The more I learn about photography, the more I realize how little I know. I’ve been doing some portrait stuff at work and I’ve been thinking a lot about lighting. I got to rent some neat crap which made me realize just how much fun it is to be able to get your flash completely off your camera. It leads to some great photographic stupidity, like this:
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That’s my furry little monster Lucky, who happens to be a perfect subject in that he can’t leave and never knows what’s coming. See those dark corners? No post-processing at all. When you can control your flash direction independently of the camera, you have all sorts of options. Most of the time, to be honest, this is analogous to the manual controls on your camera – for all the freedom it gives, it’s usually just confusing. Unless you do this all day, a setting pretty close to auto is very nice. It isn’t cheap in any way, but the new Pocketwizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 are the best of both worlds. They have pages of settings to toy with, but my favorite part is that when I attach one to my camera and the other to my flash, the camera works just like the flash was directly attached. The only difference is that I can direct it however I like.
Usually the best way to use a flash is to disperse the beam – bouncing it off a ceiling or wall for more even light. In this picture, I used a grid, which does just the opposite. I don’t think it would be the most flattering portrait, but it sure is exciting and hey… Lucky can’t complain.