Flash: The Final Frontier

Since DLWS Outerbanks and Joe McNally’s teachings there, I’ve been really itching to get out and set my D3 to Tungsten and put a full cut CTO on my off camera flash and fire away…

Last night was the perfect opportunity and my unwilling son was the “unlucky” victim. We were at West Meadow Beach a few miles from home digging for hermit crabs, building sand castles and watching the sunset. Knowing this ahead of time, I brought “the gear“… consisting of 1 SB-900 (with assorted gels), an SU-800 Commander Unit and a 5 in 1 reflector (also had a Just In Case synch cord…). My wife Kathy played the “able” assistant and we were able to coax Tristan to do some “posing” in front of the dropping sun.

Per Joe McNally’s instructions and advice, I first looked at my ambient exposure and dropped -1 to -2 on EV on the camera… composed and shot (this created the rich tones and saturation of the sunset and clouds behind him). Ended up from that point waking up the EV on the flash to about 1.3-1.7. Flash was about 2 feet off camera camera right. With a 6 year old you need to move fast, very fast as his attention span begins to wane after about 2 minutes. So we made the most of those 120 seconds, and came away with some great images that serve as a good spring-board to experiment. Ended up with a half dozen killer shots that I can’t wait to go explore again, and bring a softbox and maybe a tri-grip (which I’ll be ordering promptly in the future 🙂
Portrait: Tristan James
This stuff is great, love it… Oh, and before I forget this was shot with the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens. It’s so razor sharp, that you just might cut yourself. After last night’s shoot, I imagine it will be my outdoor portrait lens for some time to come. Enjoy!

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