STEP BY STEP / Strike a bal­ance

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Read the me­ter

Set your Nikon on a tri­pod and put it in man­ual mode. Take a me­ter read­ing by look­ing through your viewfinder and not­ing the light me­ter. Aim for around the cen­tre of the me­ter for this sit­u­a­tion, be­cause we have no bright high­lights or dark shad­ows.

2 Set the speed

At 24mm, an aper­ture of f/5.6 kept the or­gan in fo­cus from front to back. Start­ing at the flash sync speed (1/200 sec), de­crease the shut­ter speed un­til you get the light me­ter read­ing the cor­rect ex­po­sure. Dur­ing the shoot we ex­per­i­mented with speeds of 1/125-1/20 sec.

3 Light it up

Put a flash trig­ger on your Nikon and your flash­gun. Put the flash­gun on a light stand and set the power to 1/32 power. Put a dif­fuser on the light to spread it over the en­tire sub­ject. If it’s not bright enough, turn up the flash­gun power, but don’t touch the cam­era set­tings.

4 Move it around

Move the flash around to get dif­fer­ent looks and frame it so you can still see the light­ing un­der­neath. We side-lit the keys and turned the Nikon side-on to the keys to get that shine on the front of the black keys. Be­cause the light was dif­fused by an um­brella, the keys were lit evenly.

5 Frame your shot

Try out some com­po­si­tional tricks to see what works for your sub­ject. If you’re shoot­ing a sym­met­ri­cal sub­ject, frame up to em­pha­sise that sym­me­try. By fram­ing the con­sole straight-on you can see the but­ter­fly switches bow­ing around the horse­shoe shape at the edge.

6 Add a model

Use a model to bring your sub­ject to life and to add a sense of scale. If your sub­ject is some­thing that can be used, then cap­ture it be­ing used. Jason is ac­tu­ally a the­atre or­gan­ist, so he jumped up on the bench and ran the or­gan through its paces for a few shots.

1/20 sec 1/125 sec

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