Fancy Flash Flowers

July 05, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

One of my peers in our LinkedIn group for Hybrid Photographers is a high-end wedding photographer in Florida, and he recently purchased the flash system I use, based on my recommendation.  But he has been having some issues getting the flash to perform to his expectations.  After looking at his website and analyzing his style, I now know what he is trying to accomplish with off camera flash, which is not typically part of my repertoire anymore...  You see, we use constant light LED panels, so that we can switch back and forth from stills to video capture.  Basically, he likes to shoot portraits using a technique similar to how I captured these flowers this afternoon:

GW_I 07 05 2014 19-03-07GW_I 07 05 2014 19-03-07 GW_I 07 05 2014 19-05-08GW_I 07 05 2014 19-05-08 GW_I 07 05 2014 19-07-43GW_I 07 05 2014 19-07-43 GW_I 07 05 2014 19-24-18GW_I 07 05 2014 19-24-18 I was able to blur everything except the flowers I was focusing on, by shooting my lens wide open (largest aperture) which in these photos was f2.8.

GW_I 07 05 2014 19-04-15GW_I 07 05 2014 19-04-15 These pics were captured in direct sunlight (with flash!) can you tell?  Probably not.  The dramatic lighting was accomplished by shooting in manual mode, dialing in a high shutter speed to darken (underexpose) the background, then manually setting the flash power just high enough to POP the flower in the foreground.  This is exactly how you do dramatic outdoor portraits against a bright sky, without losing color.  It takes a few shots to dial in the settings just right, but then you can shoot away, moving from one flower composition to the next.  For a Bridal or engagement portrait, you use this same technique, but move the flash off camera to develop more definition via shadows from side lighting.

GW_I 07 05 2014 19-12-48GW_I 07 05 2014 19-12-48 Like with this good looking fellow!  So my friend can still shoot in the style he is known for, he'll just have to practice adjusting his settings in the new GH4 camera as quickly as he did with his old DSLR.  Same results, but easier and quicker with the new equipment.


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