When shooting on location you need small, portable tools that you can depend on to create beautiful light. Speedlights are an inexpensive and effective alternative to using big studio strobes. In this hands-on workshop, Jayesunn Krump will teach you to use your flash to its fullest potential.
My favorite TTL control tool is the Nikon SU800. It is a control unit that is part of the Nikon Creative Lighting System. It acts as a dedicated controller along the lines of the Nikon SB700, 800, and 900, but with out the flash capability.
While out shooting the other day I came across one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen.
It was led off by what looked like a couple of elementary school rooms of the typical make. Lots of miniature furniture and finger paintings everywhere.
The next room was a replica of a large hospital room with six to eight beds. Now to me this was really out of place especially right next to elementary school rooms.
The next rooms was the the one that made me look twice though. It was another hospital room but this one was occupied. There were just under a dozen or so resuscitation dolls and other assorted medical dummies in the beds of this last room.
When I first saw them I totally thought they were real people and I nearly let out a little yelp. However the real site was in the corner of this room. It was there that the rest of the “patients” were. In the corner were another half dozen or so practice patients piled into various wheelchairs laying back with their mouths open. I had to snap a quick pick of the scene through the window.
Like I said it was one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen while out on a shoot.
We had a few different adventures out on this location but I will save that for another post.
Keep an eye out at www.vanishedtwin.com for some of the photos from this shoot and here for another post.
In 2011 we published our first book. And only less than a year later, our 2nd volume has become available for everyone to enjoy. It contains a selection of fifty of the most amazing and popular photos shot by just as many talented community members from every category you can imagine.
Similar to our previous volume, Strobox vol. 2 seeks to showcase our community’s achievements, acknowledge our top contributors, and most importantly, help us financially sustain our online community. We’re also sharing the book’s profit amongst every photographer who joined us for this initiative and whose work you can see in the pages of this book.
I wanted to share this video from You Tube user snappuppy with a great option for your Westcott Apollo soft boxes. If you want to get some extra tilt from your Apollo then give this a try.
Take some time and also check out his You Tube channel here:
Camera – Nikon D300
Lens – Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5
Exposure – 1/320 @ f/14.2
Focal Length – 35mm
Lighting – Nikon SB900 and Nikon SB600.
Light Modifier(s) – 60″ Westcott shoot through umbrella and a Sto-fen Omni-bounce.
Trigger – Nikon SU800
This shot was taken from a bunch of family shots that i took with my youngest daughters play group.
I set up a background in our dinning room, and then the parents and kids came in for photo’s.
With this shot I used a Nikon sb900 and shot through a Westcott 60″ shoot through umbrella as my key light. I then used a Nikon sb600 with an omni-bounce to blow out the background and to also give a bit of rim lighting to the side of his face. I need to try a few locations for the background light in order to get the right amount of rim lighting and background light.
This was the first time that I had met Dominic and his mother Aimee, and I think that he was not too sure what to make of me here.
The selected print of the week is available for purchase in many different mediums over at http://www.redbubble.com. Click on the photo and check out your ordering options.
There are a few things that I think Canon does better than Nikon, and they have nothing to do with image quality.
The first is that Canon uses a button combination to change focus modes where Nikon has this three way switch. I am constantly accidentally changing my focus mode with the Nikon switch. I think that Canon has the better idea on this one.
The second is their viewfinder extender, the: EP-EX15. Nikon has the DK-17M, but it is no where near the Canon equivalent. The canon extender sits about ½ an inch out from the camera body where the Nikon equivalent is about ¼ of an inch.
However I have a solution to this. I have modded the Canon EP-EX15 so that it fits onto my Nikon D300. The D300 comes with the DK-23 Rubber Eye cup. This eye cup is made up of three parts: There are two that make up the body of the eye cup and the third is the rubber around the body. You can separate the two parts of the body by removing a couple of small screws.
You then remove the camera side of the Canon EP-EX15 the same way by removing a couple of screws. Once you have the units pulled apart you can take the camera side of the DK-17M and it will fit into the eye side of the EP-EX15. These two parts fit into one another pretty well, but they will not screw together. So how would you fasten these two parts together? Simple: get the crazy glue.
As you place the pieces together you just glue them together from the bottom up and you should be fine.
Once everything is together and the glue has dried you can securely place your hybrid eye cup extender onto your Nikon body. With this easy little mod you can give yourself more room behind the camera and, for me at least, more comfort while shooting.
Just for the record I do prefer Nikon in just about every other instance.
For the most part there are two different main ways to meter your flash. TTL metering and manual metering.
TTL stands for ‘through the lens’. This type of metering lets your camera make all of the decision for you. What happens is that your camera tells your flash to send out a burst of light. That light is then metered by the camera when it gets reflected back through the lens and into the camera. Once this happens the camera then decides how much power to set the flash to. Then the flash is fired again and the frame is exposed. All of this happens in a fraction of a second. With TTL you will be able to make your decisions about the shutter speed and aperture or you can set everything to auto.
With manual metering you make all of the choices. The easiest way to meter your flash power in manual mode is to use a flash meter. Walk up to your subject and place the meter where you want the brightest exposure at and test fire your flash. You then will get a aperture setting for that exposure. Dial in the settings and take a test shot. Once you have the correct settings dialed in you are good to go.
Both methods have their pluses and minuses. With manual metering you will get the most consistent results. At times the TTL method will vary from frame to frame. Both are good tools to have and I suggest that you become comfortable shooting either way.
If you are just getting your feet wet with off camera flash then I would suggest that you start out in manual metering. With manual metering there are very few surprises and exposure tends to stay put. You can then take what you have learned with manual metering and then give TTL a try and you should be able to predict what is going to happen. Sometime the misses can lead to some fun photography.
All in all don’t get bogged down with the technical side of metering. Give both a shot, make some mistakes and figure out what happened. Eventually you will figure out what works for you and when.
Camera – Nikon D300
Lens – Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8
Exposure – 1/200 @ f/13
Focal Length – 32mm
Lighting – Nikon SB900
Light Modifier(s) – 60″ Westcott bounce umbrella closed over flash
Trigger – Cactus V4
This was shot in studio with the model just about leaning up against a grey wall. I took my 60″ Westcott bounce umbrella and closed it around the strobe that was in it. When you do this the light becomes far more focused wile still retaining some softness.
By having the model so close to the wall I could get a nice and strong shadow from the light source. By moving the light from side to side I could elongate or shorten the shadow to my taste.
I was able to get the grey to go more toward blue by adjusting the white balance.