My wife Heidi and I went over to a local park to test out some photography ideas of mine. It had been snowing for the past 24 hours and I wanted to take advantage of the falling snowflakes. I’m really pleased with the feedback so I wanted to give some more details on the shoot along with showcase the images.


-3 flashes (both canon and nikon)
-3 flash stands
-1 umbrella
-1 CyberSync™ Trigger Transmitter
-3 CyberSync™ Receiver (battery)
-Canon DSLR with hotshoe
-70-200mm lens

Below is a breathtaking illustration of the overall flash setup. These flashes never moved position but I varied which flashes were firing throughout the course of the shoot. The most important setting (in my opinion) is the zoom on each of the flashes. This shapes the light coming from each of the flashes. Here are my settings:

1. 85mm, 1/4th power (with shoot through umbrella)
2. 105mm, 1/4th power
3.  35mm,  1/8th power

Here you see the order that I added them. My camera was on a tripod so I could get good ambient light if I desired. The details on each shot were 1/6th sec at f/2.8 and 70mm, ISO 800.

Once I got the flashes how I liked them, I increased the shutter speed to knock out the ambient light. The setting on the right stayed that way for the remainder of the shoot.

And we are off and running… Here’s one with all 3 flashes going.

Next, I couldn’t have patience so I jumped right to “the shot” I had in my head. Here’s the lighting diagram and a test shot. I know, super simple.

Time to let loose:

Wait… what did you JUST DO THERE?! After more experimentation we nailed it.

Turning on strobe #2, Heidi’s face and front are illuminated. Before and after.

Now, I want to get on some of this action. I’ve got a wireless remote trigger so after figuring out the longest distance at which it’s usable, we set it for a 2 second delay. The goal is still to stay between the flash and the camera so you don’t get a huge burst of light (sometimes its cool though… just not most times).

Lastly, my new favorite back-cracker :).

There you have it. Snow Strobes. Please let me know if you have any other questions or other topics you’d like me to demonstrate.


These are amazing! I love them!

Thanks, Adam. The backlit shots were also 1/60th of a sec. Because I was shooting in relative darkness after I eliminated the ambient light in that first test shot I could completely ignore that setting and focus on other factors.

Dave showed me these, very cool! For the pictures where she is throwing snow, what shutter speed did you use? Was it 1/60?

Yeah sounds like we should talk! Who knows what sort of helpful hints I might drop that would help you out. Are you going to be at the buddy camp reunion?

Just for the record, this technique is way more difficult than it seems. Being in a wide open space probably helped a lot. I tried this sort of thing in my living room (which is a pretty decent size) and the flash was creating too much ambient light. I tried different camera/flash setting combos for somewhere around an hour before I gave up!

Pointing the flash at the wall is another great idea that I’ve never thought of. Duh, Kyla. Brian, I should talk to you about photo things more often. You know things that I don’t. Helpful things.

Absolutely amazing!! Love it!!

Thanks so my everyone. You’re right, Ruby, we had a blast. It gave me plenty of ideas to try next time we go out.

Yeah Kyla, that zoom is huge. It’s a great idea to step through the levels with you flash pointed at a wall so you can get an idea of the shape of light on each setting. I’d recommend it. Also, you say nice things. Thank you :).

Absolutely stunning illustrations! I especially like the flaming receivers.

Thanks for all the detail. I never would’ve thought about how important the zoom is on the flash. I might try a variation of this with 2 strobes…since that’s what I’ve got. Haha. I’ve just recently started playing with them more since I bought a mini softbox super cheap.

Anyway, I just sat and stared at these for a long time because they’re so gorgeous, and I’m sure I’ll go back through them at least two more times when I get my nicely calibrated laptop back.

Brian, your photographs are amazing. Being in a family who sells photos for a “hobby” I know a thing or two about great photography. And buddy, you’ve got it! Keep up the great work! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

These are amazing!!It looks like Ms. Wolfe is going to do a back flip over you. The lighting is spectacular and it looks like you two had a lot of fun!

Add Your Comment