Ferocious When Wet: The cat's name is Ferocious, and he's getting a routine bath at the 9 Lives Cat Shelter. The object was to publicize an upcoming adoption event, and I was pushing the concept of cats getting "gussied up" for the occasion. While the cat looks angry, he's actually enjoying the warm shower followed by a gentle rub down with a warm towel. What is not apparent is how little Ferocious protested, in spite of his angry expression.
The take-away from this simple shot was that you shouldn't try to bounce a flash in a room painted green. I finally resorted to using a Sto-Fen dome on an SB-80 mounted on my Fuji X-T2.
semi-collapsed 60" umbrella, which gave a confined, soft light similar to, but more portable than, a large beauty dish. This combination minimized the amount of spill light, leaving large ares that were lit by the ambient light coming from the back window. The back-story to this shot is an amusing read, and I admit that the image could have used some final tweaking, had I been given just a few more minutes to balance the lights.
Fiftieth Anniversary, and asked if I'd make a family photo, since many relatives would be coming from great distances to attend. I was happy to oblige, and took a photo that included all of their relatives. Immediately after the big group, Bill asked me to do one of his immediately family, which became his Christmas Card cover.
Built In Fill Card: I used the built in fill card on a Nikon SB900 to help with this shot. It's a reminder that when using extreme wide angle levels, the fill card only fills the center of the photo. Since this photo's intent was to highlight the center dancer, it did exactly that.
Heliport Dedication: This was the first time I photographed in a "cloudy bright" environment. There were plenty of picturesque clouds to provide in interesting, but not distracting, background for this low angle shot. Funny thing was that the thin, high cloud covering acted more as a neutral density filter than a diffuser, giving me crisp highlights without the severe glare one gets from direct sunlight.
In this shot, the on-camera flash serves as a fill light, and if one checks my actual posting, you will see that the only evidence of my flash is the pair of catchlights seen on the presenter's eyeglasses.
The neutral density effect provided by the high cloud cover allowed me to set my ambient exposure a stop or two lower that I might have chosen had the sunlight been at full strength. Even though I was using a Fuji T2 (Maximum Flash Sync Speed 1/250 of a second), I was able to choose a reasonable working aperture, one that allowed my flash to reach out a little farther with the little bit of flash fill. Notice that the flash only affects the (relatively) close foreground subject, with no effect on the helicopter in the background.
This is my best food-drive photo to day, but unfortunately the paper didn't run it.
this post. The background, a white wall, was highlighted using a tight grid spot. with an optical flash trigger and set to a low output level (1/16 power, it think). 12 to 16 pops are required when painting the Phottix, and for each flash, the background spot also fires, adding 12 to 16 layers of light on the background. Keeping the spot round was tricky, but more easily accomplished if you keep the flash as close to the lens axis as possible.
Looking back, this shot was more of an exercise in lighting technique rather than an accurate suggestion of how the Phottix trigger functions, since the unit emits no visible light, using instead a radio transmitted pulse to signal the remote flash.
A final consideration: It is important to spend the time to properly align the subject with the highlight, and I find moving the camera much easier than trying to move both the camera and the accent spot light.
I also started using Portrait Pro, a software package that allows for a one-click cleanup of the corrections that up until now, I retouched manually in Elements. I was pleasantly surprised how well it did with a single click of the mouse.
2017 Comes To An End: This has been an interesting collection of spot-on and near-miss photos, but they represent some major additions to my lighting tool kit. I'm looking forward to 2018, which by July 1, I will find myself retired from the Adult School. I'm hoping the additional time will lead to broader photo opportunities, and inspired photography.