Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Safe way to use flash indoors

I've done a series of event photography over the last month and in my research and testing I've found a few simple tips to remember when taking photos indoors using a flash gun (not the pop up stuff!)

So here is a list of random tips in no order. Some may not even relate to flash, but more to doing event photography:

- Gary Fong's Lightsphere collapsible actually does work!
- Lightsphere helps especially when there is no ceiling or wall to bounce the flash off of.
- Never aim flash directly at subjects. Worse case, use a diffuser
- Simplest method is to aim flash up when there is ceiling
- If no ceiling and no diffuser, use a poker card tied with rubber band. If even that is not available, aim flash at 45 deg forward.
- Use (M), Yes! Manual mode with the following settings...
- When using flash set speed at 1/160 to prevent shake unless that is your intention (to shake)
- When using flash set aperture to f/5.6 or f/8 for bigger groups
- When using flash ISO 400 is acceptable, ISO800 is better, ISO1250 is even better. Basically, more ISO = More background will be shown, but higher noise.
- Don't be afraid of "the noise". A good camera have good noise cancellation
- Depending on the distance you are standing to the subjects, you may need to adjust the flash bounce, increase or decrease the flash power by stops via ETTL controls
- Learn how to use FEL functions on your camera to get the right flash metering.
- Bounce card, diffuser, Lightsphere with or without cap and no modifiers all give a different style to the photo. Need to pick and decide on style you want.
- In conference or slightly better lit places, can try NO FLASH. Again, do not be afraid of higher ISOs.

OK, that's all the self-tip and reminder I can think of...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gloomy few weeks...

Loves of my life, a photo by Mervin Chiang on Flickr.
WARNING: Philosophical and spiritually religious post ahead...

It's very sobering how God works and have reminded us as a family to cherish and be contented with what we have and never to take for granted the gift of life and the many little blessings we have.

I will be shooting at my very first funeral event tomorrow here in Brisbane. And never in a million years would I have imagined that the first funeral I attend here in Brisbane would be that of a 3 day old baby. Ben and Faith have grown really close to us as friends and Kat and I hold them very dear to our hearts. Our hearts and prayers go out to them as they work as a family to go through these trialling times.

A few days after the news we heard another sad news regarding cancer of someone Kat knows.

It's a reminder that our current life on earth is temporal and that we need to invest in the eternal and look to God for our salvation. Today's feature photo reminds me to be contented and happy to have my family and to cherish life with them. And to make sure I lead them towards the Cross... As much as I can.