Flash photography tip - Start with the ambient exposure
Continuing on from the article - best camera settings for off-camera flash - I wanted to show an example of just one set of choices we had in how we balance flash with the ambient light. And again, to reiterate that there aren't necessarily wrong choices, but that we get to decide on the final look. In that linked article we worked through several algorithms to what would help guide our choice of camera and flash settings.
In that article I accentuated the idea that our starting point is invariably with the ambient light. Read more inside...
Off-camera flash tutorial - Off-camera flash on location
Continuing on from the previous off-camera flash tutorial, we explore balancing ambient light with off-camera flash. With this video tutorial, we use a speedlight in a softbox, and we look at using TTL flash. There is a certain simplicity when we work with TTL flash in a non-static situation - we allow the technology to help us get to proper flash exposure quickly. More about this in the article on Manual flash vs TTL flash.
We start off just using the available light for a few headshots of our model, Anelisa. The next step Read more inside...
Off-camera flash tutorial - Balancing flash with ambient light
In the previous off-camera flash tutorial, we started at the elemental level where we did not have to consider ambient light. This helped us in understanding a few of the basics. Ultimately though, where off-camera flash will be used most, is on location where you have to consider the ambient light as well. With this tutorial video, we look at how we would go about balancing flash with ambient light.
With this segment, we cover the essentials such as:
· Using maximum flash sync speed.
· Flash exposure Read more inside...
Off-camera flash tutorial - Flash with no ambient light
This tutorial about off-camera flash, is one of the segments in a series on how to use off-camera flash in a simple scenario - where there is no ambient light. This is a good introduction to the topic. In the next tutorial video, we will consider how we go about adding off-camera flash when we work with ambient light.
With this introduction, we cover the essentials such as:
· Basic gear you would need for off-camera flash.
· How we decide on our settings - in this case, it is really easy. We decide what aperture and ISO Read more inside...
Dynamic off-camera flash - New York elopement wedding
This photo is my favorite taken during Ruth & Philip's New York elopement wedding in Central Park. The genuine affection between them as the couple hugged their children closer during the ceremony in the park.
The essential element in photographing weddings is to capture the revealing moments and all the important points of the event. As a photographer, you can't skip a beat. That's a given. What you add to that in terms of composition and choice of lenses, and how you use light, (as well as post-processing), will define Read more inside...
Portraits with shallow DoF & high-speed sync flash
High-speed flash sync (HSS) has two primary uses - being able to get to a fast enough shutter speed to stop action, and for shallow depth-of-field. Other than that, I rarely stray higher than max flash sync speed. So for me, it is a conscious decision to go to HSS. Or not.
For these playful portraits of my friends, Irene and Michael, I wanted to use the shallow depth-of-field with specific intent. Irene and Michael are at the core of a performance group called the Modern Gypsies. Their official website: Modern Gypsies Read more inside...
Outdoor photo session with kids, using off-camera flash
When I posted photos from this session on FB, there were questions about the lighting (and whether I had used off-camera flash), as well as camera settings. There were also questions about which lens I had used for this sequence - whether it was perhaps an 85mm lens. The surprise perhaps might be that this isn't out of the ordinary from how I usually approach a photo session - Checklist for portrait photography on location. A systematic way to make sure I get images that look really good.
With kids being their Read more inside...
There's that algorithm that I most often use when shooting on-location portraits - find an interesting or complementary background, that also has good light on my subject. If there isn't good ambient light, then I add light. Then, my subject's positioning and pose is adjusted so that the photograph comes together.
Find an interesting or complementary background, that also has good light on my subject.
If there isn't good ambient light, then I add light.
Then, my subject's positioning and pose is adjusted so that the photograph Read more inside...
You can get great lighting with just on-camera bounce flash when shooting indoors, as shown in this related article - Lighting with bounce flash. But at some point you might want more flexibility and consistency. Or you might run into problem scenarios with bounce flash, such as colored walls and ceilings. Or you might run into a situation where you can't use any bounce flash at all, and the available light isn't ideal. Then it is time to step it up with off-camera flash.
Starting out with off-camera flash photography might seem Read more inside...
Softboxes with speedlights for on-location lighting
Off-camera flash is the easiest way to create dynamic lighting - and using a speedlight with a softbox, is on-location lighting at its most elegantly simple. For most of my on-location portraits, I like to travel (fairly) light, and my lighting of choice is a speedlight, wireless transmitters and a softbox. The softbox is either held up by a light-stand (which I weight down with my camera bag), or held up by an assistant (with the softbox on a monopod.)
I like TTL flash - it often gets us there faster than manual flash. But for Read more inside...