Monday, March 10, 2008

Strobist: Lighting 102: Unit 1.2 - Position (Distance)

After starting this Lighting102 course on strobist.com and doing the first exercise I was excited to see the results from my first off camera flash experience - a bit like holding hands for the first time with your girlfriend.

I printed out the second lesson which still focussed on Position, but this time it covered distance of the flash to the subject, as well as the subject to the background.

When I first read the lesson it didn't really make sense, in fact said the opposite of what I thought would be true. I thought that if you wanted to make the background darker, you would just move the flash further away.

However, it seems that the opposite is true, as the series of photos I took shows (click on the image for a larger image)


All the photos above were taken with exactly the same camera settings, namely; ISO100, 1/250 sec and f5.6. The only things that changed were the distance of the flash to the subject (my beautiful wife) and the power output by the flash unit.

For the shots I used the following setup:
  • Canon 30D
  • 580EX II (x1)
  • EF 50mm f1.4
  • Strobe stand with umbrella bracket
  • Pocket Wizards Plus II (x2)
  • Tripod
Once I had read the lesson a few times and then done the exercise it really started to sink in the light does have a depth of focus that ultimately I have a lot (if not full) control over it.

With the two lessons completed, I feel that I could spend the next 3-4 months playing with these two aspects of position, distance and angle, and learn ' a lot' without getting bored.

I have a tendency to try and run before I can walk, and as David, from strobist.com says, it's important to get comfortable with the basics and to be able for these concepts to become instinctive.


Please feel free to leave comments or questions about this article and I will endeavor to answer them as soon as possible.

Previous lessons from Lighting102:

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