Today I show you some photos of skate I did yesterday to my friend. In fact in Briaglia they built an half-pipe on which my friend was delighted to go, and I decided to make him the photos. For the occasion, my friend Alex (remember him in the 12 ° video guide for Italian strobist people) lent me his 15mm fisheye. We arrived on the scene at about 19.30 and unfortunately the natural light was still too strong .. The picture below illustrates the situation: it is slightly overexposed, but it gives an idea of natural light. The picture was taken at ISO 100, f \ 4 and 1/250 (in aperture priority mode on the camera).
As you can see it is not anything interesting .. I then tried to underexpose to see how the situation changed, but obviously as I expected the figure disappears, you see only skin .. Again, nothing good (ISO 100, F8, 1/500).
Time then to pull out the flash! First I decided I wanted the sky as in the second photo I took, which is well underexposed, with a blue as I like. But of course I wanted to stay in a time of 1/200 to use the radio trigger, so I had to close the aperture to f \ 11. I then positioned a flash on the half-pipe (the 580EXII), in such a way as to illuminate the skater. Having to shoot at F \ 11, the powers involved are very high for the flash. In fact I had to put power 1/2 on the 580EXII, and especially not to use softboxes, umbrellas, or diffusers in general .. This is for two reasons:
1) to get F \ 11 with a flash speedlight means that you’re using it to almost full power,so there is no space for diffusers to decrease the stop, unless you are very close to the subject, but in this case of course you could not!
2) a skater is not a nice girl, sweet and delicate, with lighting that is as delicate as her and which makes a stand out quality. The skater is a character which in a harsh light is fine, because it also puts emphasis on the muscles and the stress he is subjected.
You see in the picture below the flash and its sand-bag that holds it stationary!
Given that the area behind seemed a bit dull, I placed another flash, 430EXII, full power, facing the camera. This meant that there was a point of light, a star very close since the diaphragm, which in my opinion gave more to the picture (ok this can not please everyone, but I liked it enough). Here you can see the second picture of this backstage:
And at this point it was enough to make a little practice and caught the right moment, to get a picture of effect:
Time to switch to a second picture. This time I decided to use the other side of Half-pipe and use only natural light so as to achieve the silhouette effect. What can I say, simple picture compared to the other, but of great effect! And hence the subtitle of the blog today: Because sometimes the best photo may also be that you do not flash! Often, a bit for the fact I want to explain this here on how to use flash, a bit because I actually really like to use them, I use them all the same and I do not use situations that might be of interest only with natural light. So remember, try to change the entire perspective, interesting results could come out! Here’s the second picture then (same parameters as before, ISO 100, F \ 11, 1/200), but this time no flash!
Finally, my friend decided to “ollie” (ie the jump for those who do not know the lingo .. I understand it better or worse because once I was skating well, then I still know the technical terms of all the tricks) a park bench. This photo is not, strictly speaking, a shot I should show, as as it is wrong, but I show it because of it, to learn and not make yourself my mistakes! I set the parameters to ISO100, F \ 6.3, and 1/200, positioned two flashes, one front and one behind, power 1/2. The picture would also be interesting in itself, except that I have made a major mistake: 1/200 is still too slow for a time a movement so rapid as un’ollie, and in fact the subject is blurry. I should have set the high sync to use faster times, but at that point:
1) I could no longer use the radio but go to the owner system, and then it would be difficult (if not impossible) that both would see the flash master
2) I’m not sure that even in high sync flash at full power, the two flashes would have made it to give me the light I wanted, especially considering the distance they had to work and the diaphragm very closed to have a sky underexposed.
So here’s the photo as output:
And finally, the surprise! On the way home what happens? A spectacular sunset comes, the kind that leave you speechless .. I stopped the car, I have barely time to mount the 135mm and take some pictures by hand and then the sun goes away quickly as it arrived .. Here’s the photo taken:
See you soon guys!