Learn How to Shoot This Portrait With Off-Camera Flash

Outdoor portraits with a dramatic sky behind the subject are a popular and timeless look, but usually require an off-camera flash to get a proper exposure on your subject. If you are new to working with artificial lighting, this excellent video tutorial will show you how to use off-camera flash to balance ambient light and produce a compelling portrait.

Coming to you from Francisco Joel Hernandez Photography, this great video tutorial will show you how to shoot an off-camera flash portrait with the sun behind your subject. This look is quite popular in a variety of applications, as the dramatic sky behind your subject makes for a compelling photo. However, the issue comes in obtaining a proper exposure on both the sky and your subject. If you expose for your subject, the sky will often be overexposed, but if you expose for the sky, your subject will be quite underexposed, enough that raising the exposure on your subject will likely cause image quality issues. The solution is to expose for the sky and add an off-camera flash to bring the exposure on your subject in line with the sky. It's a useful technique and a good way to get started working with off-camera flash. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Hernandez. 

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Jared rosser's picture

Amazing work will definitely help me progress as a photographer

Demetric Butler's picture

Great work. Exposing for the ambient lighting is one of the things I have been focusing on in my work. Great video.

Daniel Joseph's picture

Ah this is great! I have a yungo flash head I really need to get a hold of a flash controller now. Thanks for the great video!

Samuel Goodson's picture

Great work! This is very helpful in my progression as a photographer. Looking forward to what’s next.

Jeff Bennion's picture

Another great video from my man Francisco

Aaron Vince's picture

Fantastic! This is something I’ve been working on perfecting with my portraits as well. Thank you for posting!

Michael Comeau's picture

Are these fake comments?

Lee Christiansen's picture

They do sound a little bit "keen" don't they... :)

Michael Lightspeed's picture


Daniel Medley's picture

For the most part, yes. Most of the gushing comments are coming from users with no comments until now.

Must be some new kind of "marketing" ploy.

It's kind of cringy.

Daniel Escobar's picture

Decent information, wasn't a bad video but yes the comments seem robotic. Purposefully misspelled words or something.

Francisco Hernandez's picture

The comments are real, guys. I follow Fstoppers and saw my video was featured in this article so I shared the article on my instagram stories. I have followers from different areas of the world so any grammar mistakes or typos are to be expected. Nobody is perfect.

Jan Holler's picture

They may be real, but they are embarrassing in this way and don't belong here. Besides, the video, it must be said, is not really something special.

Francisco Hernandez's picture

I never claimed to be anything special. If this video could help anyone at all even in the slightest, I'm good. I actively make an effort to help others rather than comment on articles all the time.

Jan Holler's picture

I did not talk about you but the video. To me it looks like all those similar comments do look like someone encouraged these people to do so. I do not like it and I think this kind of content along with those ridiculous comments do not belong here. "you are a rock star".

Robby Orona's picture

I personally don’t know Francisco, but the fact that you take the time to bash him for encouraging people to #1 - Visit this site (some who have never been here) and #2 - Check out a video he took time to create to HELP people who want to learn photography shows your character. Stop hating.

Miles Lister's picture

Jan, who are you to say where comments belong? The guy has a large amount of followers on Instagram so his followers have probably came to show their support like I have. Francisco posts helpful content daily showing insights in how he gets these great shots. I have only just started portrait photography so for him to share his knowledge on social media is great.

So how about you go do something productive with your life instead of sitting hear hating on someone that’s done something with his.

Jan Holler's picture

So why don't you stay on Instagram if it is all about followers and praising? Is there not enough room there? Must we see this kind of contentless crap everywhere?
This kind of comments is a good way to kill a forum. And as I see in the comments here, nobody really cares for the content.
Fstoppers is getting more and more a copy/paste-website with a mediocre curating of videos.

Jeff Bennion's picture

Why don't you just go to his social media and look at his posts where he posted the link and see what he wrote instead of guessing and shaking your fist at the sky? The article here is a link in a summary of his video where he makes explaining some lighting stuff. What kind of comments are you expecting there to be? Questions about what's the best lens for portraits?

Chad Andreo's picture

Some people look for any reason to hate on others.

Daniel Medley's picture

Though many of the comments are cringy, there's something to be learned for many people from the information that Francisco provides. Even if you don't use it the same way, it's still good information that can benefit a lot of people.

Sams Legends's picture

This is amazing! I love how he explains the whole progress

Juan Carlos Garcia's picture

I have been following Francisco for a few years. My work has definitely improced thanks to his videos. This is another example of the great work he does.

Robby Orona's picture

Watch your videos weekly. Appreciate the insight!

Fernando Arellano's picture

Thanks for this tutorial. Your breakdown of the steps you used to get this shoot are very well explained. I haven't shot any sunset photos but this is definitely going to make that process easier.

Michael Wilson's picture

Awesome tutorial and great work. You are a rock star.

Robert Nurse's picture

I've been trying to do more of this in my own work. Sometimes it's tough (for me) balancing everything. But, the rewards are worth it.

David Rodriguez's picture

I’ve learned so much from FJH’s videos! He’s helped me go from “I only shoot natural light” type of photographer to someone more or less comfortable in any lighting situation. Really appreciate the time he takes to produce these videos and his labeled bts shots.

Vladimir Ambia's picture

I just logged in to support Francisco.

He is a great creator and photographer.

For someone that takes time out of his life to create content and teach people deserves an applause.

Some of you losers here need to get laid and or figure out how to be positive in life.

Thanks Francisco and Fstoppers.