Strobed Action

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by indeedies, May 9, 2010.

  1. indeedies

    indeedies TPF Noob!

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    This is the first time shooting action with a flash. It's more challenging than I thought lol.

    1/200, F6.3, ISO 100
    Shot with D90 and Sigma 24-70 2.8-4.0.
    SB 600 Camera right pointed up into subject. Shot at full power zoomed in to 70mm.

    Any critiques or advice would be greatly appreciated. I have many more but this one caught my attention as being the best.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    What I really do like about this shot is that it has an excellent camera point of view, a little below knee level, and the subject is well-focused, and his line of gaze looks very "real". His body is angled a bit, and that slight diagonal on his body and the way his back heel is lifted off the board really,really gives a feeling of movement. His slightly bent knees also add to the impression of movement--I can see why this shot stands out, since it really conveys and captures the feeling of "movement". It's been shot at an excellent timing, and on a slight downhill slope. I think you could go a lot "blurrier" by doing what's called dragging the shutter, as long as the ambient light is a bit dimmer, so that you can get the shutter speed down to the 1/30 second or so speed with him moving as fast as he was on that slope.

    You can see a very slight ghost image on the camera left arm,shoulder and helmet because the ambient light exposure is pretty close to the flash output exposure: I wish the shot showed MORE blurring and more ghosting! The background tree's needles are showing that you panned the camera and followed the subject...I wish the shutter speed had been slowed down a bit more, so that there was a blurred outline of the trees, and more blur along the skateboarder's body and board, and then a sharp, crisp flash exposure done with Rear Curtain flash synch switched on. Rear Curtain synch is also called Second curtain flash synch, depending on manufacturer.
     
  3. indeedies

    indeedies TPF Noob!

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    Wow! Thanks Derrel for the advice. This was at about 1:00pm so I was having trouble overpowering the sun with my flash. I wanted to get a slower shutter speed but wasn't able to figure out how to do it properly lol. Working with flash is tons of fun and I love how the images come out afterwards. It's definitely not as easy as some make it (Zach Arias for expample).

    I want more blurring as you suggested but how would I go about that exactly? Slower shutter speed would make it so I would get too much ambient light in correct? I would then have to have a larger aperture to compensate right? Or do I have that backwards?
     
  4. reznap

    reznap No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah you have it backwards. Smaller aperture will allow you to use a slower shutter speed.

    Smaller aperture, larger numbers. I know... I was like 'wtf' at first too.

    If you want to maintain a shallow depth of focus, a neutral density (ND) filter will allow you to use a big aperture (like 4, or 2.8, or whatever your lens will do) and still use a slow shutter speed. They have 9-stop ND filters I think, and you can stack em... but you shouldn't need all that.

    EDIT: By the way, I really like your pic. He's not airborne or anything but like Derrel said, the lean and the capturing of the sense of motion is good.
     
  5. indeedies

    indeedies TPF Noob!

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    Hmm... But with the flash at full power I would want to try and overpower all the ambient light. The only way to do this is by bumping up my aperture to 3.5 or 2.8. Right? Shutter speed controls ambient, aperture controls flash?

    I'm fairly comfortable shooting in natural light and we got some excellent shots for his senior portraits but when it comes to strobed photography it seems like I'm starting all over again lol.
     
  6. reznap

    reznap No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ah, sorry... sorry sorry

    Half, maybe more, of what I wrote was rubbish. Flash is a new concept to me as well.

    ---So you're limited to how small you can close the aperture by the intensity of your flash. Once you hit full power on the flash and have your aperture set for a proper exposure dictates how long you can have the shutter open? Sorry to be asking noob questions in your thread, OP.
     
  7. indeedies

    indeedies TPF Noob!

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    LOL. No worries. I get them confused all the time when I'm working with flash. I usually just stare at my flash and camera like a retard wondering what I'm supposed to do :lol:
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, getting more blur on the subject can be tricky: with most speedlight flash units, it's hard to overpower daylight if the daylight is bright, and at 1:00 in the afternoon, even in partial shade, the ambient light levels with an ISO 200 camera are pretty bright. So, you have to wait for dimmer lighting conditions, or find dimmer lighting.

    Adding a Neutral Density filter will cut down on the amount of light, which will allow you to use a slower shutter speed, which will make the background blurrier as you pan the camera; pine needles that are backlighted, fence posts, backlighted deciduous trees, and some other types of backgrounds REALLY show panning blur quite well. Adding a Polarizer, or Neutral Density filter will allow you to open up the lens aperture to a wider hole, and will reduce the depth of field and help blur the background, OR will allow you to use a slower shutter speed....but the Catch-22 is that the filter will also in effect lower your flash power. Still, it does allow you to use either a wider lens opening OR a slower shutter speed, and the shutter speed is what gives the "blur", while the flash unit's power and distance,and the lens f/stop and the ISO setting, all make up the "flash" part of the exposure.

    If you shot this same shot very early or very late in the day, your ambient light exposure might be f/6.3 at 1/4 second, and the flash would be just the same as it was in the shot you posted. A long,slow speed like 1/4 second will give a pretty big "blur" on a moving subject, and the flash will give a crisp image. This is a tricky area, combining daylight + flash + moving subjects...the shutter's speed limitations on most cameras limit you somewhat. Your original shot was pretty good...I just think "blurrier" conveys more motion and movement, but it's pretty subjective.
     
  9. indeedies

    indeedies TPF Noob!

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    ^^^^^^^^^
    Thanks Derrel. I'm going to continue working on this because. Perhaps eliminating the moving subject and really understand the daylight + flash equation first will help me more. This was just a thing we tried at the end of the shoot to see if I could get it. He's pretty stoked about it as well as me but I know it can be improved on later on.

    Thanks again for the advice!
     

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