Sunday, December 28, 2008

Playing With Flash: Chickadee

I don't remember what exactly I was doing, but it caused me to remember a guy who photographs birds using his flashes. It occurred to me that I'm pretty much all set to give this a try myself, so I did. What you see below is my first attempt at shooting a bird using flash. I wanted to blacken out the background, but it didn't work out as well as I had hoped.

Chickadee (by John Brainard)

In order to shoot this, I had my camera and flashes on full manual. The slave flash (580EX) was set to full power and my master flash set to 1/128th, the lowest it can go. All I'm using my master flash for is triggering the slave. I set the shutter speed to 1/2000th of a second and the aperture as wide as I could go, which is f/5.6 with my Sigma 70-300mm lens.

Here's a list of things I plan on trying next:

  • Block all the feeder ports on the feeder except the ones I want to shoot the birds from.
  • Remove the other bird feeder from the back yard so they don't have an alternate feeder to eat from.
  • Position myself better so the tree is in the background.
  • Work out better exposure settings.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Playing With Light

Thanks, Zetson, for the extra push I needed to get a new entry up on my blog! Hopefully, this won't go collecting dust for nearly a whole month again for a while!

I currently have in my possession a 580EX flash to accompany my 580EX II as I contemplate buying it. I originally wanted to purchase a set of Elinchrom Skyports to get my flash off camera and I still may do that, but I really am enjoying the Canon wireless flash system. Some of the benefits to it are the e-TTL, which I'm not using much, and high-speed shutter sync, which I have used. It didn't take long to figure out how to control the 580EX as a slave to my 580EX II master.

The following is a result of my playing around with a toy my mom bought me for Christmas a few years ago. Yes, I'm 32 years old and yes, I still ask my mom for toys like this for Christmas! I thought it only fitting that I incorporate some Christmas lights in the photos of a Christmas present around Christmas time!

Robo Raptor (by John Brainard)

Robo Raptor (by John Brainard)

Robo Raptor (by John Brainard)

The lights in the background are supposed to be star shaped. Unfortunately, the star I cut out of a piece of foam craft paper didn't work out too well. I'll have to try again with card stock. If you want to know what I did, check out this link.

Have a Merry Christmas! And don't forget the Reason for the Season!