First Strobist Test

First Strobist Test

I just want to preface this by saying that this shoot was entirely for fun, and to finally test out my new one light strobe setup. Up until now I have been shooting mostly with natural light. While natural light is great, and produces amazing photographs, it is limiting in certain situations. I had been wanting to get into using off camera strobes for some time, as I wanted to expand my skill set as a photographer, and, quite frankly strobes are just fun as hell, and open up a whole new world of creative possibilities.

I think for the most part the shots came out pretty well. I am still learning the complexity of the strobes and every shoot and experiment is a step forward in knowledge.

With that said, I couldn’t have done this without the help of Zack Arias and his amazing One Light workshop DVD . I suggest you either go to one of his workshops or buy the DVD (like I did) directly from the site. I have watched the dvd many times and I am still learning from it!

Strobist info:

Vivitar 285 portable strobe

60 inch Westcott convertible umbrella

SV 10 foot aluminum light stand

Cactus V4 wireless triggers

Basic one light setup

My personal favorite of the shoot

Since we were losing light fast and the strong wind was preventing us from shooting (with the umbrella) in the open parking lot that I wanted to shoot in, I decided to take off the umbrella and go modifier free. I think the harsh light works pretty well in this situation.

For this shoot I was finally able to use a proper wide angle lens. I shot with the Nikkor 18-70mm ED DX. Its a nice little lens, fast focus, and since I was shooting with flash I didn’t need the speed I usually do with my Nikkor primes in natural light.

I certainly can’t wait to get back out there and continue to experiment with my one light setup, expect some awesome pics coming!

Special thanks to Rob Zawistowski, for being my go to test model and Jesse Rowe for the lens rental.

Also check out for other goodies and tricks for using your off camera strobes.


  1. Great shoot Cody – I really really like the colors! That along with all the contrast really creates a mood. The last one is my favorite.

  2. Thanks Katie!
    PS – Your gonna need to make some kick ass wardrobe for me soon, then we can have a real epic shoot to showcase it!

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