Shoot from the Hip!

I first saw this self portrait concept in one of my contacts photo streams and I loved it. I had to have a go for myself!


Stesettantadue's version is excellent IMO. But as an exercise I wondered how David Hobby or Joe McNally might light it. I can remember David recently saying he was "digging hard wrap around light" and Joe’s comment that "everybody looks better when they’re warm" was bouncing around in my head too, so I thought that’s what I’ll do.


For my part I wanted to create some drama so I held the strobe in a shoot from the hip position and backed the top half of my body away form that dreaded brolly!



Here is Stesettantadue 's version and I thank him for the idea. This has certainly been the most difficult self portrait I've attempted, with 4 strobes and 10 seconds to get exactly into position in the dark, it was tough to get it right. Needless to say it took many frames to get the shot I wanted.


Strobist Info: Nikon SB25 speedlight on 1/8th power and 50mm zoom shot from the hip into a 41" white umbrella. A second Nikon SB25 gaffer taped to the shaft of the umbrella with a wide diffuser and set to 1/8th power. For the wrap around backlighting a third Nikon SB25 camera left on 1/16th power and 85mm zoom and a Canon 430EX back camera right on 1/32 power with a 6" snoot. Strobes triggered by Pocket Wizard ll's. To warm the shot up a touch I set the white balance to “cloud” (approx 6000k) and shot with the bare strobes. I tried a quarter CTO gel but it coloured the white brolly to much and I didn’t like that look.


Learn to light at



  • Luis Eduardo ® 7y

    I want to go there, it's beautiful
  • blaircook 7y

    Absolutely brilliant.
  • victor*f PRO 7y

    Wow, well worth the effort. Thanks for taking the time to explain the settings.
  • r o s e n d a h l 7y

    Nice! I like the pose. I did something similar, too, except it was raining so I used the umbrella as an umbrella. :)
    BBQin' In The Rain
  • Schoolbookdepository PRO 7y

    Thats a classic.
  • UM Sizzle 7y

    cool shot
  • Trista 7y

    Awesome shot! I love the lighting.
  • Bachspics PRO 7y

    I'm the Admin of the The Gallery Of Fine Portrait Photography It is new. This is an exceptional photo. I hope you will consider it an honor to place your photo in our fast growing “invitation only” gallery of over 600 of the best portraits on Flickr. Please add it to Feel free to tag your photo The Gallery Of Fine Portrait Photography.

    Please read the guidelines on the front page of the pool before sending self-initiated uploads.

    While you are there, please feel free to enter a contest and introduce yourself.
  • Bakari Chavanu 7y

    Gots to try this. Very cool.
  • Steve PRO 7y

    Hey! I did some shooting from the hip today with Bokeh! I had the camera on burst, AI whatever so it focused continually, then played tug with Bokeh, as I shot away! Great fun!
  • Michael 7y

    It's a great result. I like the lighting on your hair as well.
  • Dominic Cannistra 7y

    wow, very cool shot
  • PegaPPP PRO 5y

    Really a great work !
  • MichaelSenior 5y

    Cool ideat mate. So is that one or 2 flashes in the photo? I am guessing you have one in the brolly plus the one you are holding?

  • Greg Cee PRO 5y

    Thanks Mike. You're right with the first two, then another two diagonal strobes from behind to sculpt the body out of the darkness. Four in total :)
  • MichaelSenior 5y

    Very cool. Might have to borrow my bro's and give it a try myself. Love how yours turned out.
  • Scott Goodwill .com 4y

    I did something similar.
    I can dream by Scott Goodwill
  • mentalPICTURE PRO 4y

    Hmm..... a flasher actually caught in the "act"!
  • Greg Cee PRO 4y

    LOL - mentalpicture - you've got it in one :)
  • mentalPICTURE PRO 4y

    Really funny shot, yet the lighting control is excellent and shows great skill. Dave
50 faves
Taken on May 24, 2008
  • EF50mm f/1.4 USM
  • ƒ/11.0
  • 50.0 mm
  • 1/180
  • 400
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
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