For correct flash exposure, 4 things need to be controlled and balanced:
- distance (from the flash to subject)
- power (the flash's actual blitz of light, taking into consideration any diffusion)
Two things relate to camera settings, and two things relate to the flash itself.
To really understand flash photography, it is essential to memorize those 4 things.
If you need an acronym to remember things more easily: PAID
Power, Aperture, ISO, Distance.
There are distinct ways in which flash exposure is controlled though - Manual Read more inside...
There is a fundamental principle in lighting : the larger your light source, the softer your light.
Using any of the myriad of flash modifiers that are on offer, helps in achieving that - spreading the light from the on-camera Speedlight much wider, thereby creating softer light that direct flash would've given. However, (and this is a big however), these flash modifiers also throw light forward. Ultimately all flash modifiers do the same thing - they disperse a lot of light around the room, while throwing some measure of light directly Read more inside...
The breathtaking sight of lightning splitting the evening sky has to be one of the more dramatic subjects to photograph... and also surprisingly easy.
A vivid burst of purple lightning over this store, framed by the arch of the veranda I was sheltering under, contrasts perfectly with the yellow cast of the artificial light. Of a series of 10 photos I took here, there were 2 usable images with lightning. The strong color cast are from the street-lights, and having used daylight-balanced film.
April '91 .. Colesberg; South Africa
Pentax Super-A; Read more inside...
Directional light from your on-camera bounce flash
Most often when photographers start using their flashguns out of the directly-forward position, they move the flash head to point 45’ or 90’ upward. The idea here is to bounce flash off the ceiling. Even though this is an improvement in most cases over using the flashgun pointing directly forward, this is also most often not ideal. We can improve on this.
If we consider how studio lights are set up, we’ll rarely see a light source directly overhead of our subject. Top lighting just isn’t as flattering as light coming in from an Read more inside...
I've been so inspired by the various photographers at seminars and magazine articles, telling everyone to just look for the light and to find the light.
So many photographers just use available light, and make the rest of us who aren't blessed with perfect light like they have in la-la-land, feel so inadequate. It is our failing as photographers if we can't find the light and use it properly. I felt I had to rise up to this and push myself as a photographer, and just look for the light. It is there to be found!
Inspired like that, I approached Read more inside...
Developing your photographic style - the necessary photo gear
A constant debate that I see online is whether a specific piece of equipment is justifiable. And whether it is justifiable in terms of a business decision. The discussion typically centers around something like the eternal, "What will the 85mm f1.2 give me that the 85mm f1.8 won't? And is it worth $1000 more?"
But I feel that in phrasing the question like that, the real effects that equipment choice have on our style are disregarded. I firmly believe that:
Style should always be evolving, borne from our choices and Read more inside...
You know you've arrived when other photographers start ripping off your images and text from your website. I was double lucky here - my entire website was appropriated by another photographer.
How I discovered this - a friend let me know that when googling my name, there is a link that comes up with another photographer's website. So I checked it, and sure enough - there it is with some of my images, and a copy of the original HTML-based design of my website, One Perfect Moment, as it appeared at the time. My entire website ripped Read more inside...
How to use the camera's histogram for exposure metering
Histograms display the relative levels of the darker to brighter tones. As the histogram stands, it isn't of much direct use to us, since the tonality of the scene that was captured will dictate what the histogram shows us .. without a direct indication of whether exposure is correct.
Some will say that a histogram should have an even bell-shaped curve, but this is too simplistic. A light toned subject against a white wall will show a much different histogram that a dark toned subject against a dark wall .. even though the Read more inside...
Generally, you wouldn't use flash to photography fireworks. But when you have someone in the foreground, then it becomes useful to have your subject lit up with flash, to balance them with the background (the fireworks display.)
Photographing people with fireworks in the background, is just an application of the technique known as dragging the shutter. I had the couple in an area where there wasn't much ambient light, so that I could light them mostly with flash. The strobe was a Quantum T2 with an umbrella, used in manual.
My flash exposure Read more inside...
Tightening the hotshoe on the Canon 1D series camera
If your hotshoe on your Canon 1D series camera has become loose, it is an easy fix! Somehow the 4 little screws that hold the hot shoe to the camera body can wriggle loose over time, causing the flashgun to wobble. This can even lead to poor contact between the flashgun and the camera.
Fortunately, to fix this, all you need is a set of jeweler's screwdrivers. Read more inside...