Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 116

Thread: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    Hi Folks,

    I once read a book on bodybuilding that said "It's important to start, but it's even MORE important to KEEP re-starting, and portraiture is like that too. We got off to a good start here, but I fear that not many are shooting portraiture regularly, and that important on a number of levels ...

    1. It's important for photographers because like any skill set, if we don't practice, we lose our skills.

    2. It's important for photographers because unless we push throught the "pain barrier" (learning curve) then the mountain will have defeated us, and will seem steeper next time, and

    3. We need to keep in mind that what we're creating here is PORTRAITURE, not just snaps. Why is that important I hear you collectively ask? Well it's important because nobody is likely to be looking at snaps in 10 or 20 or 50 years ... but quality portraiture is something grand kids may well still be showing THEIR grand kids long after we've "passed on". So in a very real sense, portraiture is their legacy - and it's our responsibility to deliver it to them.

    So - with that in mind - I thought I'd introduce lesson 5, in which I'd really like to do just two things:

    1. I'd like to introduce you to off-camera flash, and

    2. Hopefully inspire you all by showing you just what can be accomplished in about an hour or so, without really trying too hard.

    In the 14 shots that follow, I've basically just followed my rules from lessons 1 to 4 - I've taken an (unplanned) walk with my family around Isel park here in Nelson. I've chosen compositions that I think will work, and used backgrounds with an appropriate "texture". I've used natural light, augmented with some fill-flash from an external flash firing into a shoot-through umbrella (exactly the same principle as the reflector). Post-processing has been limited to basic levels / sharpening / cropping (no retouching).

    There is no reason why any of you can't do any of this!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

  16. #16
    wilgk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    2,409
    Real Name
    Kay

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    Isn't she Gorgeous!
    Tell Jessica Thank you!

    I am inspired to keep practicing

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    Isn't she Gorgeous!
    Tell Jessica Thank you!

    I am inspired to keep practicing
    Thank you

    Also ...

    ... talk is cheap; actions speak louder than words! (so go get shooting!)

  18. #18
    wilgk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Victoria Australia
    Posts
    2,409
    Real Name
    Kay

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    It's dark out - past my bedtime & the model has 'gone out'....oh how scary that is

    But practice will start early tomorrow

  19. #19
    Sam Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Arlington,TX
    Posts
    382
    Real Name
    Sam Smith, I have photo ID

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    Ok. I bought the reflector and stand as I had no helper, and gray card, now i need to buy a flash. ( I want one anyway). Can I buy a model anywhere? That is the biggest problem for me. Vary schedules, reluctence of people having their photo taken. Raining. I am still trying to finish lesson 3 and 4.

    By the way Wife says "Just because he said you need it doesn't mean go today and get it." Colin could you post we needed a 1d or 5d or 7d camera and L lens"

    I really do thank you for the time and effort you are putting into this. It has help allot. I have not posted much but I read the threads 2 times a day. I find myself reading them with the morning coffee instead the newpaper.

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 05 - Introduction to Flash & Some Inspiration!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Smith View Post
    Ok. I bought the reflector and stand as I had no helper, and gray card, now i need to buy a flash. ( I want one anyway). Can I buy a model anywhere? That is the biggest problem for me. Vary schedules, reluctence of people having their photo taken. Raining. I am still trying to finish lesson 3 and 4.

    By the way Wife says "Just because he said you need it doesn't mean go today and get it." Colin could you post we needed a 1d or 5d or 7d camera and L lens"

    I really do thank you for the time and effort you are putting into this. It has help allot. I have not posted much but I read the threads 2 times a day. I find myself reading them with the morning coffee instead the newpaper.
    Hi Sam,

    The reality is - if one wants a cheap hobby - then photography probably isn't the hobby for them; there's ALWAYS something else that one can buy. It's often said that "it's not the equipment, it's the person using it", but in reality it's both - initially the big limitation is the person using the gear, but as they improve you get to a point where you simply need more gear to be able to control the process, and at the end of the day, it's ALL about the light. So initially we looked at using a reflector to bounce some directional light back towards our subjects - but in circumstances like I was shooting in today, that just wouldn't have worked (I know I said earlier on that anyone could have taken shots like this, but I really meant to imply "but you will have to choose a location that meets the requirement of light near by"). On this occasion I was shooting pretty close to dusk, so no hard shadows in the background to worry about.

    So on this occasion, a flash gives the freedom to explore other locations but - unfortunately - it's not just the flash. In my case I had a couple of 580EX IIs attached to a couple of PocketWizard Flex TT5s firing into a white shoot-through umbrella. The 580s are powered by a sealed lead-acid battery, and the who lot is triggered by a PocketWizard Mini TT1. On a side note, the flashes were attached to the umbrella via a bracket - because the umbrella shaft is hollow, I'm careful to clamp it only by the solid bit right at the very end ... and today that solid bit worked loose - and my #1 daughter managed to drop about 2 grands worth of gear whilst keeping hold of the $35 umbrella ... and I broke ANOTHER TT5 lower foot (that's 3 in less than 24 hours - I'm down to 1 right now!) (we carried on the shoot with just the 1 580EX II, and it was fine).

    So bottom line is you don't need all that - but - if you want to make life easy for yourself (and want to be able to take these kinds of shots with relative ease) then you're up for at least 1x PW TT1, 1x PW TT5, 1x (preferably) 580EX II, 1x bracket, and 1x umbrella - and possibly a stand (same stand?) to hold it (far easier if you have a VAL* though).

    * Voice Activated Lightstand

    Shooting workflow is pretty straightforward ...

    - Choose aperture for desired DoF

    - Choose ISO for required shutter speed

    - Dial in EC (Exposure Compensation) or FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation) to control the ambient & foreground light zones (typically -1EC and 0FEC).

    Then ...

    ... the likes of the EF70-200 F2.8L IS USM II that I used really does make life easier too.

    So probably not what your lovely wife wanted to hear, but that's the truth of it. Are there cheaper ways to do it - probably yes - but personally I don't want to muck around with non-ETTL stuff or flashes that aren't powerful enough to do the job.

    Hope this helps

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •