Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Favorite Subject

My Favorite Subject

1/250 sec at f/8, focal length: 50mm, ISO 100 - August 14, 2008, 6:42pm PDT
Strobe Camera right on manual at 1/2 power through 43" White shoot thru umbrella
Photographed with Canon EOS 20D, EF 50mm f/1.8, handheld
, Canon 550ex strobe on a light stand

I know this isn't a landscape image, but how could I resist. I made these images this evening with my daughter just before her bed time. The whole session couldn't have lasted longer than two minutes and she gave me so many great expressions. I only snapped off 11 frames, and got 11 completely unique faces.


  1. :)
    great work,
    nice balance of ambient and flash light. It may be a silly questions but flash photography is still a little mistery to me; how do you determine the power of the flash and exposure in the camera? can you please explain the technical caption please. If it is not too complicated to do here ;)


  2. Thanks Bartek. The answer to this could really be an entire post all in itself, so what I'll do here is try to explain the caption briefly and then I'll direct you to some great resources for learning to light. I hope to have a post in the near future that goes over this so please do check back.

    here it goes...

    1/250 sec (shutter speed) = this is my max sync speed and controls the ambient light. f/8 (aperture) controls how much of the flash affects the scene as well as being a good fstop for depth of field. These two settings, with an ISO of 100, let me underexpose the ambient just a bit and allowed the flash to become the main light on Haven, as opposed to fill.

    The strobe (Canon 550ex) on 1/2 power allows me to over power the ambient and being "shot thru" a white umbrella softens the light to make the transitions from highlights to shadows nice and soft.

    Now how I arrived at these settings will have to be another post, but really you learn from trial and error and studying your mistakes just as much as your successes.

    Feel free to email me your attempts and I can help point out whats working, whats not, and how to correct whats not (according to what you're trying to get)

    Resources: - a great (free) site dedicated to teaching off camera lighting. I would start with Lighting 101 and go through all the lessons. You'll learn a lot!

    Light, Science, and Magic - A book about lighting that will have you thinking differently about light and "seeing" in a whole new way.

    There are so much more but these should be enough to get you started. And again feel free to contact me with any questions and I'll do my best to help out.