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The Joy of Jumping… and Screaming :-)

One of the great things about photographing your own kids is capturing a little bit of their personality in a tiny slice of time. After our quick serious poses (“look at the sun, think deep thoughts…” ~ See that image below), I asked Tristan to “have fun”- so what does he do… starts jumping up as high as he can and screaming at the top of his lungs.

So what do I do… click, click, click.
I think the flash had trouble keeping up. I know years from now I’ll look back on these images and smile. While we only had about 10 minutes, I’m thankful I brought along all “da gear.”

As I look at this image, I could probably punch it a bit more in post using CS3, but for some reason I’m going to leave it alone… as is… this 1/500 of a second will live forever frozen in this image, and I’m eternally greatful for that (although when Tristan is 18, I’m sure he’ll disagree).

The only difference in gear from these images and the more formal portrait below, is this was shot through a 5 in 1 reflector (using the white “see thru” portion of the 5 in 1, the tri-grip is on my Santa list along with a Really Right Stuff BH-55, and Gitzo tripod). SB-900 with full cut  CTO was pushed right up against it and fired from a few feet away.

Ya Gotta love being 6!Catching Air

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!