Using daylight one flash for a different mood

Wendy Mayberry's picture taken at about mid-morning looks like it was taken at dusk because she was able to use one Speedlight using a shutter speed of 1/800 sec f5.6 ISO 100 Canon 60D 35mm setting on 18-200 zoom. I added more warmth in the color in post production to create the illusion that the picture was taken at dusk.

Rainy or cold weather should never discourage photographers from leaving the house.

Some of the more unusual and interesting pictures happen when the sun is not dominant in the heavens.

Landscapes have a different feel when clouds appear in the sky.

Compare the picture that Wendy took with what the scene was like in the picture on the left. Her models brought a change of outfits which made her pictures even better.

As with my previous field trips, weather threatened the field trip for my Digital Wedding Photography class.

Joel Charbonnett Jr shot model Danielle Borao with a 50-135 zoom at the 120mm setting, exposing at ISO 100 1/200 sec @ f3.2 with a Speedlight on manual power to fill on the right of camera position

Thankfully, I didn’t have to tell 8 students, 2 couples and 1 model about Plan B.

I told everyone I would make a decision in the morning and I’m glad I waited.

Working with ambient light

On any sunny day, once the sun comes out, over-powering the bright sun with just one Speedlight is next to impossible even with High Shutter Speed Sync mode unless you’re placing it inches away from your subject’s face.

When we met at the park, we had periods of bright sunshine followed by cloudiness all morning.

Perfect for our purposes.

Our setup for off-camera Speedlight triggering:

One Speedlight on a lightstand fitted with radio slave receiver without any light modifier.

Even though there is a circular socket with a way to attach an umbrella, we didn’t bother using an umbrella.

The Speedlight does not put out enough light, that’s why.

What we used for the session in the park: a Speedlight, a set of Cybersync radio slaves

Working with our models, 3 couples and Danielle, my students quickly got a good feel for what works.

Rather than give them specific directions, I showed them how the radio slaves worked and allowed them to explore on their own.

Jacqueline Rodriguez-Martinez's picture of Malika and Erving. Speedlight is on the right just outside of the frame.

At the end of the day, I hope they would come to realize that having too much light in any scene which you can’t control is terrible.

And that is why it’s always preferable to learn to light so that you can work around a situation when what’s there is just not giving you what you want.

Not all the pictures that worked utilized flash.

The point of the exercise was to assess the ambient light.

Then practice with the couples as if it were an Engagement photo session.

Wedding Photography class field trip

Peter Phun Photography

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3 thoughts on “Using daylight one flash for a different mood”

  1. Jessica! Thank you for saying so. Always great to hear from you. Exchanging vows again soon? If you do it near me, I’m there for you. Just let me know!

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