Saturday, December 6, 2014

Creative Flash 5 - Balancing Sunset

Santorini Chapel

When trying out new gear or learning new techniques, expect some failures along the way. I had lots of failures as I tried to incorporate flash more extensively into my photography. And the most catastrophic failures always seemed to happen outdoors.

Happily, this photo of the chapel at sunset on Santorini turned out as I had hoped. I was a little nervous, because previously in this situation, I hadn't always walked away with the results that I expected. 

a photo of a santorini chapel at sunset enhanced by fill flash
Balancing Sunset - Santorini Chapel

Step By Step

- I mounted the camera on the tripod, attached the cable release, and looked for a suitable composition. 

- I focused on the cross at the top of the arch and locked it in place by setting the autofocus switch on the lens to manual. 

- I set the exposure mode to manual and dialed in settings that rendered the sky correctly.

- I attached the wireless flash transmitted to the camera's hot shoe and set the flash level.

- I attached a warming gel to the speed light and put it in remote mode on the proper channel and group.

- The camera and tripod were to the left of where I was standing. I used my left hand to trigger the cable release while holding the speed light in my right hand at a raised position. 

- It took a few tries to find the best position for the light along with the best power output setting. As mentioned above, expect failure and be prepared to make adjustments on the fly.

By contrast, here is a second shot of the chapel captured without flash. I shot this one a few minutes earlier as I was fine-tuning the composition. 

a photo of a chapel on santorini silhouette against the sunset
Santorini Chapel Silhouette

The chapel renders a lovely silhouette and offers a creative alternative. Each version has its own appeal with the flash version showing additional detail. It's nice to have options.

: Nikon D800E
Lens:     Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
Flash:    Nikon SB-910 with full CTO gel / SU-800 commander

Light happens.  Be ready.  Shoot hard.

Copyright © 2014 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

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