The main aim of this session was to learn how to use studio equipment and flash and to become competent in doing so, so that we are free to use the studio equipment without supervision in the future. To start with we had a discussion about on camera flash, talking about when it is best to be used and how in these situations to use it.
On Camera Flash:
On camera flash is a useful tool to have, it can be used to light up a foreground against a setting sun, illuminate an under exposed subject, or cast highlights and tones across the face of a subject during portraiture, there are many other uses for an on camera flash, but these are probably the three most common uses for it.
To meter for a flash we can use a hand held light meter, or, we can use a system called TTL metering. TTL (through the lens) metering, picks up light that has passed through the lens reaching light sensors near the actual imaging sensor itself, these light sensors pick up the available light and then make a calculation working out which settings would be best to correctly expose the imaging sensor in the available light. The camera can then process the addition of the extra light produced from an attached or on camera flash and change the settings again, this time compensating for the light from the firing flash.
Image temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin, lower temperatures (higher degrees Kelvin) create colder images, these images are more blue in colour. Warmer temperatures (lower degrees Kelvin) pass through the orange spectrum before becoming red. we can use colour filters called white balance to help remedy images that are coming out looking unnaturally warm or cold, we can also use filters that cover the flash or the lens to help remedy this problem. This is another benefit of shooting in the RAW format, should we for some reason make a mistake in choosing the wrong filter or white balance, in RAW we can revisit this and apply the correct filter during processing. This is something that cannot be done to the same extent if trying to Edit a JPEG or when working on negatives, where it is much more important to get the white balance right the first time around. This said, it is good practice to ensure that you get you image as close as possible in camera the first time around as this shows you are efficient in your work, saving time in processing. We can fine tune our white balance if we wish to, and we can get this information from a hand held light meter however usually the most important thing to do is to switch from auto white balance to the flash setting in your white balance menu, the camera, usually is very good at working out the white balance itself.
The use of colour filters was also described to us whilst on the topic of flash. A red colour filter placed on the lens of the camera at a sunrise or sunset will intensify the reds in the background and sky of the image. If a subject you are photographing is stood in the foreground of an image where a rising or setting sun is present the use of a green filtered foreground flash cancels out the effect of the red filter on the areas hit by the green flash. This will then create the effect of a normal coloured subject against an intensified red background.
Our task for this week was to set up a shoot using two flashes that captured a subject sat working at a Mac with no flare and perfect composition and exposure. Firstly we had to set up two of the Bowens 500w Flash Heads onto their stands and get them working simultaneously. We did by using two heads, one set up as a master which would receive the message to fire from the camera, and one as a slave, the slave would fire when the message from the camera was received to the master, the master then relaying the message to the slave.
Our image was shot at 1/125th, F11 at ISO 100, the flash heads required some trial and error to ensure that they where firing at the intensity we required to correctly expose our image at our chosen settings.
As part of this task we where all given individual roles to play, my role for this task was team leader. I feel that the task did go well, and in the end we did manage to work as a team to create the image that we had been tasked with, the team was briefed at the beginning of the session and everyone was clear on what they had to do, despite a certain team member trying to their best to take over control of the shoot. The team worked well together and despite struggling to get the image just right for sometime we did manage to achieve the task in the given time.
The lighting diagram for this task can be seen below.