When I learned about using a snoot on flash, I had an idea and took trial shots to test it out if it works. Unfortunately, I don't have those pics anymore. But the idea remained in me. Today, I got to execute these ideas and finally got to use my speedlight.
My work place has a large make-shift oven about 20x30x30 feet. It's the perfect place for my set-up. As always, I'm alone doing this thing, so I need to find ways to get what I need. While my camera is mounted on my newest tripod, I got my oldest tripod to mount my flash and serves as a focus guide. But since I won't use my flash on a stand for this session, I mounted it back to my camera and started testing shots.
I realized though, that I made a mistake on my focusing spot's distance. The shots are too tight, I won't be able to frame enough of my bodies ("bodies?" Just keep reading). So I had to move the tripod a couple of steps backward. Took another couple of tests shot, and marked the spot where the tripod was. It's time to cross my fingers and hope for magic.
The objective was to bounce the light on my palm which reflects it to my face. With the use of a snoot, I can focus all the light towards my palm. I simply tore a carton box and wrapped it around my speedlight. I'll be holding the light source with one hand, reflect it with the other. Sounds simple enough, yes?
The hard part really is coming up with poses. The flash should be hid from the frame. It's a good thing there was a challenge in a photography forum (CameraLabs "On Assignment" Novemeber), which gave me the idea of my poses and storyline: Double Trouble.
So, okay. To bring them all together, I have to hold and operate a speedlight with one hand, bounce the light to my other hand and towards my face, and do twice of that with different poses, all in one frame! So again, sounds simple enough, yes?
In the middle of the shoot, the snoot fell off right after the first pose. I only had half a second to panic, then think fast what to do. I just shrugged my shoulders and did the second pose with the flash just arm's length from me. I was really happy with the result it gave me. Another happy accident! And an addition to my arsenal of creative works.
I did more of these ghost shots, trying to set the flash's intensity different on each shot. But I got tired of it. I realized I'm getting hooked while I'm still not satisfied with my Double Trouble pictures.
This time, I attempted just one particular frame. It looks, seems, and sounds, quite simple. But getting the perfect placement of every part of my body on both poses, is quite harder than I thought. Arms not stretched far enough, arms not pushed far enough, arms not bent to my liking, the light bounced to another opaque thing besides my face, my head was in a weird position, ect ect ect. Shot after shot, I see lots of things that just makes me barf. But I got the shot. It took a lot out of me, but I got it. The deed is done.
|Double Trouble -- Mission Accomplished|
I didn't realize how hard it was to get precise with this pose. It took me a lot of small changes per frame. But I'm proud of this picture. It wasn't an accident, everything was just right.
Still having a bit of the photography buzz left in me, I went back to taking simple self-portraits with the speedlight mounted back on camera, and bouncing light on walls. After some minutes, I felt like I got nothing left to do. But previewing my last couple of shots on the camera's LCD, I realized I looked like I was taking pictures for a HighSchool ID. Or a passport picture. Or NBI. Or any of those bland and ugly mugshots. Eeek!
So to conclude the photography session, the story of these photographs, and today's blog, here's my very last shot of the day.