STE P BY STE P / Do the shake

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Roll things out

Avoid the messy, clut­tered back­ground of the gar­den and put up a pa­per roll on a back­ground stand be­hind your mag­nif­i­cent mutt. Raise it to about six feet, then gen­tly tease out the roll and let it rest back slightly, to give a soft curve. Then tape it down.

3 Set the power

We at­tached Yongnuo YN-622N wire­less trig­gers to the Speed­lights and the trans­mit­ter to our Nikon D800. We then set the over­head light to 1/2 power to make it the key light, and the side lights to 1/4 power, that meant we had a bright front light to lift the shad­ows on the muz­zle.

5 Up the ISO

When us­ing flash, it’s best to use Man­ual mode and dial in the de­sired set­tings, ad­just­ing the power and po­si­tion of the lights to con­trol the ex­po­sure. We set 1/160 sec and f/5.6, and ISO640 to en­able us to use rel­a­tively low light power, to re­duce re­cy­cle times of the flash­guns.

2 Po­si­tion the lights

We placed two lights with shoot-through um­brel­las ei­ther side of the cam­era for an even spread of light across the pooch and back­ground, then set up an­other with a re­flec­tive um­brella, fir­ing from above the cam­era, straight-on at the dog for more di­rec­tional light.

4 Po­si­tion the pooch

Test your com­po­si­tion by plac­ing your furry model and your Nikon in the cen­tre of the pa­per roll. If you use a 50mm lens you’ll fill your frame with back­drop, but an ex­cited dog that likes to roam may give you dif­fi­cul­ties by run­ning out of frame.

6 Shoot in bursts

To get the most out of each shake set Con­tin­u­ous High-speed mode. Set Con­tin­u­ous-servo AF and keep the dog cen­tred in the frame; the depth of field should en­sure the en­tire head is sharp, and high ISO should en­able sev­eral flashes be­fore the flash needs to re­cy­cle.

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