indigenous dancer cairns coca
An indigenous dancer at the Centre of Contemporary Arts (Coca) in Cairns, Australia

As photographers we learn to appreciate light in all its forms. When working with natural light we are totally at the mercy of the elements, which can often mean waiting for hours, if not days, for the conditions to create the image we see in our mind’s eye.

When we work with flash, however, we get to be the masters of our own destiny. Which is pretty handy when you’re working indoors under pretty ordinary lighting. This shot was taken for a production at the Cairns Centre of Contemporary Arts, or Coca as it’s affectionately known. You probably know it by the big jelly babies out the front if you’re local.

This image was totally lit by two small speedlight flashes. One on the right hand side of the frame with a yellow filter, and one on the left hand side with a blue filter. The fast flash time stops the dancer mid-jump and the use of a fast shutter speed ensures the background is nice and dark to help him stand out.

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