Feeling Goofy


Photo of the Day

Over the past couple of months I really have just started playing with light. I guess all of photography is playing with light, but I have been experimenting with exterior light sources. In October I bought a Canon 430ex II speedlight to use. I really like some of the shots that I have taken with it, but I really wanted to get it off of my camera. Over the last couple of days I have received a couple of key components to getting my flash off of the camera. For Christmas I received two Pocket Wizard Plus III transceivers. I may or may not have played with one of them a bit in Mackey last week to see just how they worked. The only problem with the Pocket Wizards is that when I got my second on Monday I found out that I needed cable to run them that of course are not included. I picked up a couple of hot shoe adapters so I could use my speedlight for portraits. Of course they came today, and without a model present this afternoon I had to improvise a bit. Goofy seemed to be a willing participant, and agreed to do a small photoshoot with me.

Technical Data

For this shoot I had a few things on hand to start with. I had my 60D with the 50mm f/1.8 on it. I had my 430ex II on the back of a 20 inch soft box. I had one Pocket Wizard attached to the light stand, and one in the hot shoe of my camera. I tried a few shots inside of the house, but I knew the shot that I wanted. This crook of the tree seems perfect for capturing the late afternoon sun as it sets. I knew what I wanted to do, but I had to get set up to do it. I had Goofy sit in the crook of the tree. I placed the soft box just out of the frame on the right hand side. I of course was shooting straight on here creating a triangle between myself, the subject, and the light source. I tried a few shots before I realized at this point what I needed to do to get the darker shot that I wanted. When I went over 1/250th of a second I had the black bar on the frame where the flash did not illuminate. I then realized that I would control the background of this shot with the aperture. I would like to have a high aperture so that the background is soft, but I really wanted the darker look. So I lowered my aperture to f/11 to darken my background and the tree a bit. The biggest hurdle that I think I have ahead of me is keeping the flash awake. I had to keep going over to it and cycling the power to wake it back up. In the future I need to address that, but for now I like what I was able to accomplish. I have already seen some things that could be better, but that will come down the road. For one I think that waiting for the sun to peak out at f/22 would create a very nice starburst effect in the background. That will come on the next shot.

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