Setting sun

Look at this photo I shot of Yasmin Tajik, Sunday in Nelson, outside Las Vegas, NV:

Yasmin in Nelson, NV, photo by Michael Willems

Yasmin in Nelson, NV

Nice late afternoon light, and lit by the late afternoon sun.

Except it wasn’t. Yes, it was late afternoon, but Yasmin was not lit by sunlight. She was lit by my flash.

  • The flash was on camera, since I was traveling without light stands. I would normally take it off camera. But when you can’t, as long as you are mixing light, it is OK to shoot with the flash on camera. Outdoors, therefore, straight into your subject’s face is OK, if you have to.
  • Since both I and the subject were moving constantly, I used TTL rather than manual flash.
  • The nice late afternoon colour on Yasmin? Glad you asked. A 1/2 CTO Honl Photo gel on the flash’s Speed Strap, and the camera’s White Balance set to “Flash”.
  • I ensured that the shutter speed would stay below the camera’s sync speed of 1/300th of a second, in order to give the flash maximum range (“Fast Flash/FP Flash” would decrease available power drastically, which at this distance is not a good thing). Doable late afternoon, when the light is not as bright.

As you see, even very simple means can lead to well-lit pictures.

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