I’ve added more gadgets to the studio and finished a handful of shoots.
Here’s an update about what I added:
Electronic Flashes – I own 4 flashes. A Vivitar (which I have a PC sync cord for), a Minolta, the funky flash that came with my Diana and a Yongnuo which has a slave mode.
I also rigged both of my tripods and some fishing line to suspend a backlight flash with.
Here’s what I did:
I put my Canon 50d on a tripod at eye level with my subject. I attached my Vivitar to my DSLR with the PC sync cord on a second tripod that was slightly up and to the left of the camera. I put the flash on “Red Circle” mode (I don’t know what that means, but it worked for this shoot). I put a diffuser on the flash. I attached it with scotch tape, because it is made for a different flash, so there’s that. My f-stop depended on how close my subject was and what power I had the flash set to.
I wanted to play with backlighting and the halo it can produce on hair, so I put my Yongnuo on slave mode at just above 50% power and suspended it directly behind my subject’s head using fishing line. I set my camera to M and shot at ISO 125 at f 4.5. Shutter speed was not really a factor, because ambient light was so low. Some of these shots are at 1/100.
For the this shot, I shot on bulb and manually fired the flash 3 different times. There are a few ways you can do this. You can make the room absolutely dark and use the same flash by triggering with the button on your flash. Or you can trigger 3 flashes at different times, which is what I did. Since I used 3 flashes, my biggest obstacle (besides juggling holding them while also holding down the shutter button and not shaking the camera) was balancing the power on all 3 flashes. The goal is to set the aperture and maintain a constant amount of light from all 3 flashes. It’s really important that at least 2 of the flashes allow you to adjust power manually. I used the Diana flash, Vivitar Flash set to “Yellow Triangle” and Yongnuo on bar 5 of 7.
The nice thing about digital is the instant feedback. I don’t think I could have done this easily on film. It took a lot of playing to figure out f-stop and flash power. However, once I got my exposure set, I could have switched from digital to film for the final shot.
In other words, fuss with your settings until the camera does something pretty. Use the internet and your camera/flash manuals as a guide. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!