Photography Lighting

In recent weeks, I've become interested in going to the next level of photography. Not to say that I've mastered any previous part, but going to the next level will help me better understand the previous levels, and therefore I'll be half decent at any part. Lighting is the next level, I've determined.

In researching "The Holy Grail of Photography", henceforth, "lighting", I came across some blogs of old pros, namely the "Strobist". There, I read and read and read until I fell asleep. I bought a few Kindle prints of Joe McNally's books. I read and read and read, then did some practicing.

This is all in anticipation of the baby coming in April. I will blind that kid :P

Aside from books, here's what I've purchased:

  • Nikon SB-700 flash
  • CowboyStudios wireless flash trigger
  • CowboyStudios light stand with mounting bracket and umbrella
  • LumiQuest mini-softbox

I haven't been uploading sample shots with every piece of equipment yet, but the pictures up right now (as of 1/9/2012) include sample shots taken with the flash and the mini-softbox. I have shots with the wireless flash trigger that aren't up on flickr yet, and I just received the stand and umbrella today, and I haven't gone home yet.

I've been getting up to date on all of the terminology used. I know what effects the aperture has vs. shutter speed when flash comes into play. With flash and without flash, actually. And ISO plays a big part in that as well.

I shoot in manual mode on my camera without a flash, and so I've brought that over to flash photography as well. My method now as always is shoot and review to see if I'm getting enough light. If not, bump the flash power or open/close the aperture, etc. Or refocus, since I also shoot in manual focus mode. With practice, I'm getting quicker at it..

Most photogs suggest shooting in aperture priority mode, since aperture is what effects flash the most. If you want to darken the flash, close the aperture, and vice versa. In non-flash photography, it also makes sense, because you can limit the depth of field (make the background blurry) or go infinite on that mother, and the camera will choose the proper shutter speed. I have opted to really learn everything before I go that way. The side effect is I take about 1 good photo for every 5 times my shutter opens :)

A good side effect of all of this photography, is I'm becoming a photo snob! If I look at a bad photo, either blurry or not enough light, or too much light, I get an ill feeling down in my bowels and have to just close my eyes or look away. It's good to have.

Lots of photos to come, especially when there's a baby AND a pug in the house :D