Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


PRIZES GALORE! Enter The ePHOTOzine Exclusive Christmas Prize Draw; Over £10,000 Worth of Prizes! Plus A Gift For Everybody On Christmas Day!

Low key


MalkyG e2
5 11 Scotland
21 Mar 2013 1:49PM
Can anyone help me? I am keen to try some low key shots,I have a canon 7d,and a canon 420ex spedlight,how do I get the flash sync speed to the correct setting for this type of shots,Thank you for taken time to read this.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

ikett e2
4 372 England
21 Mar 2013 2:42PM
Hi, the synch speed realy doesn't matter, what you need is some type of modifier such as a snoot or grill to focus the flash light.

You can direct the flash at your subject ensuring no light falls on a black back drop, really nice when done correctly.

A method of using the flash off camera is essential, extension lead or wireless remote controller.

A bit more info here

it goes a bit deeper than one speedlite but the ideas are great.

Hope it helps.
timbo e2
12 592 United Kingdom
21 Mar 2013 2:58PM
Agree with the above, even making a snoot out of card will direct the light. I shoot low key on a white background often, as long as it's well directed the background will fall into darkness.
MalkyG e2
5 11 Scotland
21 Mar 2013 3:31PM
Thank you iket and timbo,I will give it try.
puertouk e2
3 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
21 Mar 2013 5:02PM
Try Sekonic site This might be of some help.
wheresjp e2
7 102 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2013 1:05AM
The best information for lighting can be found here ! David Hobby is a master of flash photography and shares his knowledge with the world! I have learned a lot from him!
JackAllTog e2
5 4.0k 58 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2013 9:34AM
Low key, you want to light the subject but very little else;
Sync speed is a max of 1/250 on the 7d, and as you want no ambient light lighting the scene these faster shutter speeds keep that light low.
Next step (unless you go with off camera flash), you don't want the light from the flash to light the background behind the subject - so swivel the flash head 90 degrees to a side, then use a mirror/reflector held of to the side to bounce light back in to light the subject.

Now you can try this on full auto and let the flash eTTL try and guess the exposure on the subject. but you may get varied results. If so go full manual. Flash on full power. Camera on ISO 100, Aperture - start with f7.1 and adjust up/down to suit.

I'm assuming you are shooting with your right hand, holding a small mirror in you left hand at almost full stretch and the subject is about 1.5 metres in front of you and not standing directly against a white wall.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.