Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Flash (not) Gordon

The flash class was great. Overwhelming but fantastic. I learned at least 10 things from it.

1. This photo does not have "catch lights" in the eyes. Had I known more about flash I could have had them.

2. The pop-up flash on the fancy pants cameras is not the devil. You may use it more than you use a big flash.

3. You can increase or decrease the power of the flash's output.

4. You might do #3 in order to match the light coming from other directions in your photo. So for instance there's decent light coming from the right in this photo but I could have matched (or slightly undercut) that light and brightened the whole thing up a little. Just to get the shot to the level it's at now I did a fair amount of post-processing. With a little flash knowledge I wouldn't have had to mess with it so much.

5. Figuring out how to use flash subtly and to your advantage is mostly a matter of testing. There's trial and there is error. You know how much I hate trial and error, right?

6. My camera won't do a few of the cooler things Switzer taught us. It's just too old. Some of those things are less cool than, oh, necessary. Like not having the camera dictate your highest or lowest shutter speeds in some flash situations.

7. The coolest thing he taught us would cost me around $2,000 to accomplish (and that's if I didn't upgrade the camera).

8. That cool thing is buying a few flashes like the one I have and at least one that's fancier than that (it has the ability to become a "commander"). You can then sort of gang them together wirelessly to fire when you hit the shutter button. So, for instance, if you were taking photos at a party with pretty ambient light you could hide a few of these babies around the joint. When you took photos you'd be amping up the light enough that your pictures come out nicely.

9. There's a fair amount of physics involved in flash photography. I never took physics. If they'd given me a camera maybe I'd have been more inclined. (Doubtful)

10. I was absolutely correct to take any class this particular instructor offers. He speaks a language I understand and he knows better than I what I need to know.

Next time we're out you don't mind if I take your picture a few hundred times, do you?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:20 PM

    We need a workshop like this. Have decent cameras but not enough flash. Unwired but linked connections make sense. Yeah, take a thousand, if thriteen are good, I'm happy. Really need to have a better flash system.

    Good luck with Maggie. A friend here just adopted a puppy, just a guess at age and heritage of pup, both delightfully happy.

    You can't rescue everybody but you can save and enjoy time with somebody.

    Maybe Maggie and another pup?

    Whatever you decide, I've got your back from afar. You know best what you can do and what you need and what you can't hide from.