Off camera Flash

Scene lighting technique.

Nikon D800 f7.1 1/8th ISO100

Good morning, 

Id like to share with you a lighting technique that you can use to light a scene, even when working on your own. 

The above image consists of 21 images, all shot and lit by myself, and i am even in the image, to add some interest. 

I will show you, how i take multiple images, all lit with off camera flash, and then the process i take in photoshop.


02 Off camera flash wireless trigger pocket wizard boom illuminating the scene

Here you can see me using an off camera flash head on a pole, with the trigger in my right hand firing off the flash and camera shutter remotely. 

Click on image to enlarge.

The final image is composed of 21 frames. 

The camera was mounted on a tripod. White balance taken off auto, manual settings, and with me using back button focusing on the camera, i know when i press the remote, the camera will not try and focus, making all the images consistent. 

05 Start image quick tip on how to flash light

Quick tip, 

Like when making panos, my first image is a large image of me, so i can find the set easily in bridge. 

Also this is a great way to make sure that the flash and camera shutter both fire correctly. 

As when using pocket wizards as the remote, the flash PW has to be set to a channel higher and some times i forget this, and so it is always a good idea to test everything before getting started and walking far into the scene. 

04 adobe bridge using photoshop tools loading layers

Using bridge i select all the images that i want to use, and from here you can easily load them into photoshop as a single document with 21 layers. 

06 using lighten blend mode in photoshop CC

Now turn off all layers, and starting from the bottom layer i work my way up through the stack, turning on, one layer at a time, changing the blend mode to Lighten. 

07 using a mask in photoshop CC

With the blend mode on lighten, the flash light will show. 

Also you will see indicated in this image the hot spot of the flash is in the image. This is easy to mask out. Also i remain in the image by some strange artefacts, just simply mask these out. 

After some cleaning and tweaking here is the before and after image.

The before being unlit. 

It is a subtle difference, but one i find takes your images to that next level. 

If you have any questions, feel free to comment and i hope to help. 





Composite with a snow machine in the garden.

lee ramsden, snow, cold, photoshop, composite, ski, snow board, blizzard, professional, advertising, tree, sun, garden, snow machine, fake, frozen

   Nikon D800 f10 1/125th ISO 100

Good morning, hope that you had a good weekend.

The above is an image that i wanted to play with for a little while now, i have been commissioned to take a portrait of someone advertising a snow jacket.

Where possible i like to do a run of the shoot before the client, to iron out anything the comes up, plus gives their design department a good idea of the finished product and we can tweak it to their taste and needs.

lee ramsden, behind the scene off camera lighting elinchrom rotalux deep octa

  Nikon D800 f10 1/125th ISO100

This was the set up, pretty straight forward really. Two light sources, both camera left. The elinchrom ranger in a large octa positioned in front of myself, so the light was feathered and soft.

with a bare elinchrom quadra behind back lighting the snow.

With a snow machine you can see on the left of the image.

The image was shot with grey paper background intentionally to aid in the photoshop work afterwards.

Image set up and execution around 45 mins, and all photoshop work an hour and half.

Some times these images can take a lot more, but having the final goal in your mind and through experience you can achieve that goal much quicker and have a nicer final product.


  Nikon D800 f10 1/125th ISO 100

Sharrow Bay Hotel Lake District.

Sharrow Bay Hotel Cumbria Lake Ullswater

Fuji film X-pro1 - f5 1/60th ISO200

Hi all, well it has been some time since i have last posted. Many things have changed since i last spoke.

I have a new job working on the Shetland isles, and my free time has been involving working on the house, playing with the little one and I have an additional blog on the go with family images. There are a few things in the pipe line for this blog, so bare with and i hope to post more soon.

These images are from a get away recently to Sharrow Bay hotel. Check out their


Fantastic place. Luxury rooms and a menu to die for.

Sharrow Bay Hotel room review booking

x-pro1 - f5.5 1/125th ISO800 bare flash gun left quarter power, bare flash gun right of frame zoomed to 200mm half power. 

Sharrow Bay Hotel Lake District five star gormet dining luxuary posh cumbria

Fuji film X-pro1 - f4 1/250th ISO200

Sharrow Bay Hotel Lake District Kelly Moss Ramsden five star gormet dining luxuary finest  service cumbria

Fuji film X-pro1 - f4 1/250th ISO200

Sharrow Bay Cumbira Lake District Lee Ramsden gormet dining

Fuji film X-pro1 - f4 1/250th ISO200

Sharrow Bay Hotel Lake District Lee Ramsden Kelly Moss five star gormet dining luxuary

Fuji film X-pro1 - f4 1/250th ISO200

Sharrow Bay Hotel Lake District fine china plate

Fuji film X-pro1 - f2.8 1/60th ISO1250

Sharrow Bay Hotel afternoon tea and cakes

Fuji film X-pro1 - f2.8 1/60th ISO2500

Sharrow Bay Hotel Lake District Ulswater

Fuji film X-pro1 - f11 1/60th ISO200

Damien Lovegrove's speed light street portraiture class.

I have attended one of Damien Lovegrove's Speed lighting course and was thoroughly impressed, 

It was set in Bristol, which is a good 3hr drive for me. 

On route the rain was bouncing so hard that visibility was near to none...

Arriving in Bristol the weather was grey, murky and dull... Where any normal person would go, forget this, kit back in the bag and go home. So i was very intrigued to see how Damien ticks in conditions like these... and from the images i was gob smacked, a lot even look like a glorious sunny day. 

Damien runs many courses, all over the world and so be sure to keep checking his

training website

and see if he is near you! 

Damien's bio - 

"Damien learned his trade as a cameraman and lighting director during 14 years at the BBC, working on programmes such as the Clothes Show, Top of the Pops and Casualty. Days off from filming were often spent taking photographs for a variety of top name clients including Peugeot, Motorola, and Adidas.

Then Julie made an entrance in his life and he realised that photography wasn't the only thing he was passionate about! She comes a very close second (yes, that is a joke) and anyone who has met Damien can't fail to be inspired and motivated by his enthusiasm for his second career. So much so that once you get him started on a subject it's hard to shut him up...

Fifteen years on, Damien has become one of the foremost trainers of photography and entrepreneurial business strategies in our industry. A published writer and regular columnist, Damien has traveled the globe sharing his knowledge and expertise.

NEWS: The Guild of Photographers has given it's ultimate accolade, that of 'Master of the Craft' to Damien Lovegrove in recognition of his skills and commitment to the art of photography and the training thereof. The award has only been given to 5 other photographers throughout the world! "

As you can see, not only can Damien talk the talk, he walks the walk better than most. 

Ive been a fan of his images for some time now, and so to see him work was fantastic. 

Its been said before, but if you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. 

- All the following images were taken on a course... The lighting positions, model, locations were all chosen by Damien. -

Damien Lovegrove tutorial workshop
Damien Lovegrove workshop Bristol off camera lighting
Damien Lovegrove professional photography model Bristol
Damien Lovegrove professional teach training student
Damien Lovegrove signature lighting
Damien Lovegrove class learning how to flash light
Damien Lovegrove classic lighting techniques
Damien Lovegrove model teaching how to use off camera flash
Damien Lovegrove BBC lighting professional
Damien Lovegrove model lighting in Bristol
Damien Lovegrove setting up lights using a fuji X-pro1
Damien Lovegrove lighting workshop signature look
Damien Lovegrove reflection on hotel wall

This one i like, as other then the B+W processing, the effect was created in camera. 

A Brett Harkness training course.

Recently i attended a Flash lighting training course ran by the talented Brett Harkness. 

I throughly enjoyed myself and walked away with a head full of gold and things to try out to my own images. Here is the

training website

There are heaps of amazing courses to choose from, i can see where a lot of my future pay cheques are going.

Brett's bio -

"I have been a professional photographer in the uk now for over 10 years, previously working in the USA in Miami as a cruise ship photographer. In my eyes I am a photographer. I don't see it as a job, but who I am. I could be seen as the "go to" guy for all things people! I love to take photographs; whether it is a wedding, family shoot, commercial or travel assignment, fashion campaign or whilst teaching on one of our many courses."

I booked onto this course as i was blown away by Brett's images, if you want to be the best, then you learn from the best. 

There are so many tutors out there at the moment, who are offering high-end wedding training, and they have never done a high-end wedding -

Where as Brett does day in- day out... 

-The following images were taken on a course, Lighting positions, models, outfits, locations all chose by Brett and his team. -

Brett Harkness wedding model training
Brett Harkness flash lighting course
Brett Harkness signature through a door shot
Brett Harkness old building secret location
Brett Harkness lighting professional photographer
Brett Harkness displaying camera to students a photo genius
Brett Harkness model shoot world class photographer
Brett Harkness lighting a model on the floor training course
Brett Harkness using interesting building
Brett Harkness at work behind the scenes

Hotel room Lighting.

How to mix environment lighting and colour checking

Hi all, 

I wanted to try and show how i think when setting up multiple lights in a scene. 

The image above is lit with 3 SB900 flash guns. Including the stand lamp :0)

How to mix use strobe lights with light fittings

I wanted to see if any of the lights in the room are effecting the scene. Here is a shot with my flashes turned off. At F6.3 1/125sec iso 200 there are no external lights influencing the shot.

How to mix use strobe lights with light fittings environment

Now shooting in Manual, you keep the settings locked in and just change the lighting. All these shots have the same aperture, shutter speed and iso settings.

Here i have a strobe placed in the lamp shade. I turned it to a power where it will not blow out and so some detail will remain.

How to mix strobe light with natural

Here i have one light one, in a soft box lighting in the direction of the arrow. Its set to lift some of the shadows that are created.

How to mix natural light with strobe indoors

Lastly i used a strobe high up with a grid on the front to create some directional light.

To set each light you have to add them one at a time. Even when happy with a light, turn it off so that you can see how the next light will effect the shot. Once happy turn on and have some fun.



Dungeness train track colourised red landscape image

Recently myself and a group of photographer friends headed over to Dungeness in Kent.

This is a place that over time has been heavily photographed and numerous filming taken place.

As from my images you can understand why, the landscape has an almost martian feel to it, with Dungeness being one of the largest expanses of shingle in the world.

Dungeness photogroup having lunch

A quick pint and burger to fuel the creative brain cells...

Dungeness photo group enjoying a beer
Dungeness HDR black and white

Part of the "maintained" landscape.

Dungeness Ali Alister Peck photography

Al taking images.

Dungeness setting sun

There have been five lighthouses at Dungeness.

At first only a beacon was used to give warning to sailors, but this gave way to a proper lighthouse during the reign of James I in 1615. As the sea retreated, this had to be replaced in 1635 by a new lighthouse nearer to the water’s edge. As more shingle was thrown up, a new and more up-to-date lighthouse was built near the sea in 1792. In 1901 lighthouse number four was commissioned; then in 1961 its modern successor, the black and white lighthouse number five, was commissioned and the Old Lighthouse became a tourist attraction. Its 169 steps give visitors a bird’s eye view of the shingle beach.

Dungeness Phil Richardson Yellowmelen balance on train tracks

Phill... well being Phill

Dungeness off camera flash lighting power station

An image taken in almost pitch darkness, lit with 2 speed lights in umbrella's.

Dungeness night flash lighting.jpg

A quick snap shot to show the lighting positions. The light in the middle was a flash light used for focus purposing.




Fantasy Police.

Hi All,

As like most photographers i have had lots of ideas floating about in my note books and so it is time to start creating these images.

The following idea kinda grew out of something else.

The girl friend has got a new car, a lovely little Mazda MX5, which is great fun in the summer with the roof down by the way.

Being mega happy like a big kid i thought that it would be nice to take some pictures for her with her new toy.

I had the idea of long boots and jacket with the car right from the kick off, but was looking for the right location to set it. A fellow photographer friend suggested this place as it has all the items that i was looking for,

Cobbled streets, iron fire escape - it was perfect.

Using  a public street like this certainly comes with its own troubles.

We have to be polite and considerate, if other vehicles come by we have to move, plus all the local nutters come out and talk to you as they must not see things like this very often.

Back to the shot- 

as i was looking for quite a dark styled shot, sin city came to mind, and so this character was born. A sort of dark comic book styled female police officer.

The props - the guns and police badge come off Amazon for a couple of quid. The pistols are bright blue plastic toy guns, as you can not have replica weapons in the street and i did not fancy getting swarmed by REAL armed police.

I hope you enjoy.

Kelly Moss Ramsden Police bad cop Mazda MX5

Strobist info :- This image was lit with 2 SB900's, one bare on the left picking up the car and creating the pool of light on the ground where as the second was in a softbox on the right of the image picking up the female.

Kelly Moss Ramsden patroling police cop car
Kelly Moss Ramsden bad cop Mazda MX5 out door flash lighting
Kelly Moss Ramsden Cop police girl officer handcuffs

Kelly Moss Ramsden Cop police girl officer handcuffs

Stage Writer. Jessica Luxembourg.

I was asked recently to do some portraiture head shots and promo shots for a fantastic stage / screen writer actress Jessica Luxembourg.

With having a little bit of notice with this shoot, i wanted to set it, in a relevant location.

I came up with the idea of having books in the back ground and so set about trying to find a willing bookshop.

I thought the best places to try would be small independently run stores, and so the search began...

They are becoming harder and harder to find. Even this store will be closed at the end of the month.

I think due to the Internet, people do not seem to visit these places any more. Even i am very guilty of this. As it is far to easy to order books from say Amazon or if going to a store we head to Waterstones as they have a huge collection of items. It is a great shame with the changing world the "small business" has an almost impossible fight to remain in the game. 

This was shot in the book castle over in Dunstable,

A big thanks to the ladies who run the shop, They were great and very friendly, with out their help i do not think i would of been able to achieve my goal and so would of had to resort with another back drop.

Jessica Luxembourg stage writer actor 01
Jessica Luxembourg stage writer actor 02 black and white
Jessica Luxembourg stage writer actor 07 books
Jessica Luxembourg stage writer actor black and white books

Biography of Jessica Luxembourg

Jessica Luxembourg is an award-winning writer

(International Student Playscript Competition, Arc Productions sponsorship, Time Out DVious Shorts Award)

Whose work has been performed at venues including the Hackney Empire,

the Soho Theatre and the Pleasance Courtyard.

Her short film "Phil's Job" was produced by Blaze, The Trail with Nick Rowe (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels)

in the title role and screened at the Cannes, Melbourne and Raindance film festivals. Jessica is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, and of Cambridge University.

Jessica's plays include:

Denver, Contact Theatre, Manchester (2006);

Babel Junction, Hackney Empire (2006);

The Devil's Own Goldfish Scam, Soho Theatre (2003);

Insane Jane, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, transferred to Soho Theatre (2003);

Reflecting Flesh, UEA Studio Theatre (2001);

Losing Track, UEA Studio Theatre (2001);

and Craze, UEA Studio Theatre (2000).

Her short films include: Phil's Job, Cannes, Raindance and Melbourne film festivals (2001).

Few behind the scenes images.

I am currently trying more and more to improve and learn flash photography. I love natural lighting work, and would never try and annoy my clients with flashes going off at a wedding or event

With portraiture work and bridal shots I find flash lighting  can certainly aid in creating great images.

Here is a quick image showing with and without additional lighting.


As you can see the model certainly stands out and the image looks much better with additional lighting. It is as you can imagine not just a simple task of  turn on your flash and away you go. Some thought and testing has to be done.

From the images you can see in both that the background is how I wanted it.

Using a speed light in these images I didn’t use a light meter. I took an image without the light to get the back ground exposure correct and then I add the light.

Starting with the speed light on around half power and then I can turn the power up or down according to the exposure, or move the light source towards or further away from the model.

As always im learning while I do this, one thing I learnt from this shoot while lighting was to try and not to light the back ground so much. As you can see in the image above with the lighting, I love how the model stands out, but I would like her to stand out from the background more. From analyzing the images back at home on a large screen I think next time I will try and get the light too fall off the model better and not illuminate the background so much.

 Here are a few images of behind the gear, and from the serious shots before you can see how we have fun and laugh taking pictures.

All the images were lit with a single Nikon sb900 speed light in a ezylight soft box by lastolite.

snow outdoor flash light Ashridge Berkhamsted Hertfordshire 02
Nikon SB900 Exy soft box Kelly Moss Ramsden snow outdoor flash light Ashridge Berkhamsted Hertfordshire 01

Ashridge Snow Shoot.

Good afternoon,

This post is about a shoot I did a couple of weeks ago, but with my day job I have not been able to process and post these until now.  With the recent snow fall I really wanted to do a shoot out in the snow,

I chose Ashridge as I love shooting there,  it has so many different scenes and sets within a few feet from each other.

I will be posting a blog in the next couple of days of my ideas of flash lighting and the usage.

And a massive

Happy New Year to you all from a chilly oil rig in the north sea….

Here are the images from a snowy shoot over at Ashridge. 

Kelly Moss Ramsden snow outdoor flash light Ashridge Berkhamsted Hertfordshire 02
Kelly Moss Ramsden snow outdoor flash light Ashridge Berkhamsted Hertfordshire 02
The North Face sponsored Kelly Moss Ramsden snow outdoor flash light Ashridge Berkhamsted Hertfordshire 

Attend 1st Photography course on outdoor flash lighting.

I have recently been hooking up with Phil over at

Melen Studios

Phil was running an outdoor flash lighting course and so had to attend.

I have been a fan of flash photography, but just lack the knowledge how to use it properly. So a course was right up my street to push and progress my photography.

I would strongly recommend


ran by these guys-

a day outside with a load of cool down to earth people being creative sounds more like fun to me rather then a course.

Here are a few images from the day..

Phil Richardson Yellowmelen photography training a proffesional creative
Alister Peck Phil Richardson Yellowmelen photography training
Phil Richardson Yellowmelen photography training happy guy
Phil Richardson Yellowmelen photography training teaching flash lighting
Phil Richardson Yellowmelen photography training male model
Phil Richardson Yellowmelen photography training female model

Home Made Studio.

With a recent purchase of some Pocket Wizard flash syncs, i was excited to try them out.

This is the first time ive tried to recreate studio looked images.

Im fairly happy with the results, the one of the male on his own is too flat and im not keen on the shadows against the wall, but its all a learning curve :0)

for you strobists out there,

the images were lit with 2 Nikon SB900's, one to the left with an umbrella,

And one to the right with a home made cardboard snoot.

varied power from image to image. 1/32 -  1.4 etc...

Kelly Moss Ramsden Lee Ramsden Hugging Cuddling tongue out humour
Kelly Moss Ramsden model image flash lighting practice in the home
Chris Riley Adidas track suit smiling happy

First time Using Flash at Sunset

I have seen in many different places where i want to take a picture of something while the sun is setting. 

Previously i normally get a silhouette of your subject... 

Well a pop of flash is then required.

So now you have a nice background and your subject all looking good.

Well, I had this shoot for the first time last night, and used the car as the subject.

I took my flash off camera, fired by Nikon's TTL infra-red mode.

The effects are lovely but the TTL mode was driving me nuts, as they have to be in line of sight. So would fire it felt like whenever they wanted.

The flashes were direct light and faced from different angles until I was happy.

Once again this is something im really liking at the moment and so will be Blogging more of this style as and when.

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