I had a lot of fun creating this messy portrait. Very messy. There was flour everywhere afterwards – it is amazing how far white powder goes with a little hair flick! Thank you to the wonderfully willing and totally game Katie, without whom this picture would not have been possible.

I have seen these sort of pictures on line in the past, but whenever I have looked into how they have been taken, they have always been shot in a massive dance studio with (expensive) professional lighting.

Could it be done successfully on the cheap? I wanted to find out...

I managed to find a willing victim.... I mean model.... through a post on FB, bought lots of flour, and set about trying to work out how to take this.

This shot was so far outside my comfort zone it felt like a foreign country, but thankfully I had a lot of mentoring from my friend Ian (who nagged me relentlessly) regarding the flash gun.

I didn't have a room big enough to set up this shot, so I turned the patio into an outdoor studio and prayed for a dry, wind-less evening. My prayers were answered.

Along one side of the patio I set up my black backdrop. I used two of David's car inspection lamps (one directly behind Katie); two LED video lights and my flash gun (all covered in cling film to stop the fine powder getting in and damaging the electronics).

I wish I'd taken a photo of my set-up, but I was so excited about looking at the images after the shoot, and when I did think of it, David had already cleared it all up, bless him. So you will have to make do with this simple diagram.

I had David try it out first, before Katie came over, just so that I had some idea about what I would need to do. Obviously he was unable to flick his hair, so he just used his hand to throw some flour in the air.

The grey hair is natural 

Using a long lens so that I could stand far enough away from the flying flour, I got my beautiful assistants (David and Katie's aunt Julie) to sieve flour over Katie's hair, for her then to flick it backwards.
Katie was an absolute natural, and I really was beyond pleased with how these pictures turned out, way better than my wildest imagination!
Technical Details:

Camera Canon EOS 5D IV
Lens Canon 100-400mm Mk II
Focal length 100mm
Mode Manual
Shutter Speed 1/1000 second
Aperture f/6.3
ISO 800
WB Cloudy
Flash Triopo TR-982 II
Flash setting ETTL 1/1 HSS fired remotely via a Wansen trigger

Minimal post processing in Photoshop CS5, mainly just darkening the shadows and brightening the highlights plus generally tidying up the image.

I also experimented with adding colour to the flour in Photoshop

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