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A Perfectly Squiffy Jag

Katie, 3a

26.11.05 Saturday
05:41 am - Katie, 3a Previous Entry Share Next Entry



I'm kicking myself for being so anti-flash for the last two years. I'm borrowing Ashley's for a wedding I'm shooting on Sunday and I can't believe how nice of shots proper use of flash allowes for. I also associate the use of flash with the cheap built-in lamps that wash out the subject; what a naive assumption on my part.

Anyway, so I decided to take some test shots this morning (waking poor Katie up at three am because I needed a subject). These were taken in nearly no light. I'm really pleased with them (technically). I'm going to get a gift from the camera store for this shoot (my standard fee, lately) and I think I'm going to get a flash of my own.

This particular one was taken at ISO 100, which is the big benefit of using flash; there is virtually no grain to the image. Plus the color is almost perfectly balanced.

The other photo I took is a better picture of Katie but doesn't show off the flash as well.


{int i; i=11; i++}

comments
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llarian [26.11.05::04:33]
*laugh* Welcome to the not-so-dark-anymore-side of flash photography. Good shit if used well. (And fucking terrible if not)
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tyrven [27.11.05::12:05]
Do you have any recommendations on all-purpose carry-around flash devices? I haven't started digging into it enough to know what the variables are, but will probably start my research on monday.
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oh yes. - potaeto [26.11.05::04:42]
sir i do know what you mean about the flash. my professor let me borrow one, and now iahve a new confidence for taking indoor photos. this photo really got me excited about it the most.



not digital, but it looks digital to me.
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Re: oh yes. - tyrven [27.11.05::12:07]
That's a nice photo. "not digital, but it looks digital to me" - it doesn't feel digital to me, but I consider that a positive thing :).
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Re: oh yes. - phunbee [27.11.05::10:25]
Nice pic. What were you thinking when this was taken?
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girlpirate [26.11.05::06:37]
What kind of flash is it? I've been eyeing them, but unsure of where to begin.
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tyrven [27.11.05::12:09]
This one is the Speedlight 420EX. Ashley said it was relatively entry level but it seems like it will work well for most of my needs. I will be researching the variables next week, though, and will probably post my findings. I'll definitely be buying one before Christmas -- in part because I need one and in part because I'm going to desparately need some additional tax write offs ;-).
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phunbee [27.11.05::12:42]
She must be ramarkably understanding about your art if she lets you wake her up at 3am for a photo shoot. I might have cut you.
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tyrven [27.11.05::03:15]
I think she'd be less understanding if I put it up on a pedestal and called it art ;-) hahah. But yeah, she's far too patient with me, I think.
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phunbee [27.11.05::10:24]
*dawww*
thaddeusquay [27.11.05::11:49]
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tyrven/67093781/in/photostream

Your caption for the above says: "This is my mail cat, Shinji." Do you mean that this is the cat who has been tasked to get the daily mail? :)

WARNING: External flashes are generally more powerful than the onboard ones. Therefore, it may be a bad idea to use them head-on on small animals, especially baby animals. A professional photographer warned me about this when I was taking a photo of her kitten, and this was with an onboard flash. However, by the time she said that, I had already decided that it would be safer to go from an angle, from above, waiting until the kitten wasn't looking directly at me. If you use an external flash, but still want head-on shots of baby animals, you might want to get a flash handle, so that you can hold the flash away from you, for instance, from above and slightly behind the animal's head.

Speaking of taking photos in near-total darkness, you didn't answer my question from 10/26:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/tyrven/297588.html?thread=5858676#t5858676

However, despite your TOTAL lack of attention to my problem, I did manage to come up with a solution. It turns out that digital cameras have an IR filter attached directly to the CCD. You take apart the camera, remove the IR filter, and replace it with a visible light filter, which can simply be a completely-exposed (all-black) 35mm negative. Put the camera back together, and turn off the onboard flash.

To finish off, you need an intense source of IR light. One way to do this is to take apart an ordinary flashlight, and replace the lamp with a large, IR LED from Radio Shack. To accommodate the idiosyncrasies of LEDs, you may need to add some components and/or redo the wiring a bit. Additionally, if the one isn't enough, you may need to add more, as in the form of a ring of LEDs, with holes drilled into the reflective surface around the hole where the original bulb was. I don't know all the details for an optimal solution here, as I didn't research this part too much.

Anyway, even the IR source from an ordinary TV remote will suffice for closeup photos. With such a modified camera, and a simple remote control, you could take some IR photos of sleeping Katie without actually waking her up.

This is only one solution I found. Another was to use night vision with a B&W filter, but that's hard to attach to an actual camera. I'd still like to know if you know of any better solutions.
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