One more quick recipe

Quick recipe for you.

Remember this shot, done in the workshop I taught three days ago in Las Vegas with David Honl?

Yasmin Tajik in Las Vegas, by Michael Willems

Yasmin Tajik in Las Vegas

Shot how, you ask? I mean – at what settings and such?

  • Camera: 1D Mark IV with 35mm f/1.4L prime lens.
  • 100 ISO.
  • Camera on manual, 1/320th second at f/16 (slightly exceeding the 1/300th sec synch speed).
  • Flash is an SB900, also on manual (“M” rather than “TTL”); set to full power (“1/1”).
  • Flash is on a boom, and is fitted with a Honl Photo Traveller 8 softbox (notice the nice round catchlights), and is held a couple of feet from Yasmin’s face.

And you know that at full power, with a softbox, an SB900 will give you those settings.

A 430EX will need to be about twice as close to her face.

Try your own flash at those settings: how close do you need to hold it to ensure proper exposure, using the modifier of your choice. Once you know that, it will always be the same. Simple, really.

Note: the SB900 flash will overheat at these settings, especially in Las Vegas. A dozen shots in you will suddenly get no more flashes. The Nikon flash cannot be used at full power, while the Canon flashes can. With a Nikon SB800/900 flash, I would simply go to half power and live with that. If I needed more light, I would add another flash.

Want to know more? Want to learn all this and go home with a few cool portfolio shots? There is still space on the all-day Advanced Flash workshop Sunday in Mono, Ontario. Book now to get a spot.

Oh, one more thing. Am I cheating? Is this just sunlight lighting up Yasmin?

I think not. Here is the same shot without firing the flash (always a good thing to do to test your settings!):

I rest my case.

0 thoughts on “One more quick recipe

  1. I attended the 2nd day class and learned a LOT. I wish there had been more time to take more pictures. Thanks again!

    I notice you say you used a 1D4 but used an SB900 flash?

  2. Hi Boz. Pleasure to have you, and I’ll just have to come back again to do another one!

    Indeed you noticed right. When you are shooting TTL you must use the “right” f;ash (Nikon for Nikon, Canon for Canon).

    But when you are using manual flash, it does not matter. All your camera is doing is telling the flash “FIRE” – not at what level, you do that.

    So when using manual, it does not matter what flash it is. Photons are photons! 🙂

    • So I can use an SB-900 in manual mode with my 1D4 and miniTTL + 2 TT5’s?? (my only flash is a 580 EX II for now until my next 580 arrives this week).

      • Ah. The miniTTL and TT5s are TTL sdapters so you may need to put in an adapter near the flash to block off (not connect) the four little pins: just use the big one. Other than that, yes.

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