Into The Light

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So, I’ve adopted the black foamie thing as my on camera flash modifier of choice, all good stuff. Works great.

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But, with more calls for portrait sessions I kinda had to open my eyes to off camera flash.

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There is a huge difference between taking photos of your own kids whilst they get about the business of growing up, but when folk starting paying for pictures of their kids it’s time to up the ante.

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I figured I would start at the beginning, although I love the idea of Bowens/Elinchrom moonlights and modifiers, I can’t yet justify the cost. So I bought a basic light stand, wireless triggers and a black/white umbrella to go with my el cheap Yongnuo flash.

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It is, at this stage, really trial and error. Despite reading loads on Neil Van Niekerk’s site and watching almost all of Mark Wallace’s Webinar’s, it still ain”t easy.

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Practise, practise practise.Luckily I have enough kids that I can usually rope one of them in for 5 minutes at a time. DSC_0205

😀

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The Little Things

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I’ve long being a fan of the old macro lens. And today I received my ‘new to me’ 105mm F2.8 macro in Nikon fit.

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As with every macro I’ve ever tried, it’s pretty flawless. Sharp, contrasty, perfect focus and great for portrait too.

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I still have to test it on the D800, but on the D7K its peach.

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I could say that in terms of kit I am pretty much set: standard zoom, couple of portrait lenses, a tele prime (a zoom could be handy here too) and now a Macro.

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I don’t have a wide angle and one of my bodies could be upgraded to full frame, but that would be splitting hairs.

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For now I’m good.

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I did say ‘for now’……..worth remembering. 

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🙂

Flying The Nest

Our eldest, Erin, turned 18 yesterday. She has matured into a lovely young lady; hard-working, decent and kind. You know, all those virtues we love to claim our teenager’s possess!

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In 15 years I hope to be able to say the same about this little one…..

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Variations On A Theme

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Flash photography. I know the basics. I have an external flash unit and NEVER use on camera or direct flash. 

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I like flash images to look naturally exposed, but even with ‘bounced’ flash it can lead to hard light hitting the subject, as shown in the first three images from this series (highlighted by the applied vignette).

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Ive been reading quite a bit on Neil Van Niekerk’s site recently http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/ as he is a Flash Jedi Master, and although he states that he has transitioned to ambient light photography recently, given the amazing low light capabilities of current cameras, he was once a profound advocate of flash photography. 

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So far I’ve taken the simple advice of bouncing flash upwards, off of the ceiling, which are most often white. But I read recently that angling the flash slightly behind gives for a softer look. I think he is right, as shown in the final three images here. The image above, of my nephew, was quite evenly exposed given the angle of the flash and ambient light coming from the window. 

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Ive ordered the necessary components of the ‘black foamie thing’ and will report back when I’ve trialled it myself. _DSC6507

I’m sure it will work a treat.

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🙂

Boomerang

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Some things just wing their way back to you, others more than once!

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My newly acquired Nikon D800 arrived just a couple of days ago, and I think its fair to say I am still as impressed as I was (exactly) a year ago, when I had my first copy of this beast. 

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I haven’t done much shooting, as I was waiting on the necessary screen protector, as mine shipped without. 

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Its amazing how different the button layout and controls are to my little D7000, it will take a little while to get everything in order and to work out how I want it to perform. 

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One thing I have hit upon with the 36 mpx is that although it still performs waaaay better than the D7k, i’m not sure some of my lenses are making the most of what this sensor can do, as I can see a noticeable difference in IQ between the D lenses and my Tamron 24-70mm, which admittedly, is astonishing. 

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I’m not prepared to lose my beautiful 180mm, and the 50mm is cheap and small enough to not warrant changing, but I may swap out the 85mm F1.8D for either a G model or a Sigma 85mm F1.4. The sigma is prone to serious sample variation and Nikon bodies don’t always accept third party lenses with grace. 

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I shall ponder that one a little longer. For now I’m content to just love this little piece of amazing, ear splitting  mirror slap and all.

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🙂