Sunday 12 July 2009

Tips & Techniques - Use of Wireless Multi Flash

I mentioned sometime ago about the use of wirelessly triggered flash to light subjects. My most recent use of this was on Mull to light a Sword Leaved Helleborine, in dark conditions in the wind, so I needed to keep fast shutter speeds but wanted to maintain a naturally lit feel to it. I will do a more detailed blog on it in the near future.

In the meantime, here is a setup that I used about twenty months. I had organsised a trip to a bird of prey centre in Wales for a few friends. Our subject were all British Birds of Prey and I wanted to place the subjects in the most natural settings possible.

For this shot, we took the Barn Owl into an old derelict barn to represent his natural roosting place. To get a balanced light, we needed to use a wireless multi flash set up.

This consisted of the Canon STE2 wireless trigger - we only had one between the nine of us so we had to share it around. We set up three 580EX flashheads - two either side, strapped to the barn beams and pointed up to the barn ceiling, which was fortunately quite light in colour. This ensured the light was reflected from what was essentially a large reflector rather than point sources. This was critical for the welfare of the bird - we did not want to flash directly into his eyes. A third 580 EX was set up on my monopod behind the bird just to put a little light on to the rear wall to provide a more even balance.

How did that stay upright on a monopod I hear you say? I have the little pull out microphone style feet built into the bottom on my Manfrotto so that it can self support.

Minor success with this last week - it got me a third place in the Advanced Digital Merit at Smethwick Photo Society.

I would never use this is a Natural History section as it is a captive bird, but for general photographic competition entries it is fine.


No comments:

Post a Comment