This is an image I created during one of my Photo Tours in Namibia.  Our group had spent some time in this village and among these wonderful people so they were very comfortable with our presence and happy to go about their daily life whilst we were there.

In this instance, the children were returning home after a day tending the goats and the evening light as the sun set behind the village really enhanced the earth tones and textures of the Namib people and their desert environment.  I wanted to capture the light and mood of this moment, but I also wanted to capture the children who are such an important part of community life.

I therefore chose to use portable studio lighting to help create the image I was after.

Firstly, I set up two Nikon SB5000 speedlites on a single light stand.  Both speedlites had a HonlPhoto Traveller 8 Softbox attached.  I mounted the lights side by side on the same stand to give the same lighting effect as one larger softbox.  I love the HonlPhoto Traveller8 Softboxes as they fold totally flat and don’t have a hard mount, which makes traveling with them super easy.  I then placed the stand where I could throw light across the children on their way back into the village.

I was shooting using a Nikon D500 which I put into manual exposure mode.  I then exposed for the background to create the look I was after, using ISO200 at f7.1 with a 1/500 second exposure.  This provided a nice sunset sky with some detail retained in the mud hut, and a soft flare from the setting sun to help recreate the mood of the moment.

I set the speedlites to manually expose for the foreground and the children moving through my shot.  I was able to remotely fire the speedlites via the tiny Nikon WR-A10 wireless remote adapter on the camera.

This is such an effective and easy way to provide artificial lighting when out in the field.  I achieve a soft directional light with minimal hassle, and yet the photographic opportunities this can offer is huge.  I really love the three-dimensional feel and mood this light adds to the finished image, despite being from a different angle to the setting sun.

And the kids loved it as they walked past me and saw the flash going off!

This is one of my favourite images, where a lady carrying firewood happened to walk through the background of the image just as the children were in place for the foreground.  A totally unplanned bonus!

As published by Adorama – https://www.adorama.com/alc/shop-the-shot-chris-mclennan

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