Summer. Not quite yet.

…but enough sun to shoot outdoors. So here was the outside today, in an Ontario that is still devoid of leaves:

Exposed for the background, that is 100 ISO, 1/250 sec, f/7.1.

Uh uh: obviously that does not work. What is the solution?

There are at least two solutions I could choose.

First I could brighten it all. There are many photographers who only do this and it is not a bad solution. It leads to images like:

That is not bad, but what if I wanted to see the background darker? I like to make my subjects the bright pixels. Bright pixels is where it’s crisp and clear.

So the other solution, and you knew it: use a flash. If I shoot into an umbrella, I can get the flash close enough at half power to achieve this:

And that is how I do it.

Notes for this: I used an umbrella to shoot into. Using pocketwizards, I fired a 580EX flash at half to full power (I usually avoid going over half). I used a sandbag on the light stand, but even then it can blow over.

Later, I had to go direct. In this field:

100 ISO, 1/250 sec, f/8.

Why did I go direct? Because in an open field, an umbrella would be blown over even with a sandbag on the light stand. Sometimes it is that simple!

And as said here before: direct, unmodified flash is fine, as long as it is nowhere near the camera!


1 thought on “Summer. Not quite yet.

  1. It’s amazing how useful a 6-foot TTL cable and a stick with a 1/4″-20 thread on the end can be….
    One thing I keep noticing is that the small (i.e. non-pro / point and shoot) cameras that many (most?) friends use almost always have a flash, but usually disable it when it’s needed (in situations like you describe today) and crank it up too high when it’ll make things ugly (like when it’s just dark enough that the shutter can’t be slowed down much more). You’d think that the auto flash logic would be better by now.

    An aside, that park looks very familiar…. I am tempted to say Rock Chapel but there are of course a few others that have a similar Escarpment view….

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