Year Two (22) – Off Camera Flash

Last night I spend the evening with mt Canon 7D mark ii, my Canon 600 Ex-RT Speedlite and my new C-stand, which enables me to use the flash off camera in better positions, and I can already see what a difference in will make to the images I create.

I tried something new last night, I set the 600Ex-rt up as a slave and triggered if from the camera flash – keeping the camera flash and very low power so that it did not effect the lighting of my subject – I experimented with still life and smoke – aiming to capture interesting low key shots with atmosphere.

Coffee Crisis

This week we had a crisis – the coffee machine stopped working – anyone who knows me, knows that this is series … I really fussy about my coffee and import it in from France – so desperate messages called for a new machine …. however when I saw this miniature espresso cup in town, I knew it summed up my week and I wanted a photo.

This was taken at 100 ISO, 61mm focal length, 1/250sec at F22 – it was side lit by the flash with a snode on with the flash on TTL with dialed down exposure. I found that I needed the narrow aperture to collect the detail on the steam…  and I used a 2 sec shutter delay so that I had limited camera shake.

The cup is empty … the steam is created with an incense stick that I stirred around in the cup, when I pressed the shutter I also moved the stick …

De-press-o – Straight out of camera

I have then burned down the shadows in photoshop added a warm hue to the photo and a texture which I found on the Coffeeshop blog as I wanted to create a more grungy feel – the lights is not perfect, as I have some shine on the coffee cup – but I do like the feel of the shot, and it does now feel rather depressive …

Photoshopped a little to enhance

The Horror Movie

With exactly the same lighting set up – 100 ISO, 61mm focal length, 1/250sec at F14 – I needed to add more light and this subject was much darker and flash really helps pull out the details. With the increased light you can see my window blind in the lighter areas of the smoke. This is really something that I would not like to meet on a dark evening.

Smoke and a statue

Delicate Flowers

Aiming for a complete contrast – I changed the subject to some flowers, and I was amazed at how much the flash could bring the yellow colour of the petals and add real vibrancy – the effect was much better than I could even imagine. You can see where the spot of the flash is directed more onto the distant flower as it is in brighter light and how it creates its own shadow on the leaf behind.

I struggles with seeing the angle of light and where it falls – I know there is an option to turn on a modelling light on some flashes – I need to look at see if it is possible with mine (It is but only with the flash on camera!)

100 ISO, 50mm focal length, 1/250sec at F20, were the settings for the shot, aperture again is important as I working close to the subject and therefore I wanted a good depth of field.

Directed off camera flash on my dining table

A very similar shot – but with three flowers – the power of three – this shot add’s more texture and variety, but the yellow colour works so well in contrast to the black – the settings were exactly the same as above.

Yellow Flowers

These images really highlight to me why it is important to master the light and learn to control it … I need to keep practicing!