Hi guys,

in this new blog article I will show you some photos I made with Paola (you’ll rembember of her in some shots of mine 70’s style and the ones in which she was crying) in a moment of the day which every good photographer knows it is not suitable for photos: midday. The shots were done between 11AM and 12.30AM, the worst hours for photos.. the midday light, photographically, is a drama.. the light comes from the high, the shadows are very dark and defined, the quantity of light is exagerated and this implies very rapid shutter speeds..

So you will ask you “why did you made photos at midday then??”

For two reasons:

1) Both me and Paola had only that time and if we didn’t use it, then.. the set would have been lost

2) Sometimes you must risk.. you must play your cards and see if you are able to get some nice shots even when the light is not beautiful! If you don’t risk where is the fun? And then, as my friend Davide always tells me you must get out of the schemes, and with the photos of this set I surely did it, even if, watching it for the first time you could not think of it..

So.. let’s come to the technique part, that if you want you can read under.. or you can go directly to the conclusions and the photos 😀

Tecnic part, only for the braves

It is impossible to use the flashes when the external light is a lot if you don’t use particular tecniques.. this is because it exists the sync time, which is the shortest time we can use on our camera with a flash without viewing the curtains.. and on my 5dmarkII this time is particularly high.. only 1/200 of second.. other cameras arrive to 1/250 till 1/500, but also in this case we would have been long with times.. this because the shutter times were about 1/2000 – 1/5000 sec that day.. and so also with 1/500 sync time….

In these cases it is very useful a particular function of the flash called High Sync, which allows the flash to fire with any shutter speed, till 1/8000 sec.. this because the flash in High Sync mode become simply continous lights (in reality it fires a lot of little flashes one after the other and not only one great light, but the result is like a contious light). Obiously this has some cons.. i.e. the power is cut a lot.. you can loose something like 4 or 5 stops of light with very rapid shutter speeds.. and this means that the strobes will fire always at the maximum power or nearby (with consequent heatings and eternal recharge times).. but if you want the strobe light this is the price to pay.. and to pay a little price (about lighting, not money..) the only alternative is to use more strobes.

Let us assume that a strobe at full power would give a certain number of stops. Well, if we want to close a stop (e.g. from f2.8 to f4) we are obliged to use 2 strobes, if we want to close more (f5.6) we will have to use not 3, but 4 strobes, and then if we want to close more we will need 8 strobes.. you understand that it is very rapid to arrive using a lot of strobes.. but if we want that light in high sync mode it is the only way to obtain it..

At the moment I have “only” 3 strobes.. and one must be used as master, then on-camera, and clearly it can’t contribute to the light.. so I had to use the two 430EXII attached togheter, in a softbox, and clearly the softbox was very near to the model, because the power available was not so much.. I couldn’t get the softbox further from the model.

You can see a backstage shot under 😉

Now.. who read the technical notes will be sick and would like to see the photos.. who jumped it, he/she would like to see the photos, too.. Just a few notes!!

1) You can’t imagine the difficulty to make the photo with the petals falling.. Paola was in pose and I did not have an assistant, so I was obliged to scroll the tree and then very rapidly come back in position, compose, focus and shoot.. next time I will use an assistant!!

2) Some shots as you can notice (you can find them very well) are shot without the strobes.. this because the light was falling between some tree arms and so the photo was nice.. so if you are in the right position also midday light is interesting!!

And finally here you are the photos!! I wait for comments!!

Thanks Paola


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