Thursday, January 28, 2010

Flash-Test Dummy

Determined to learn how to use off-camera flash, I enlisted 'My Li'l Helper' - the child mannequin I got 20 years ago from the closing-down sale for a children's clothing store. Usually she works as a hat-stand for my Vietnamese farmer's hat, but tonight, we ran a brush thru her 'Ranga wig and voila! a model that will stand still while I move the lights around.

So for this exercise, I actually read the manual (yes, really!) and discovered how I can use the built-in flash on the Nikon D300s as the commander, so that the SB900 flash will act as a wireless 'off-camera' remote light source. The trick to it is to go into the camera's flash menu, select commander mode and then dial the on-camera flash down to -- and set the off-camera flash setting on TTL (through-the-lens) way up, to around +3. Then flip the switch on the off-camera flash to commander mode also, and you're ready to go. I played around with various positioning, pointing the flash vertically straight up at the ceiling to bounce the light, or angling at 45 degrees, and then placing it at different places around the model: on the floor, on a table, left, right, front, behind. Here's a few frames - the last one I ran thru Lightroom to get the 'Sigorney Weaver / Alien' effect. So now I think I'm good-to-go with some real children! - which is just in the nick of time, as I have a family photo-shoot booked for next weekend - wish me luck!

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