#1: Fashion Portrait
A simple shot. Night falls in an interesting architectural environment with decorative but weak illumination.
So I first metered the background and decided how bright/dark I wanted it to be. It helps enormously to understand the concept of the zone system, but in todays digital age trial and error will get you into the ballpark. Camera is set to (M)aster mode, of course. You want consistent and reproducable results. This here is something like 1/4 sec and f:4 oder f:5.6 @ 1600 ISO. Neutral balance set to tungsten because of the ambient light and in order to get the heaven show a deeper blue. Thee is some rest of light in the sky, this sis around dusk. "Nightshots" are better not taken during the night, if you can help it.
So far, so good, but what about the frontal light? Bluntly on camera would result in a flat face just like all the other dummies and your Grandma shoot it. Off camera is the word. This creates modulation. I used a Metz 45CT3 torch type flash gun that I filtered to tungsten to match ambient and the camera setting. Also I flashed through a white umbrella to substantially soften the light. The most simple solution is to bully someone into holding this in his/her hands, with the flash on a long cable. But if you are more the pacifist kind of person, you might consider using an umbrella tilt head, which allows to handhold it. See below. Flash was set to 1/4 manual power. I think.
While you are already lugging around an umbrella, you can as well buy some more muscle and pack a compact lamp stand as well. And when you don't like tripping over flash cables, a cheap radio trigger from ebay is another good idea.
This set is assembled in about 30 seconds, folds ultracompact, and the whole shooting didn't take more than five minutes. Details: Metz 45CT3 torch type flash gun. I took off the bracket holder and attached a thread converter from 1/4" to 3/8" plus rapidapter 3/4" to 5/8" spigot, the usual mount on standard lamp stands. The next part ist a Manfrotto tilt head for umbrellas - indestructable. Regular transparent white umbrella. A compact Manfrotto lamp stand. Cheap Chinese 4 channel radio trigger RF/RD 604 from ebay. Of all the cheap radio triggers these are the only ones I can recommend, and even these are more or less consumables.
One word of caution: Outside you might be subject to something the experts call "wind". Make sure this doesn't take your umbrella and lamp stand away. Strap your camera bag or sand bags with velcros to the lamp stand or bully someone into holding the lamp stand.
Got it? Then get going and shoot some yourselves!