I photographed Jodi Newton using 2 Speedlites inside Lake Alice Trading Co Saloon and Eatery in Riverside. The Speedlite behind her was set to give 1-stop more light than the Key light just to the right of the camera. Canon 5DMark2 with a 50mm lens. ISO 400 1/30sec f4.5
I usually have the exposure mode on my cameras set to “Manual”.
Likewise when I use my strobes, Speedlites or flash units.
That doesn’t mean I fight the technology especially when the results are consistent and predictable.
It’s always a good idea to learn how to work the Speedlites on power ratio or manual settings just in case E-TTL or iTTL goes berserk and no matter what you try, it’s unpredictable.
Continue reading Creating an on-location 1940 Stylized portrait
Dr. Pamela Clute photographed with the Photoflex OctoDome extra small. There is one silver reflector placed just out of the frame underneath to provide the catchlight in her eyes. A blue gel was fitted over the 600-EX-RT Speedlite aimed at my gray background for a little accent and contrast.
I generally test my gear thoroughly before heading out and using it on jobs.
In the case of a light modifier like a soft box, I would be wasting invaluable time assembling and disassembling it at every assignment.
So with my Photoflex Octodome extra small, I keep it assembled.
For my portrait session with UC Riverside Mathematics professor Dr. Pamela Clute, as with most of my portraits, I have some an idea of the kind of lighting I want even before I arrive.
Still, it’s a challenge.
On location, unless the spot I’ll be working is one I’m familiar with, I have to plan for the worst case scenario and then be pleasantly surprise if there’s good ambient light to work with.
For that reason, arriving early to set up and having some idea of the light setup I want to use is important.
There’s nothing worse than having to rush.
Details get overlooked and mistakes start creeping in.
Continue reading Field test Photoflex’s OctoDome XS softbox
Assembled with grid attached.
When you’re a photographer especially one who does portraiture, there’s no such thing as having too many light modifiers.
They are, after all, the brushes with which you use to paint your subjects.
If you work primarily on location, these light modifiers tend to take a beating from being set up, taken apart and then moved around.
I could have paid a lot less for a softbox for my Speedlite but experience has thought me if it’s a piece of equipment I use often, I’m better off buying one that is well made.
Continue reading Review OctoDome Extra Small Kit by Photoflex
Lizelle photographed by Steve Fetbrandt 1/250sec f4.5 55mm. Notice the background and how distraction abound because of the available light. Notice the highlights? Those are from the sun on the right.
Overpowering our sun is a tall order even with the most powerful of studio strobes.
So to attempt that with small flash units or speedlites that run off 4AA batteries requires either the sun to be covered by clouds or one has to wait till the sun is past its most powerful noon hour.
In case there are those of you reading this wondering why is this desirable, the answer is for control.
One of the techniques I teach during my
Small Flash Lighting workshop is how to change the mood and feel of a scene.
When relying strictly on available light to make pictures, you constantly have to find backgrounds that are not lit or backgrounds that are lit in such a way it is less subdued against your subject.
Remember, in your scene, whatever isn’t lit is less of a distraction.
For my pictures below which were taken at about the same time as Steve’s, I made sure to use my longest focal length lens so I could blur out the backgrounds. (
The longer the focal length, the shallower the depth-of-field)
Steve used 55m to 200 mm Nikon lens but set his lens at the 55 mm setting.
I picked up my 80-200 Canon zoom and set mine at 175mm.
Continue reading Overpowering and changing the mood of available light