May 10, 2012
TTL flash for the simplicity and speed
Okay, true strobists might recoil in horror, but I often prefer using TTL flash to sweeten an image when shooting on location. I just get to the final image faster than if I had gone the more methodical route of manual flash.
For some situations, manual flash is the only way to go. For example, when your subject is static in relation to your lights and you have to get consistent lighting, image after image, then manual flash makes the most sense. But for times where you want to shoot faster, and shoot on the run, I find that TTL flash is the easiest and most fun option for me.
This image of Aleona was from a recent individual photography workshop in New York. As a starting point in explaining how to balance flash and ambient light, we initially work with an easy scenario where the available light isn’t harsh, but also not all that exciting. Now we can easily finesse it with a bit of flash from a softbox …
May 7, 2012
taking photos in harsh sunlight
Taking photographs of people in harsh sunlight will always be one of the more daunting lighting situations we can find ourselves in. Without additional lighting, or the use of scrims, we have a few basic ways of dealing with the harsh sun:
- pose our subject into the light,
- pose our subject with their back to the sun, or
- just suck it up and accept that our photos will look bad.
Well, that last option isn’t really the way to go if we have any pride in our work as photographers. Which leaves us with the two other options …
April 9, 2012
Photoshop tip – easy effect for more punch
Here is a well-known Photoshop technique – one that I like and use on occasion. It desaturates the photograph, while also compressing the tonal range. It creates a modern look that also looks quite trendy. It is also quite easy to apply, by dragging the layers from a reference image once you’ve set it up.
Starting with the original image, I add these two layers:
October 30, 2011
simple lighting setup for studio for studio photography
This photo of Anelisa and Aleona, two of my favorite models, were taken towards the end of the evening of the most recent flash photography and lighting workshop here in New York. The studio that the workshop was held in, had a white cyclorama that was just inviting to be used.
As a recap of manual flash photography, I wanted to show how simple and easy a basic studio lighting setup was … and that it was quite within the reach of every photographer. Well, not the studio itself, but the lighting setup and equipment, as well as the technique, is well within the reach of any photographer …
August 28, 2011
exposure metering & observing the available light
As a photographer you’ll often hear instruction to just “look at the available light”. Great. But this advice is also often given without clear examples of what we’re actually supposed to be looking at. So let’s explore that a little bit using a sequence of images of our model, Aleona, photographed during a recent individual photography workshop.
This is also keeping with the loose theme over the past few weeks, that for a photographer “using the available light” is not a random thing or just a meaningless catch-phrase.
August 22, 2011
using high-speed flash sync / Auto FP
A fun image taken during an individual workshop today - our model, Aleona caught-mid-air … with a fast shutter speed and flash, to freeze the movement. Even Jessica, my assistant with the ‘tood, was positively elevated with the experience of photographing Aleona today.
July 23, 2010
Aleona caught in mid-air during the recent flash photography workshop. As part of an explanation of High-Speed Flash Sync, she patiently vaulted into the air numerous times for everyone who attended the 2nd day of the workshop. As before, the 2nd day is the on-location fun practical segment of the workshop which takes place in Manhattan.
The first day of the workshop still takes place in Jersey City at a hotel where we have a grand view of Manhattan …
May 27, 2010
flash photography workshop in New York
Aleona was one of our striking models at the recent 2-day flash photography workshop held in Jersey City and Manhattan. The setting here was in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn, with Manhattan in the background. The challenge was to overcome the hard sunlight with a small speedlight … and still make it look good.
The flash photography workshops have undergone certain changes over time – the material and sequence of material are always honed over time. The biggest recent change is that the workshop has expanded with an optional 2nd day where we play around further with on-location lighting. The first day is still the intensive workshop – the combination of seminar and practical sessions where we cover everything thoroughly. The first day takes place in a hotel in Jersey City with a magnificent view of Manhattan. (It is right next to the Path station, so it is easily accessible for anyone coming from Manhattan or Brooklyn.)
The second day is where we have fun, and walk around with two models, and try different backgrounds and lighting scenarios. So that’s the workshop now … 2 days, with the first day an intensive 10 hour workshop, with two models. The next day is the application of that, and we roam around the Meat-Packing District in Manhattan with two different models.
Thank you to everyone who attended and made it a success. And a big thank you to our four models. For anyone who might be interested, the next workshop series is coming up in July.
As an aside: the two recent posts on combining video light and ambient light and photographic composition in editing, both featured images from this workshop …
June 20, 2009
Aleona - lit with an off-camera Q-flash T5D-R, using Quantum’s wireless system,
and a 24×32 softbox on a lightstand.
camera settings: 1/1000th @ f4 @ 200 ISO.
- synching at higher than maximum flash sync speed
- video clip: NYC photo sessions
If you find these articles interesting and of value, then you can help by using
these affiliate links to order equipment & other goodies. Thank you!
Stay informed of new articles via the monthly newsletter.
Also join us on the Tangents forum for further discussions.
December 26, 2007
Manual flash vs TTL flash
This posting is going to seem a little dry, and overly techy … but it pertains to questions that I am often asked. So hang in there and let’s go over some of the basics and see how it all fits together.
There are two distinct ways in which flash is handled. Manual flash or Auto / TTL flash: