I am experimenting a lot these days in an effort to discover new way of expressions through photography. One of the projects I’m doing is a study of bokeh or background blur. Its a simple project to conceptualise but very difficult to execute in my opinion. Here’s how…
Canon EOS 1D Mark III
EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L at 46mm
1/300 f/4 ISO 100
Learning to utilise off camera flash has given my portrait work a new dimension. The easiest and quickest setup for me is to use 2 speedlites, 1 master mounted on camera as fill and the other as a slave acting as the main light. The master defaults to group A and set the slave as group B, set the speedlites on eTTL-II and control the ratio between the groups, make sure the main is placed to give a nice shadow effect relative to the fill on camera flash and there you have it.
When I remember my experiences in Cambodia and India and compare the feeling I get when I take pictures of people, I can say that it’s actually quite tougher in KL than anywhere else. Of course, a lot of it is made up in my mind as I feel so self conscious when I go around with my camera in my home city. That’s probably why I have been obsessed with finding a small and discreet camera like the Leica M8. Going around with a pro body and a big lens just doesn’t cut it for me at the moment. But sometimes it does…..
This one was a tough one to get right. It was in the middle of the day and the sun was high up and harsh. I set the shutter at 1/200 and aperture at f/10 so that the light from the sun was controlled. I then placed a speedlite 580 EXII directly to the boys left (camera right) at a power output of 1/8. Triggering was done with the China triggers.
You can see the shadows made by his arm. This is the first time I am using off camera flash outside in these conditions and I am quite happy with the results.
Note: This image has some manipulation done to it ( brought down the brightness of the sky and combined it with the same image). The magnifying glass is totally as is.
Canon EOS 1D Mark III
EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II at 16mm
Speedlite 580 EX II at 1/8 power
1/200 f/10 ISO 200 Manual Exposure
This is the first portrait I’ve taken (which is not of myself) using all these wonderful lighting stuff I’ve been working on. This one is a simple setup using 2 lights. As usual, the tough part was managing the shadows. Stay tuned for more on how this image was taken.
Wow. I have spent the last 3 hours trying to get this one right. I wanted to balance the light on my face and reduce the contrast there. The problem is that I would spoil the shadow effect (which I wanted). Everything I tried would cast a spill onto the shadow. Anyway, this is going to be one of those images that’s gonna float around in my head until I get it right.
I’ll post the lighting diagram with the explanation later. The lighting diagram is below.
I had a bit of fun today. My first outing in the middle of broad daylight armed with some speedlites, a lighting stand, remote radio triggers and a sense of humour.
Well. Not a bad shot though it was a pain to light myself properly. See how I managed to get this shot and the lighting diagram below.
After a longgggg break from taking portraits (about 2 months which is a lifetime to me. The images I posted in this period were all re-processed from older shoots) I picked up my camera and decided to go for broke. This image was taken as a result of that. One light (580 EX II) with a reflective umbrella was placed on camera left about 1 meter above subject head pointing directly to models right shoulder.
I was standing on a chair pointing downwards and model was looking up. The flash was trigerred by an ST-E2 and the camera was the 1D Mark III with the glorious EF 85mm f/1.2 L II. Flash was set on manual at 1/8 power and camera settings at 1/300th f/5.6 ISO 200.
I should have taken at f/8 as there were some blown highlights though I like the shadows overall. If I were to do it again I would add a second light to add just a little hint of fill for the eyes (notice the lack of a catchlight on the eyes here).
Post processing was done on ACR 4.1 and there a lot of manipulation done in Photoshop to bring out details and colours.
EOS 1D Mark III
EF 85mm f/1.2 L
Speedlite 580 EX II
1/300 f/5.6 ISO 200 flash fired manual 1/8th power reflective umbrella
Canon has released a firmware update (v1.2.3).
‘This firmware update (Version 1.2.3) incorporates the following improvements.
Includes the following new features that were frequently requested by customers to the new firmware.
Direct selection of AF points by the Multi-controller is added to C.Fn III-9.
Alternate access to Exposure compensation is added to C.Fn IV-3.
With the camera’s External Speedlite control menu, Flash function settings can be used to set the Wireless setting and Zoom.
Improves the stability of AF accuracy in AI servo AF when shooting extremely low-contrast subjects.
The Version 1.2.3 firmware being released this time is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.1.3. If the camera’s firmware is already Version 1.2.3, it is not necessary to update the firmware’.
Taken from Canon website….
You can go to the firmware update page here….