Capturing a menacing shadow of a cat
I try to use my camera daily if possible.
Taking pictures is second nature to me, so I’m always wondering what it is around the house that I can harass.
I’ve always had a thing about silhouettes. Sure they are clichés but they are a lot fun.
A simple recognizable shape which requires no explanation.
Ominous-looking Shiva was photographed in my backyard around 6 am.
Here’s what I used: my 580 EX Speedlite and its external power pack, an extra long external sync cord, and my Canon 20D camera and 50mm lens.
I took one a light reading of the scene to get a standard exposure: ISO 200 f4.5 @ 1/160sec.
Then I set the Speedlite High Shutter Speed Sync mode and placed it on an outdoor table located against the wall and attached one end of the off-camera sync cord to my camera’s hotshoe.
The other end went to the Speedlite.
Shiva tolerated my putting her on the table 3 times and after she jumped off and that was it.
By the way, if you’re going to attempt this yourself, keep in mind you won’t be able to overpower the full on bright sunlight with just one speed light, so plan on doing this early in the morning or late in the evening.
So to summarize, you’ll need:
1) a Speedlight/Speedlite with High Shutter Speed Sync capability
2) an off-camera sync cord which has all the physical connectors that fools your camera and flash into thinking they are still connected to one another on your hot shoe.
If you don’t want to pay as much and buy an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) Speedlight from Canon or Nikon, I’ve heard great things about the Chinese knock-off flash units made by Yongnuo.
Just be warned that the build, instructions and documentation isn’t great.
If your technical skills aren’t great to begin with, you will likely need the help of someone who knows more about your particular camera make to help you figure it out.