Balancing Exposures!!

August 1, 2015

Today we are going to deal with some more advanced concepts. High speed sync, auto focus modes and battery powered studio strobes.


To achieve this shot I had to set my camera to auto-focus continuous since the couple is moving towards me. If your subject is moving, especially towards or away from you, it is best to use the continuous auto focus. This is because as the subject moves towards you (or away from you), the focal distance of your subject changes and if your focus distance does not change, your image will be out of focus. On continuous auto focus, your camera tracks yor subject and changes the focus distance to keep the point of interest in focus. Use the center focus point for this, its usually the most sensitive one, especially if you are using an entry level camera body. Modern cameras and the more high-end cameras have more sophisticated and more reliable auto focus systems. Play around with yours and understand what it can do.


The next predicament I had was to get some flattering light on my couple. The sun was right above us so it leaves some strange shadows beneath the eyes when you use natural light. I had to introduce some fill flash to get even lighting on my couple. Now the scenario is: the sun is bright so to get a proper exposure I need a high shutter speed and a relatively low ISO. But if I expose correctly for the scene, the subjects are quite dark and that beautiful white dress starts to look grey. So I asked my assistant to walk with the strobe in his hand and face it towards the couple. At this point you are probably asking yourself why I used a strobe and not a normal flash. The problem is, a single flash wouldn't be strong enough and it would also give me hard, contrasty light. I needed a source of light that would light my couple up from head to toe and still be strong enough for my assistant to stand far. Thats why I used self-contained studio strobes instead of TTL speed lights. You can achieve this with speedlights by the way.


This is where high speed sync comes in. I am currently using the phottix odin system and it does wonders in situations like these.(This is not an equipment review, but the phottix odin is awesome nonetheless!) I set my camera on 1/500, ISO 50, f4. The phottix odin allows you to shoot at shutter speeds above the sync speed of your camera. Take note that your light source must also have HSS (high speed sync) capabilities. The strobes I was using (Flashpoint Rovelight 600) do have HSS capabilities. I took the shot and the white dress was slightly over exposed. I had to do a little correction in


 post production. If you overexpose the shot too much, you lose the details in the highlights. Even if you shoot in raw, try not to overexpose excessively or else you might not be able to get those details back. Otherwise the shot was stunning straight out of camera. The focus was dead-on, the exposure was excellent, and the lighting is much better than what mother nature dealt me!


To uderstand high speed sync better, consult google, you'll find plenty of tutorials and educative material. I follow people like Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Karl Taylor, Gavin Hoey and ect. Best of luck.


I hope this helps someone to further understand photography. And if you have anything you'ld like to add or share, please feel free. Thanks for reading till the end!


Take care. 




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