Thursday 11 February 2010

Flash Time

Firstly i would like to thank Robbie for this post yesterday, A great place to live by the sounds of it and some fantastic oppotunities

Now i mentioned that i had received 3 new flashguns at Xmas-Nikon SB600's to be exact, Now these are base model strobes unlike the all singing all dancing SB900,s of which i have one, I actually wanted basic flashguns to act as remotes for night time work that i have planned for this year, I am going to have a set up in the woods for Opposum, Fox and Raccoon all of which are nocturnal dwellers in my part of the country, They are total unhabituated and will take some time and effort to get any images of, The type of challenge that i love and a long term project, the last couple of days the weather has been so so, So today i decided to get the camera gear out and do a dummy set up in my house,I closed all the blinds and turned the lights off to get the room as dark as possible, Set the camera to manual focus and manual exposure-1/25@F16, I used 3 and 4 flashguns controlled by the Nikon SU 800 transmitter which is similar to Canons ST-E2, The Nikon is very easy to use as it has an LCD screen on the back which you can control 3 groups so i had 2 flashguns in 1 group and the other 2 flashguns had a group each, You can then take a test shot and looking at the screen determine if any areas need more or less light, You can then control the flash out put by the SU 800 by compensating the group up or down, All very easy which i like, In the wild i use a flash each side of me,1 high and 1 low to light the animal both above the head and under the chin and then 2 flashguns behind to light the background, If you just use 2 flashguns in front of the animal you tend to end up with a black background and it looks like its been done in a studio as the image had no depth, I had 1 willing subject-a bunch of flowers and 1 not so willing subject-Alfie my dog, The flowers were easier to deal with and after a couple of shots Alfie had had enough, I played around for a couple of hours in total and will make a studio in the garden to get all the setting right before i go into the wild, One way of going about getting consistent night exposures is to measure your set up, I tend to use a log or similar as a base to put some food on for the animals and then measure a metre or so from the set up for the flashguns-you can use a length of string, then every time you set up use the string as a measure so that the flashguns are the same distance from the set up,Once you have your flash settings then as long as you do this you will always have a consistent exposure-easy,Flash is one of the most misunderstood parts of photography so if the weather is crap and you have nothing important to do then get the flash out and have a play-Digital makes this easy,Check the screen for flashing highlights and the histogram for exposure
Note when looking at the test shots here that the room was nearly pitch black and all the light was from the flashguns ,The flashguns didn't have any diffusers on and that's something i will be playing with to soften the light on the front flashguns
Also note that Alfie had a flashguns pointed at the back of his head/body-hence the rim lighting-This i wont do in the wild


No comments:

Post a Comment