Sunday, August 7, 2011

What is the Speed of Dark?


Once again Nancy and I were outside at dusk, playing with my Pocket Wizard wireless radio triggers. Seems like such a simple idea.... shoot in the falling light, but bring enough light to make sure the subject is well lit. Once the weather gets back to normal (under 80F) I'll be more inclined to play with this setup in the daylight hours. Right now, just setting up and getting some test shots has me soaked in sweat. This humidity can pass anytime now. Really.




Part of what I have been exploring is the idea of trying to decrease the ambient exposure behind my subject so that the skies aren't so blown out. Usually, in the summertime, the skies around here are downright boring... blah, overcast, glaring, grey, very unappealing.

What I found was that if I decreased the ambient exposure a few stops beyond what the camera would have metered as "normal", I could get some more color from the whitewashed sky. Then the problem became lighting my subject so that they weren't jet black. Two SB-600s rigged to Pocket Wizards made that a quick fix.




By the time Nancy and I wrapped up a half hour of shooting, it was dark enough that we probably should have brought some flashlights outside to help us find our way back into the studio. Soon, I want to try this sort of shooting in a more picturesque setting... maybe Seneca or Cayuga Lakes, as the sun is setting. I saw a very cool brick building in Waterloo that would make for a great backdrop. Need to find the time to make that happen while the weather holds!

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