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How to Photograph a Hiker In the Forest with Flash and Pocket Wizard TT1 and TT5

How to Photograph a Hiker In the Forest with Flash and Pocket Wizard TT1 and TT5

Flash is an excellent tool for photographing any subject outdoors. From wildflowers to people, action to adventure, the flash is an excellent lighting tool for outdoor and nature photography. In this video we show how to light a hiker in an old growth forest of ponderous pines with  a remote wireless Canon 580EXII flash on a light stand and Pocket Wizard TT1 and TT5 wireless radio transmitters in a Strobist style photo shoot.

The amount of photo equipment required is minimal: a light stand and bracket to hold the flash. The flash and Pocket Wizards radio triggers. The camera and tripod. He used a Canon 70 – 200 f/2.8 zoom lens and a Canon 5D digital camera. See how to lighten and darken the background with shutter speed and then the RAW digital files are taken into the digital darkroom and sorted in Adobe Bridge and some light processing in Adobe Photoshop. Watch the video:
… Continue Reading

My Favorite Wireless Triggering Device

My Favorite Wireless Triggering Device

I like using flash for my outdoor photography: occasionally with nature subjects and quite often with adventure imagery and there are many options to choose from. I have quite a few and I started using them many years ago in my commercial photography.

I started with the Quantum Radio Slaves as triggers and they worked great allowing me to trigger flash/strobes or trigger my camera as well. They are still out there but no longer the market leader as far as I can tell. That goes to Pocket Wizard, which I also have a few of.

Mine is an older version that still going strong and I use it as well for triggering strobes or flash. These guys make many variations and have a solid reputation for quality. I also have a TT1 and TT5 for my Canon flashes and unlike other PW’s, the TT1/TT5 allow the use of TTL with flash while other PW’s only trigger the flash. But it is this unit that I am quite impressed with. … Continue Reading

Using Flash for Macro Photography

Using Flash for Macro Photography

Sometimes when we photograph we get perfect light and other times we don’t so on occasion there might be a need to improve the light and make it close to perfect. While there is not a solution to turn bad light into good light, one tool that can benefit many close-in subjects is the flash.

Flash is a great tool for outdoor photographers and while it has little effect on a sweeping landscape, it is quite useful with subjects closer in like macro or close-up nature.

Today’s dedicated flash units are very sophisticated devices so if you are new to flash, grasping these fundamentals will demonstrate how flash is fairly easy to use.

TWO LIGHT SOURCES … Continue Reading

How to Tell Stories With Light

How to Tell Stories With Light

As we document the world with our cameras, light is a crucial ingredient to successful photographs. It’s that light that tells the story we want told. It tells us the shape of the land with highlights and shadows. It can tell us the temperature outdoors with cool light or warm light. Light can tells us whether the subject is soft or rough or large or small.

Light tells the story of the subject!

It is these stories that are important to convey and if you have a photograph that does not tell the story you want told, consider the lighting as one reason.

Whether photographing outside or inside, we don’t always have the light we need so the solution to that problem is to Make Light! With a basic flash unit you can create light that tells the story you want told. … Continue Reading

Outdoor Flash Photography: Our New eBook

Outdoor Flash Photography: Our New eBook

A Guide to Lighting Outdoor and Adventure Subjects

The flash unit is a very sophisticated device, yet very valuable to the outdoor photographer. Sometimes nature just does not provide the best light and using flash can improve it.

Whether you need flash in combination with the natural light or need to create light where there isn’t any, this book covers it all.

The Nikon SB900 and Canon 580EXII are covered in great detail from the LCD to the buttons so you will understand what they all mean.

In this eBook you will learn how to apply flash for specific results in both intensity and quality.  But even more valuable is how to create light that tells stories. Something that is important to outdoor and adventure photographers. … Continue Reading

Wildflower Photography: Flash Fill vs. Diffuser

Wildflower Photography: Flash Fill vs. Diffuser

What is the best way to photograph wildflowers; in the sun or in the shade? There are of course a variety of answers and i think it depends on how you frame the flowers in your viewfinder. The sun does not always create flattering light for wildflowers often adding to much contrast.

A large landscape showing a field of wildflowers benefits from the sun as it skim across the scene. But if you shoot macro, your flowers are up close and all the nuances of the light are obvious. If there is to much contrast its right there, in your face.

We all have our preferences and mine is soft light, even overcast conditions for photographing flowers up close. But recently while in Arizona searching for blooming cactus, I had what makes Arizona wonderful in other ways: great weather and warm days. But the light on the blooming Hedgehog Cactus was harsh. … Continue Reading

How To Use Flash Fill Outdoors

How To Use Flash Fill Outdoors

Flash fill is a very useful tool for photographers. In contrasty lighting situations our camera sometimes cannot record the range of contrast in a photo scene like our eyes can. In very bright situations, the perfect exposure will favor the highlights in the scene and often to the detriment of the shadows.

Flash fill can add light to the shadow areas reducing the harsh contrast created by bright sun or ambient light. It can also brighten up dull images that are taken in flat light. In fact I always recommend the use of a flash whenever shooting people and most subjects in full sun and in flat light.

Subjects outside when the sun is high overhead can suffer what is called ‘raccoon eyes’, dark eye sockets on a brightly lit face. Back-lit subjects can also benefit from flash fill by outputting flash into the front shadow side reducing the lighting contrast. Wildlife photographers are known to use flash simply to add a ‘catchlight’ to an animals’ eyes. … Continue Reading

Understanding the Basics of Outdoor Flash Photography

Understanding the Basics of Outdoor Flash Photography

Flash is a very powerful tool for outdoor photographers. While ‘sweet light’ is often available naturally, the midday sun or less than flattering outdoor light may be all that is available and this often presents the need for additional light sources.

Reflectors are great as a tool to bounce light into shadow areas and lessen contrast from the natural light, but reflectors are not always the best tools. Most of them have a limit on reflectance ability or rather the measurement of how much light bounces off in comparison to the amount of light that hits the reflectors varies.

Silver and gold will bounce back more light that white, but they produce much contrastier light than soft light from a white reflector.  In addition, reflectors can create their own highlights and resulting shadows depending on their bounce ability or reflectance value and position. … Continue Reading

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