I talk a lot about moving away from natural/ambient light. Don’t get me wrong—you should use the available light to your advantage whenever you make images. But, I like to have more control, rather than hoping the subject stays still or happens to be in a good pool of light. This led me to walking around with a camera in one hand and a speedlight in another. Sure, I could have mounted the speedlight onto the camera, but where’s the fun in that? To top it all off, my speedlight was snooted, so I had to be fairly accurate with where I was aiming it while I took my shots.

I tried this out for the first time at the Fire & Ice Festival in Downtown Frederick, MD. Once I got over how unconventional (weird) I’d look carrying all that around, things started to click. Everything was in manual mode; the camera and the flash—because I wanted complete control. I was able to make images with so much more creativity than I would have just relying on ambient light and/or my camera’s imaging algorithms. The image you see here was the first I’d ever taken with my “light hand/sight hand” method, and was probably the genesis for the EnlightenMeProject.