a dog & a frog in a flash...

...and a husband, too. (The word husband in the title just didn’t have any rhythm to it. Sorry!) To expand and improve my lighting options (in other words, not just depending upon natural light and photo software), I bought myself a shoe-mount flash/flashgun/speedlight for my D90 camera. It was time. There are times when relying on the existing lighting just will…not…work. And I have some future projects that will look oh-so-much better. (Jael, you’re welcome. :) )

These photos are unprocessed by software (no playing with exposure, white balance, contrast…na da); only converted to jpgs from my digital negatives. But I wanted you to see my mistakes. The dog photos are just a tad underexposed. I could have made my flash a bit brighter, turned up the ISO a bit (at least I think that should affect the light), or changed my aperture. I know that white fur fooled my camera into underexposing. For those of you who know more than I, this was very much experimental today (you’ve been there, you know you have to make mistakes). Adjusting a setting, taking a photo, tweaking a setting, taking a photo. I took over 100 photographs over at least three hours between my husband, the frog, and the dog—in a window lit room, in a dark room, in a halogen lit room. So these are just a sample of the mostly middle of the road pics. (The very dark or the very overexposed were deleted right away.) All of these you viewed today could be recovered to a normal brightness in software. But my goal was nail the exposure. But I feel for a first effort in understanding the light, this wasn’t too bad!

With the frog I was playing with the effect of the lighting—back, side, Rembrandt, front lighting. All create different moods. I took many of my husband. I promised I wouldn’t publish the crazy faces. So you just get one shot that I feel I got the exposure right. And a normal expression. (Although I should have had him look the other direction into the empty side of the frame. But oh well. Next time.)

Overall I’m very pleased with the quality of the light of the flash. With the dog photos, the room was lit by halogen lighting…very warm toned. The speedlight I had off camera, sitting on the floor to my left with the head straight up to bounce the light off of our white ceiling. The result, an evenly lit dog that isn’t too warm toned, and without red or glowing eyes.

Update on the my 365 Project—it’s still going strong. Hard to believe I’m over half way there. Here’s a link to the full set over on Flickr, since I don’t post them all the time in my blog.

And one last update—I’ve just started a pet photography class that will run for the next 4 weeks. I’ve already recruited some local pet owners as subjects. Should be interesting! Luckily the first assignment is using our own pet. My dog is usually a cooperative model for me, so I can focus on the light and the camera settings instead of him.

Have a great weekend!