Wednesday, 10 June 2009

NoMotion & EMotion: Entering the world of the Strobist

So here it is... my first teeny tiny footsteps into the big world of the Strobist and using the now world renowned Nikon SB.
The kit i used for the shoot was my own Nikon D80 and tripod.  The SB's i used were both from college, one being the brand new SB-900 and it's predecessor SB-800.  Also on hand was a Workmate workbench on which i positioned the SB-900 and a snoot made from a rolled up newspaper. 
I'll be the first to admit that the pictures are far from perfect, but for my first time, i don't think that i did too bad.
If i were to do it again, first of all I'd give myself more time to do it.  Also i'd iron out some of the problems with the criss-crossing shadows and in some cases, a lack of shadows, making it appear as though my model was floating, as opposed to jumping.
Above:  No flash, metered on the wooden gate.

Above:  An unmodified SB-900 hidden behind the gate, triggered by the pop-up flash on my D80.  I don't know exactly how it works... but it did.

Above:  For this shot, i added a snoot to the SB-900, aimed onto the tank on the motorcycle.  Quite a nice effect on the bike... but i don't like the shadow on the wall behind it.

Above:  I left the Sb-900 where it was, but upped the power slightly.  I also added a Rim light or back light depending on your preference.  i had problems positioning the second flash, because if i hid it from the camera's lens, it would not fire because it couldn't receive the signal from the flash.  In the end i had to compromise and put the SB-800 directly behind the front wheel of the bike, which brought the detail up fine; just as i wanted... but gave an unsightly highlight just in front of the wheel.

Above:  This shows the difference between using a rim light and not using a rim light. 
The image on the left uses the SB-900 with the snoot.  Great for the detail on the tank and the engine, but leaves a lot of the image quite dark... could be effective to the right person, but i didn't like it.  
For the image on the right i placed the SB-800 on the floor (not ideal since the stand was missing and i also had no access to higher light stands)  This added the extra detail that i wanted.  The front wheel, the mirror, and the rear of the bike too are now more clearly visible.

Above:  I also did some detail shots.

Above:  I practiced at first on a static subject, and then moved on to a moving subject... which proved a little harder.  As before i used a light on the subject, slightly behind my shooting position, and another flash aimed at the wall to bring out some more detail.

Above:  Strike a Pose

Above:  this is the image I'm not sure about.  She could easily be floating on strings, or in this case jumping.  In this case a shadow would help, just to add a bit of depth so the viewer can understand what is actually happening.

Above:  Using a slower shutter speed, 1/50th if memory serves me correctly, meant i had a bit of motion blur which helped to show the dynamic movements of the dancer.

Above:  Jump!! Jump!! Go ahead and jump!!

Above:  Believe it or not, this dancer is actually travelling backwards at this point.


  1. Ahah nice...nice .. I also love to play with lighting .. it was no right or wrong .. the result must be like what we want .. practice makes perfect ..

  2. Thanks for the comment Affig.
    I suppose your right.
    I'll definitely keep practicing.