Tagged with: ‘high speed sync’

So I utilized this past winter to see how I can bring some extra flair to my images for my couples for the upcoming wedding season. I just finished reading Joe McNally’s Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash and it was a great way to familiarize myself with new techniques and brush up on older ones. Joe McNally is a master of light, and for any photographer out there who wants to increase their knowledge on flash and lighting in general, I highly suggest you read this book if not all of the one’s he’s written. FYI, I am not sponsored by Joe McNally or Amazon. This book is just amazing and Joe McNally is the man!

After reading the book, I was super inspired (to say the least) to head out and put some stuff to test. The goal of this experiment was to setup and create the images I envisioned within as little time as possible, because on a good wedding day, I’m given 15-20 minutes to photograph my couples. On any given wedding day, I like to travel with the most equipment I can possibly carry alone. This keeps all my gear in one place, my bag organized, and my load stays very light. So I had to create what I wanted with only two speed lights, no matter what constraints the ambient light put on my flash. Ultimately, I want to provide my couples a seamless experience while capturing beautiful images. So if I can create one or two dramatic images (like the ones shown below) within that 15-20 minutes, then it will be more of a self-accomplished goal while producing more interesting images for my couples.

So…the spur of inspiration caused me to call my friend Naz for a few shots on a Brooklyn Rooftop.

Now the image I wanted to create was to add drama to the background by bringing out the clouds and deepening blues in the skies, while keeping the interest and attention on my subject.

 

Naz Lighting 7copy Personal Project: Playing with small flashes to create interesting images

 

The only way to bring attention to my subject was by including some flashes in the image, otherwise, if I exposed for the background, my subject would be underexposed, and if I exposed for my subject, the drama I was seeking in the skies would be lost and washed out. So let’s break down the process and setup of the above image.

First thing I did was expose for the background, and I underexposed one stop as that was my desired effect. This was done through high-speed sync. The exact shutter speed of this series is 1/4000 sec. As you can see, the subject in this case becomes underexposed. So additional light sources had to be introduced, in this case, two SB-900.

 

Naz Lighting 5 Personal Project: Playing with small flashes to create interesting images

 

I placed the flash on the left (the keylight here) at 1/2 power and the flash on the right (to add as a kicker light to the upper portion of the body) at 1/64. Since the sun was setting, my flashes didn’t have to work too hard, so I got by without any battery packs. However, in the early afternoon or extremely sunny conditions, you would definitely need more flash power, or a bigger light source, and I’m not a fan of carrying strobes with me on location. It’s no fun… trust me. Below is the image with the flashes firing.

 

Naz Lighting 6 Personal Project: Playing with small flashes to create interesting images

 

This image above was one of the shots within a series. The original shot shown below, took about 5 minutes to set-up with out any help. I’m sure I can produce a better time with the help of a second set of hands icon smile Personal Project: Playing with small flashes to create interesting images The result was really satisfying, and so I decided to go for a few more photos altering the position slightly, but mainly composing different images.

The equipment used for this mini project consisted of:

 

Naz Lighting 2 Personal Project: Playing with small flashes to create interesting images

Naz Lighting 3 Personal Project: Playing with small flashes to create interesting images

Naz Lighting 9 Personal Project: Playing with small flashes to create interesting images