For almost two years I have been using flash ONLY when ABSOLUTELY necessary. Not because I don’t like flash or think it is something to be feared, but because my SB-600 had met an untimely end on a concrete floor during a shoot. I had an old film flash, but I had to use it only in manual as it was not compatible with the digital camera bodies. It was so powerful that I found it really hard to control the light and give me the reliable fill that I had grown to love with the SB-600. Also, I had my studio lights for the big jobs, so I could make do. This past weekend though saw two shoots where I knew I was going to need my old friend, Easy Phill, (don’t look at me like you don’t name your photography gear as well) and so I set out to find a replacement.
I was ready.
It had been long enough.
After researching rentals and buying overseas, I happened on a great deal for a (hardly) used SB-700 through Camera Exchange here in Melbourne. I am instantly in love again… with Phyll.
When I posted about it on Instagram, I was surprised to see so many people want to see the shots and know how I use the flash out in the mid-day sun. I love the flash for this type of shooting as it is easy to reduce those harsh shadows and get a nice balanced exposure. Is it something I would use every time I do a session? No, but it is glorious to have the option. As I have said many times before…I love using any light that is available to me. I am that kind of available light photographer.
Above are two shots without any Photoshop work done to them. They are just outtakes from a shoot I did on Sunday for an upcoming blog post. I processed them from RAW to JPEG and that is it. They did not even need much of anything in the Capture NX2 program besides a bit of white balance fine tuning. I think the flash just gives it the extra bit of light I needed without too much of that “flash” look. My trick in this midday full sun situation is to get the exposure of the background first (hand held Sekonic meter for that), setting my camera manually for that reading and then letting the flash sort out the math of the output with TTL setting. I knew that I could shoot at the faster shutter speeds (the D3 will sync flash up to 1/250sec) and still record the ambient light as there was (obviously) and abundance of it so I set my exposure with shutter speed as the main deciding factor. Really, for me, using flash is about convenience without changing my style. I don’t always do the direct flash outside, but that is what I did for these. I am happy to answer any specific questions. Look for the rest of the images on here next week!