Where I have been, what I have done, and why I did it

Archive for December, 2010

12/14/10 My First Session Outdoors With My Off Camera Manual Flash

My first session outdoors with my off camera manual flash

With my new equipment having just arrived, I was chomping at the bit to get some outdoor practice.  Lucky for me, when I arrived home from work last Friday my next door neighbor had returned home from her graduate school studies.  I managed to talk her into a quick photo session downtown and off we went.

For this session, I used one off camera bare flash(LumoPro 160), a light stand and a reflector mounted on tripod.  I thought I had dialed in everything the way I wanted it and began shooting.  Once it got darker, we moved locations and completed one last session.  On this one, I was trying to get some ambient light for rim light. (Didn’t work)

Once I got back to my pc to start the post, I was surprised at how much I was off on the light.  The images were way too dark.  And this would explain why I was not seeing any of my rim lighting in my lcd window on the back of my camera.  I decided to see if I could salvage some thru my post process.

Have I mentioned how much I like Nik Color Effects Pro?  I used a lot of the filters it provides to process these shots.  I did use one topaz adjust filter, but I probably used about 4 Nik filters – most notably Pro Contrast, Brilliance/Warmth, Lighten/Darken center, Dynamic Skin Softener, and slight Glamour Glow.

Below is a before and after one of the shots from this session.

Out of camera

After Post-


12/08/10 Strobist Photography

Few months back, I stumbled across Bert Stephani’s youtube videos on strobe lighting.   Bert is a professional photographer from Belgium who really sparked my interest on this subject.  On a side note, I got a kick out of Bert’s bio from his website bertstephani.com-

“Bert likes to play but not by the rules. He wants to have fun and is a master in talking others into his crazy adventures.”, that’s what a school councilor once said about me. And he added: “That’s why we’ll expel him from school”. I’m not sure if I should have seen that as an encouragement, but I did anyway.

The more I studied “Strobist” photography, the more I got the bug to do this.  I have started collecting some gear to get me on my way.

This week, my LumoPro 160 flash arrived as well as my Yongnuo wireless flash trigger.  For a good rundown on the LumoPro 160, Bert has a blog post discussing a field test with one-  http://bertstephani.com/2010/08/09/rso-quick-field-test-of-the-lumpro-lp160/

The Yongnuo wireless trigger received some good reviews as well and was well in my budget range. ($39)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5shvFGUf3g … (Edit on 2/4/2011) A blog I follow of two photographers discuss this trigger – http://lightenupandshoot.com/backpackers-studio/flashestriggers/radio-flash-triggers

Here is a quick test shot with my flash mounted on a tripod to camera left about 10 feet from my subject and 5 feet off of the ground.  I’m laying on the floor using a 50mm at f8 with my shutter set at 125.  The flash is at 1/8th power and zoomed to 85.  Also there is a mirror about 4 feet behind the subject that provided some rim light.

I have a light stand ordered and next on my list is getting an umbrella.  Also I have some material ordered that I can make a snoot and a grid spot for my flash.