will try mixing that up in the scene. Keep up inspirational videos. So very helpful. Huie-Bay Area (California). ๐Ÿ“ธ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. thank u Gavin!! always creating and sharing ur talent, love watching and learning with u ๐Ÿ™‚ greetings from Florida!!

  4. Very cool, would also be great with a gel on the strobe to give a warm tone to the light like a cto ect.

  5. These are beautiful images! As usual. It's as if there's another light come from the back of that old engine at far right of frame? (4:19).

  6. ..and for some real dramatic shots add a teargas grenade ! ย ๐Ÿค—
    Great video Gavin, as always, thanks for sharing !

  7. Bonjour Gavin , video gรฉniale dans cet endroit un peu Urbex …j adore !! Super Setup comme d habitude . Amitiรฉs de France ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ“ท๐Ÿ“ธ

  8. Great video I just like it when it makes my day and it is a lot of fun to see what image Gavin makes

  9. Wow, Gavin! That's one grungy location. But, as always your photos are pristine. BTW, nice smoke work, Sam. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Wouldn't it be better if the second light was pointed in the same direction as the main light, to avoid multiple projections of shadows?

  11. The thumbnail shows her face being lit from the opposite side to where the lightshaft is coming from :/

  12. So delighted to see this new video! Thank you to you and Sam for all your creativity, inspiration and hard work.

  13. The Aviation Museum and you Mr. Hoey are providing us with some great tutorials. Keep up the great work and thanks to Adorama as well. Perhaps it's time to buy some camera gear and try this out.

  14. I have been a long-time follower of yours perhaps when you started your channel that was much before your association with ADORAMA. I have envied your innovative ways you shoot your subjects in a tiny home studio. However, this shoot left me disappointed.

  15. That actually looks kind of bad with the light beam coming from one side and key from the other. Unnatural, not that every photo needs to look perfectly "natural"
    Thx for sharing the technique for those that don't know tho ๐Ÿ™

  16. I'm just wondering how he can shoot so far away at f2.8 and still have everything in focus? Other tutorials I've watched have also shot at f2.8 and there's an incredibly shallow depth of field. I'm just learning at the moment, I mainly shoot landscapes and now I'm trying to learn about Speedlights.

  17. Hi Gavin, great video as always!:) I have just purchased the CHAUVET 1200 and was wondering what type of liquid did you use for this particular shoot? Thanks in advance!:)

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