Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘commander

It’s Hard to Type with Paws

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Nikon D300s + Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 at 195mm f/8 ISO200 1/125 Second

What do I do when it storms too badly on the weekend to go out and I’m stuck indoors? Photograph stuff around the house, like Bo Bear here. Bridget wanted me to take a picture of him in his new red shirt that she bought for him at the Build a Bear store this past weekend. I figured, why not make it interesting and use a couple SB units to make a moody shot?

I placed two laptops on the coffee table in our living room, originally planning to make Bo look like a really busy, multi-tasking bear. The shot didn’t look right, so I just kept the second laptop out of the shot (to the left of the frame) and used it to bounce light towards the Bo from camera left. I gelled an SB-800 with a full CTO, attached a dome diffuser, and aimed it at the second laptop’s screen, which had a white piece of paper over it. This would act as a main light, set to TTL at -1/3EV. This main light is aimed at Bo Bear, but is also rotated to spill some light on the laptop he’s looking at, otherwise half of the frame would be a completely dark box.

Coming in high from camera left is a bare SB-900 zoomed to 200mm and set to manual (SU-4) at 1/128 power. The small kick of cooler light coming from the SB-900 puts a nice highlight to the upper rim of the laptop and also casts blue light on the left side of Bo Bear’s face, simulating the light that would come from the screen. The computer screen is active in this shot, but wasn’t putting out anywhere near enough light to create the effect. Both flashes were triggered via CLS using the D300s’ pop-up flash as a commander.

The rainy window behind Bo Bear and his laptop was actually throwing quite a bit of backlighting towards the camera because this shot was taken during the day time. I wanted more of a night-time, moody look to the shot, so I used a higher shutter speed to really underexpose the daylight in the background.

Written by Jonathan

December 12, 2009 at 11:53 pm


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Nikon D300s + AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G at f/18, ISO200 1/200 Second / SB900 (camera L) +1.7EV, SB800 (camera R) -0.7EV

We have some lovely orchids in our bathroom that recently bloomed, and Bridget’s been after me to take a photo of them. Seeing as I’m still getting over this nasty cold that I’ve been fighting all week, which has been keeping me indoors and preventing me from heading outdoors for photography, I decided today was a good time to make an image of these flowers.

Until I started getting more comfortable with hot shoe flashes, I relied solely on natural light for flower shots (or any kind of still life for that matter….or any kind of photography for that matter….). The sun had already set when I started shooting the orchids, so natural light was not an option. Sometimes, you just gotta roll your own light! This shot was taken using the pop up flash on the D300s set to command an SB-900 high on camera left and an SB-800 low on camera right. Both flashes are firing first through dome diffusers followed by a light tent that is housing the flowers. I shot in manual so I could set a shutter speed that would prevent ambient light from effecting the exposure while setting an aperture that would give me long depth of field for this macro shot.

Speaking of macro, it’s been quite a while since I’ve used my Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G lens. I forgot what an amazing piece of glass it is. Focus speed is absolutely silent and feels instantaneous, even in low-light. To think I considered selling this thing!

Once again, the photo looks amazing in Lightroom and just so-so on WordPress. Can’t figure out why!

Written by Jonathan

November 26, 2009 at 7:50 am