Night Time Flashing

With my 430EXII of course.  I tried to find a place far enough away from civilization so as not to bother anyone with a full power flash going off near their house.  That said, there were some houses across the street, hope they didn’t care.

I wanted to try some back lighting tonight, which is a look I’ve never used before.  So I drove around my hometown today, found a big tree in a field, and set up.

The almanac said to expect sunset around 7:50PM, so I got there a little early.  I ended up with the flash on a light stand, just behind the tree.  The stand was raised so the flash was pointed into the middle of the leaves, shooting through an orange gel at about 1/2 power.  I shot wide open at f/2.8 to give the flash a little easier job of lighting the tree.  Then I picked a shutter speed to give me the exposure in the sky I wanted.  The result is:


Before I left, I noticed this field roller.  I wanted a wide, close in shot with a warm main light.  The flash was shot through an umbrella and a green gel, 1/4 power about 10 feet to my left.  A 15 second exposure got me the ambient sky I wanted.  I kept the white balance on the warm side on purpose.



Playing with Light

I guess it’s about time I started using this again.  Since my last post (which was a long time ago!), I’ve returned to school.  Since January, I’ve been taking classes at Penn State Harrisburg.  I joined up with the newspaper there, so now I have a nice shiny press pass.  I’ve shot various campus events including sports.  Well yesterday I photographed the SGA Club Awards Banquet.  This was my first opportunity to use off camera flash, as inspired by Strobist.

First, the gear:
Canon Rebel XS
Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.0 OS HSM Macro
Canon 430EXII speedlight
Promaster triggers

The event was held in a banquet room in the Capital Union Building.

I’d say probably about 30 yards from the back of the room to the podium.  The exposure for this picture was 1/40 f/6.3 at ISO 800. It’s still pretty dark.  Sure I could have opened the lens up, but I wanted plenty of DOF for the group shots.  Enter the flash.

Pardon the white balance.  I had the WB set for when the flash would be firing.  I’m just trying to illustrate the setup for now.  Moving on, the flash was set to full power, 70mm zoom and bounced into the ceiling.  This gave good even coverage and helped keep shadows down behind the podium. If I didn’t bounce the light, the shadows were horrible.

Final exposures needed a bump to ISO 1600 as the flash batteries started to die.  A little NR and they look pretty good.  I may build an external battery pack using R/C car batteries (oh the life of an electrical engineer).

So what could I have done differently?  I would have liked to try clamping the speedlight to the ceiling, but I don’t have any clamps made up yet.  That would have saved me some power and I could have brought the ISO down even further.

After the banquet, I did some group shots off to the side.