The Dark Side

The Dark Side

f/11, 1/80, ISO-100, 50mm

For two years I’ve been studiously avoiding flash photography. I’ve used the pop-up flash on my camera occasionally when I absolutely had to have more light, or to experiment with. But 99% of my photography has been without flash. I’ve challenged myself to get photographs using only the available light and my wits, and I think that over the months the challenge has proved useful.

But I had a request to do an early morning portrait, like 30 minutes before sunrise portrait, in the middle of a wooded area, and I was out of tricks. There will be no available light, there won’t be any way for me to bring my own ambient light. So I went to the dark side, and ordered myself a flash. I have exactly 3 nights to learn how to use it before I have to do the real thing.

This is my first attempt. The location is the middle of my living room. The flash is on a tripod to the left and slightly to the rear, and pointed away from the scene. I used a white reflector to direct the light back to the subject more softly. Despite the months of resolve to not use a flash, I have at least made myself familiar with the theory. I can see I have a lot of room to improve, but for my very first attempt I’m very pleased with this result. A special thank you to my lovely wife for suggesting the subject. Tomorrow I’ll have to come up with a way to challenge myself further.

8 thoughts on “The Dark Side

  1. Well done. Flash photography of glass objects is very difficult because of unpredictable (sometimes uncontrollable) and distracting bright highlights. You have an image that many pros would be proud of.

    • Wow. Thank you so much for that encouragement. I know so little about this stuff sometimes that it didn’t occur to me that photographing glass would be terribly difficult, but now that you mention it I understand perfectly what you mean. I guess a little ignorance can be a good thing sometimes :)

  2. Wow! That’s fabulous! Hard to believe you hardly ever shot with flash before. I know what you mean though. I also have been shooting almost exclusively natural light, or lamplight or computer light; any light except flash.

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