Challenge Part 1 Update


Well, after setting myself a challenge, I thought I’d better do a bit of an update.

I have now got all the equipment I reckon I need to get to grips with the strobist style of photography, which is basically using flashguns off camera rather than proper studio lights.

So an equipment checklist gives me the following:

Sony alpha a700 DSLR with a selection of lenses

Vivitar 285HV Flashgun

Sony HLV-F42 Flashgun (this is to replace my problematic Sigma EF-500 DG Flashgun)

5 in 1 reflector, giving me a white, black, silver and gold reflector plus a large diffuser.

Cactus v4 radio triggers

Shoot through umbrella to diffuse light

Umbrella and flash stand and clamp

Lots of rechargeable AA batteries

So, that’s plenty to get me going. So how successful have I been? Well, I’m going to own up here and say things haven’t gone quite to plan yet. I have been very busy with other things, mainly my full time job, so I’ve had little time to experiment.  The experimentation I have done has been purely to test the equipment and see the differences in the images. The first thing I did was to set the Vivitar flash on the stand without an umbrella and using the same settings on my camera for each shot by shooting in manual mode, I varied the power of the flashgun keeping everything else constant. This showed me how much of a difference the change in flash power would make to the same scene.

Note: It’s always a good idea when you experiment to do so using the same scene and composition. That way you can easily see how the changes you are making effect the photo.

The next thing I tried was to see the difference the umbrella made and how the diffused light differed from the direct light of the flashgun.

To be honest, that was as far as I got. So not very inspiring yet.

The next task is to explore how altering the aperture and shutter speed will effect the picture. Obviously reducing and increasing the amount of light that can get through will alter the picture, but it’s how it all works with what ambient light you have which is the key.

So, I’ll be doing some more experimentation when time allows. I’m also about to move house which isn’t going to help with finding the time to do this, but the up side is that the new pad will have more room for these experiments, so that’s something to look forward to.

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