Friday, 15 July 2011

Canon Off-Camera Flash - Outdoor PR Images

Last Wednesday I attended a meeting of our local business association at the Plumpton College, a land based college close to the South Downs in East Sussex. We had a wonderful evening hosted by Des Lambert, the college Principle.

 Des Lambert, Principle, Plumpton College talks to BHBPA members about the college and the extensive estate it farms within the South Downs National Park

Needless to say I took a camera Speedlite with me. Just a shame that my trusty friend and VAL (Voice Activated Light Stand) Ben wasn't there, but he ended up fire-fighting a crisis at the publishers he works for!

As is the case in England, the weather wasn't really on my side so I needed to do a little enhancing to get some decent images. The create the above image of Des I took the Canon 580 EXII Speedlite off-camera left with an eTTL lead; the Canon 5D MkII was set to Av mode with the background under exposed by a stop or so for a little drama. The Speedlite was set to over exposure by 2/3 stop. By doing this I placed emphasis on the main subject, Des and the people in the background receed. A wide stop adds to the background de-emphasis.

Image processing and post-production were carried out with Bridge and Photoshop. Basic exposure tweeks in Bridge then a few local adjustments in PS using a dodge/burn adjustment layer.


As you can see from this unlit image, the light was pretty flat and boring and needed a bit of a lift.


This shot of Des was lit and exposed very much as the first. You can see the effect of the Speedlite by the light area in the image. The darker area was not lit by the flash and is the ambient exposure recorded by the camera sensor.I would have preferred to light this shot from the right rather than the left to place more emphasis on Des's face. The trouble was no Ben, but I still got a usable shot.

To get this image I had to move a way from the group. Don't be shy about getting into a different position to get your images; run with the crowd and you'll get run-of-the-mill images. Change your position and point-of-view (PoV) and you'll create images that stand out from the crowd.

Have a great weekend and keep an eye open for news of the Fotothon winners to be announced tomorrow - providing they all respond to our notification emails!

Ian

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