Saturday, April 12, 2008

Strobist: Lighting 102 - 3.1 Balancing Light: Twilight

Strobist: Lighting 102 - 3.1 Balancing Light: Twilight

The exercise for this lesson took me outside and I felt some trepidation about take my equipment outside to do this stuff in front of others - thankfully this first lesson was towards the end of the day and it soon got dark :-) The next lesson however takes me outside in the day time!

Although I have taken photos at sunset and tried to use my flash before, but this time with the great guidance from David Hobby I enjoyed the results from the exercises and am looking to get out at sunset more often to practice getting more comfortable controlling my flash in manual mode whilst trying to balance flash and twilight.

These first of the two shots below were taken to try and get the right aperture for the background with the speed at 1/250. At first I thought the aperture 5.6 was OK but after reviewing the photo a bit more I decided to drop it down to 6.3 for the second shot.

The second shot was taken with the flash on camera. I wasn't comfortable working off camera on a beach at sunset for the first time so I kept it on camera for this time.

No flash used - trying to get the background balanced.
Exposure Time: 0.004s (1/250)
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 70mm (112mm in 35mm)


On camera 580EX II on manual at around 1/16
Exposure Time: 0.004s (1/250)
Aperture: f/6.3
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 70mm (112mm in 35mm)


The second set of shots were taken a bit later as the sun continued to go down - which it does really quickly! The first shot was taken at f4.0 and the second was taken at f5.6. Something I struggled with was working in manual trying to get the light correctly balanced at 1/250. The reason for this is that I normally use Av mode on my Canon which means I don't think about speed much.


On camera 580EX II on manual at around 1/8
Exposure Time: 0.004s (1/250)
Aperture: f/4.0
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 70mm (112mm in 35mm)


On camera 580EX II on manual at around 1/8
Exposure Time: 0.004s (1/250)
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 70mm (112mm in 35mm)

Just had a thought - I could leave my camera in Tv mode and let the camera worry about the aperture. But if I am trying to learn to take complete control of the shot taking process, I still feel that I should learn to control the whole process without relying on the camera. Once I have learned to control the process I may then choose to use semi auto modes based on circumstance rather than habit.

The last set of shots were taken after the sun has disappeared below the horizon. I like these two shots the most, not because it's my wife and youngest daughter (although I am biased like that), but because of the sun light playing on the clouds in the background.

On camera 580EX II on manual at around 1/8
Exposure Time: 0.0125s (1/80)
Aperture: f/6.3
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 70mm (112mm in 35mm)


On camera 580EX II on manual at around 1/8
Exposure Time: 0.0125s (1/80)
Aperture: f/6.3
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 127mm (203.2mm in 35mm)

I'm now looking forward to doing this again but with the flash off camera, and maybe even with two lights, to see what I can come up with.

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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