Monday, May 10, 2010

The Twilight Zone

Now that’s a creative title for a post! And it might even get me in trouble with the IP police. But I digress… What I’ll try to do here is to balance flash with ambient at twilight (or close to twilight). Here’s where I started:


Not very twilight-ish, is it? I could have stopped down the aperture a bit (shootin’ in manual but automatically dialing in f/5.6, and it never occurred to me to darken that sky by stopping down, even though I had about 3 more stops of power left in my flash… bleh!).

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lighting 102: Cooking - Revisited


So call me persistent, but since I wasn’t too thrilled with my first attempt, I made a second (and third) try. I liked these ones better, by a long shot!


I cleaned up my background just a bit in Photoshop Elements (I forgot to dust the counter… Oops!). I should have tried for a more uniform background, of course, but hey, you work with what you’ve got. More info, including setup pics, after the jump…

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tomato salad

Well, not really, but I wanted to light a nice red tomato (turned out to be the only available one that was big enough to be interesting, but it had some skin blemishes :-(. In the end I decided not to use Portraiture on it… lucky it wasn’t a “she” or I’d be in trouble!)


(I ditched the borders on these pics, I think they look cleaner this way…).

More pics (lot’s more!) after the jump.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


My son gets cool ideas every now and then, and this one was sticky cool! What happens when you balance a bottle of glue on a flashlight… and then turn it on? All kinds of cool things happen, that’s what:


Click on the pic for a larger image. What we’re seeing here is a whole lotta things: We have diffuse reflection all over the place, we have direct transmission (both through the clear plastic bottle and through the clear glue), which gives us refraction, we have diffuse transmission… you name it. The only thing I’m pretty sure we don’t have here is direct reflection, since as far as I can see there’s no way to get direct reflection (the angles don’t work).

Not bad, huh? Next up, some killer tomatoes ;-)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Flash + ambient, indoors (part 2)

After taking pictures of the car guard, I decided to try my hand at some more ambient + flash balancing, but this time I wanted to control the spill on my background a bit more, so I went with a cardboard grid on my flash, instead of an umbrella.


It took a few tries until I got the direction and flash output “right” (since it’s basically a matter of taste). The whole process will be unveiled if you click on more…

Flash + ambient, indoors (part 1)


After that doggy break, back to the lighting exercises. This time I’m trying to balance flash and ambient indoors. It was late in the evening, so my ambient was 100% artificial lighting. I adjusted my flash until the vase looked Ok (1/8th). In looking back, I think the above exposure was just right, but I wanted the vase just a little bit brighter, so I dialed up the flash, resulting in a lot more spill in the background, as you’ll find out after the jump.

Car guard

Woke up this morning to an interesting view of our neighbor’s car, nicely guarded by a most unusual car guard:


She looked pretty comfortable up there, but she soon grew restless and decided to find other more interesting things to guard. I managed one last photograph before she quit: