The fi­nal word

Nikon’s ra­dio-con­trolled flash tech­nol­ogy frees you up to have fun, says Joe…

NPhoto - - Contents - WWW.JOEMCNALLY.COM

Joe McNally has fun with a few Speed­lights he had kick­ing around the garage

There’s some­thing about an old garage, an even older truck, an oxy­acety­lene torch-wield­ing dude and a bunch of tar­nished, beaten up junk that makes you want to pull out the cam­era.

I don’t do land­scapes very well. I go to sleep at the tri­pod. But put me in a garage like this and I’m like a kid in a candy store.

I’ve been es­pe­cially giddy lately, ’cause I’m tack­ling things that would have been im­pos­si­ble with line-of-sight Speed­light tech­nol­ogy. The SB-5000 ra­dio TTL sys­tem makes this shot, well, not ex­actly a no-brainer, but some­thing that is fun and chal­leng­ing to put to­gether, in­stead of frus­trat­ing and painful. In other words, I’m able to freely place and hide flashes wher­ever I want, and not have to make com­pro­mises to ac­com­mo­date whether a re­mote flash can see the com­man­der unit. And, I’ve got full TTL or man­ual con­trol over ex­po­sure right at the cam­era.

Let’s take it in steps. Spike the cam­era. D5 with a 14-24mm on a heavy duty Gitzo. No­tice the win­dows at the back. I’m cheat­ing. Means there’s nat­u­ral light back there and I can dial that up and down as a fill with shutter speed.

Light with a pur­pose, piece by piece. Main light for sub­ject, fill light for sub­ject. Light (s) for en­gine com­part­ment. Light for front grill work. Rim light for the left side of ve­hi­cle. Red gelled light for sim­u­lated tail light. Put light in prop work lamp, and run the work lamp cord up to a boom perched on a high roller. Make sure all these lights are gelled warm. Put in back­light. Blast it at your sub­ject’s back­side, but soften it with a blow of smoke. De­fine the far wall be­low the win­dows with flashes wash­ing up­wards from a low po­si­tion. Put a rim light off the work light, cam­era right, to give the right side of the photo a bit of lift and sep­a­ra­tion. I’ve never de­scribed a Speed­light as a brassiere be­fore, but there you go.

Be­low is the road map, a sort of Rube Gold­berg map, of our day in the field. The light­ing is ac­tu­ally re­mark­ably sim­ple, in a way. There are only two light shapers – an Ezy Box Hot Shoe Soft­box, and a Las­to­lite Speed­light box. Ev­ery­thing else is just a raw light, some with dome dif­fusers, oth­ers zoomed to con­trol spread. There are gels on vir­tu­ally ev­ery light, mostly CTO. But that’s it. Two light shapers, over and un­der. The rest of the time I’m just splash­ing light here and there and see­ing how it looks…

IN NEXT IS­SUE: more light-shapin g ad­vice from joe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.