Instructions for Using the Demb Portrait Dish
There are a few different ways to use off-camera flash with your camera. Some cameras have a control or ‘commander’ function, which triggers and controls off-camera flashes. Various radio control systems are available, as well as slave flashes and optical synch ‘eyes’ which may be used with regular flashes.
Place your flash, with the Portrait Dish either to the right or left of your subject, making a directional main light. Place the light as close to the subject as possible, without the light appearing in the frame. Why? Because the closer it is, the more the light ‘wraps’ and the nicer things look. It is advisable to use some kind of fill light, along with the Portrait Dish Reflector, for filling the shadows in your portraits. You may use a fill reflector or white card, mounted on a stand, on the opposite side, or another flash, usually set at a lower power, on your camera or on a second stand. For these examples, I used the second flash with a Big Flip-it, on a second stand, for a fill light.
In this family grouping, the flash with the Portrait Dish Reflector was placed to my right as a main light on a light stand, about five feet from the family at about the height of the Dad’s head. Another flash with a Big Flip-it was placed to my left at the same distance, but a little lower, to fill the shadows created by the main light. The fill light was set two stops weaker than the main light. The result is a ‘normal’ light ratio of about one to two, between the highlight and shadow side.
In these two portraits, the fill light was set about 4 stops less than the main light for a dramatic light ratio. This is usually called ‘low key’ lighting. Experiment with different fill levels to create the light ratio you like best.