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Thread: Spring arriving

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Spring arriving

    This is me going way outside the comfort zone - there's colour in it !!!

    My main reason making the picture was to put my learning in the use of fill flash to the test. This was my first serious outing with the flash unit I recently bought and was related to our local community group that tries to care for the environment of our village, of which I am chairperson, getting out to do work for the first time this year.

    Everything in the foreground is illuminated by the flash unit.

    Aesthetically, it's not the greatest picture ever taken, but the aim was to effectively manage the flash so that, as Syl Arena says in his new book, the idea is to make a picture in which you wouldn't know that flash was used.

    Spring arriving
    40D, Tokina 11-16 f2.8 @ 11mm. ISO100. 1/45@f16. Fill Flash above and left. 08:12am
    Last edited by Donald; 27th March 2011 at 11:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
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    Re: Spring arriving

    Well done, Donald. I really can't tell a flash was used here.

    Let's see, you've added light and color... what's next? Music?

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    Re: Spring arriving

    Colour - wow, party on Donald !! Nicely brought out the foreground in this shot. If I were to be picky I'd say that the balance of foreground to background is a bit too even. I might have underexposed the background just a little to bring your excellent flash work into prominence. Personal opinion though - and it is an extremely useful tool to have as this shot shows. Shot on manual or auto by the way ?
    Next step - another flash unit or two and a mobile light stand that adjusts the flash output if you promise to do the washing up for her.

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Spring arriving

    Thanks guys

    Quote Originally Posted by bambleweeney View Post
    Shot on manual or auto by the way ?
    Manual. 1/1, with a Gary Fong diffuser mounted on it. Using at 3m ETTL cord - unit about 1.5m left and 0.5m above the lens, in line with the sun that was reaching over onto the background.

    Next step - another flash unit or two and a mobile light stand that adjusts the flash output if you promise to do the washing up for her.
    I wish!

  5. #5
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Spring arriving

    Nice one, Donald. Nobody will learn new things unless they go out of their comfort zone. Good work on your first try.

  6. #6
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    Re: Spring arriving

    Well, as the kids say, OMG! Color from Donald! I like how sharp it is all the way through -- you must know a thing or two about hyperfocal distance

    That plant in the front looks as if it's about to burst into bloom -- another opportunity for color?

  7. #7

    Re: Spring arriving

    Alright, Donald, here's what I see. Firstly, it seems kind of lacking in mood. Maybe, there was none? The lighting seems too uniform or something. Could it be the shadows, actually? Am I crazy? I had to look into your background - to the light shining on the trees - to understand the day. Then, something wasn't adding up. It seems like two different places. I finally figured out that it's the shadows on the bulbs in the bottom right corner - they're a different direction from the sun and shadows on the trees - POSSIBLY. (I might really be wrong about that.) Also, I just only, now, noticed that there are blooming crocuses, there, and I've looked at this for a while. They didn't "glow" out and I don't know why - maybe, they're just a little too bright? I'm awfully darn critical, though, for someone who really has no experience with flash in these cases. So,....you know, just my thoughts and observations. I guess that I'm just thinking that you might want more from it and am taking several stabs at why.

    btw, Donald, I said all of this in the spirit of hoping to learn if I'm "right or wrong" - well, you know me....
    Last edited by Katy Noelle; 28th March 2011 at 05:06 AM.

  8. #8
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Spring arriving

    I think it is a good first go Donald and not the eisiest subject matter to light well with a flash I would think. The darkness of the water bottom left I feel may have absorbed some of the light at least more than what appears to be on the foilage in the forground. I look forward to seeing more color and flash from you.

  9. #9

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    Re: Spring arriving

    I have to agree with Katy and for some other reasons as well...perhaps if the background had been more out of focus so the center of attention was on the crocuses, that might have kept my attention longer. I found my eye wandering all over the place looking for the main theme. If I had not read the preceding dialogue (which I tend not to until after making an observation), I would have blown by this one and chalked it up to a bad hair day by Donald. I think it is "too" lit. Perhaps lower the EV on the flash by a 1/2 to a full stop, or shield it so it doesn't go much beyond the far bank of the stream...and pick a spot where the sun isn't so intense on the back area...and....okay, that's all...

    I think for a first foray into fill flash, it is well attempted...it is not something I've ever done, so my comments are armchair quarterbacking and have as much value as such.

  10. #10
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Spring arriving

    Thanks, folks, for you very helpful comments, all of which are being absorbed and will (hopefully) be put in to practice next time!

    Quote Originally Posted by mythlady View Post
    I like how sharp it is all the way through -- you must know a thing or two about hyperfocal distance :
    I made up a little table/grid for the Tokina for hyperfocal distances at each of the focal length/aperture combinations and carry it in my bag. However, the truth is that at f8/f11 and down pretty much everything is going to be good when your going at 11, 12, 13 mm. It's actually harder to get it wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    Alright, Donald, here's what I see. Firstly, it seems kind of lacking in mood. Maybe, there was none? The lighting seems too uniform or something. Could it be the shadows, actually? Am I crazy? I had to look into your background - to the light shining on the trees - to understand the day. Then, something wasn't adding up. It seems like two different places. I finally figured out that it's the shadows on the bulbs in the bottom right corner - they're a different direction from the sun and shadows on the trees -
    That's an extremely helpful observation and takes me right into one of the key areas of practice that I was trying to master in taking this one. This is the subject matter of p57 of Syl Arena's book where he speaks about 'Matching the Direction of your Ambient Light'. And I think that you're right in that I haven't got this 100% right. It's pretty close. And I think the learning in this is that even a relatively small deviation can make the crucial difference between 'right' and 'wrong'.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    The darkness of the water bottom left I feel may have absorbed some of the light at least more than what appears to be on the foliage in the foreground.
    That, too, is a very helpful comment. It never occurred to me (!!!) that the water might absorb the light from the flash unit - Pretty obvious when someone points it our to you!

  11. #11
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Spring arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    Perhaps lower the EV on the flash by a 1/2 to a full stop, or shield it so it doesn't go much beyond the far bank of the stream...and pick a spot where the sun isn't so intense on the back area...and....okay, that's all...
    Chris

    Those are useful words. Thank you.

    It is, very much, a whole new learning curve.I am now starting, I think/hope, to get to grips with the sort of lighting set ups I want to use for indoor shots of people at work and play in our village .....several hundred self-portraits later!

    But I see immense possibilities for my B & W stuff in mastering approaches to using fill flash in outdoor locations.

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