Is off camera flash really all that?

Richard Charpentier Arizona, Arizona Photographer, Photography, Portrait Work, Prescott, RLC Design Leave a Comment

For my purposes, yes it is all that.  And as I grow into this medium I keep finding more and more possibilities.    Compositing, portraits, and I’m having a few thoughts about landscape in the Vermillion Cliffs with off camera flash.  The list is growing in my head……

Now it’s all about time and money to get away.  Anyone want to sponsor a week long getaway for me?  🙂

Last night I went out for another hour long portrait shoot with Laura Mountain.  She’s a local artist here in Prescott, and she’s involved with the Black Arrow Gallery.  Our shoot for the evening took place on Watson Lake, but a different location from what you’re used to seeing.  As we did the shoot I showed Laura the little monitor on the camera and got her reaction to images.  Overall, she was digging them.

Before we wrapped up she commented how well the lighting worked overall.  The sunset light was extra pretty and she was happy with the color and light quality.  I asked her if she’d like to see it natural with the strobe turned off.  We took a shot of her before shutting the wireless trigger off, and then the same shot with the strobe off.

As you can see, quite a difference.  Each image was shot at 1/125 of a second, f/5.6, and ISO of 50.  I did change my focal length (whoops), but it doesn’t really affect what’s going on with the light.  I was controlling for ambient here, so that’s what the 1/125th was for.  The only difference?  First shot had the Alien Bee with a 36×36″ Lastolite Softbox in play.  The Bee was running at 1/2 power.  These were just 2 quick images shot after we’d already started wrapping up, so not the best example.  I had already moved the light from where we were actually shooting, so messed up my distance to subject from where I had the “good shots” dialed in.

Off camera flash can really allow you to control your environmental lighting conditions.  You can go for some super dramatic skies with your subject mixed in.  All about playing with light levels.  Hey, HDR done right is all about that too.  Maybe that’s why I’m enjoying this stuff.

So, there you have it.  If you ask me, pretty neat.  And you got to see an out take from a serious shoot.  We got some great images for the evening, and earlier in the afternoon.  Now we’ll have to wait and see what gets picked.

Wait til you see the shots with the flowers and stream area…….oh, you’re going to have to wait a few months to see those.  Sorry.  🙁

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