Friday, May 16, 2008


I had a little bit of fun yesterday. I'd finished up working on the first part of a story at the local fish hatchery and decided to take a spin around the lake at the state park to see what there was to see. I actually drove past this spot, went to a turn-around and came back. I wanted to play with my new camera and throw a little off-camera flash into the mix to see what it would do

I set up a single flash with a radio trigger above and to the left of the flowers, which were growing out of the rock wall and a small clump. It took me a bit to get the light stand balanced on the steep incline just below the flowers, and a little bit of scrambling on my part to get into the position I wanted to be in to make the photo.
My goal here was to completely overwhelm what little natural, available light there was and "replace" it with the flash, so it would appear there was a single shaft of sunlight coming through the trees to illuminate the flowers and rocks.

I adapted a technique I read about on the website I've talked about before, combining it with lighting methods I've been teaching myself over the years.

I'm pleased with the result. I've always enjoyed photographing flowers, and nature in general. There's just something pleasant about being out on my own, just my camera and I (and, in this case, some lighting gear) and seeing what I can make of what I find.

Even though this image was literally shot a the side of the road, it got me close enough to nature for a few minutes at least to help me step back from the daily grind and take a breath, so to speak. That's what I like about nature photography. I'm not surrounded by people (though a few people did drive/bike by while I was making these images). It helps me to just be by myself once in a while and get out of my head with something I enjoy.

As I said, this was shot with the Canon G9 I bought about a month ago now. So far, I've been having pretty good luck with it. It's a learning curve that I'm slowly climbing.

Not every image I've made so far with the camera has been a keeper. It has it's limitations. I have to keep remembering it's a smaller, point-and-shoot camera. It's not going to do everything my larger, "professional" digital cameras will do.

But it is a joy to carry around. I'm convinced the images that weren't up to my expectations are a combination of me asking the camera to do things it wasn't necessarily designed to do and me, still learning how to do what the camera does well.

For those of you that are interested, the technical shooting data for this image is: ISO 200; shutter 1/1600th of a second at aperture f5.6.

That's right - 1/1600th of a second. That's not a typo. To shoot at that fast a shutter speed, with flash, without a ton of expensive camera/flash combination, is nothing short of amazing. And the camera handled it well, I think.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Andy! The extra light is perfect. And,using a canon...tisk, tisk .

Jeff in Nacogdoches