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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Dark Daylight

Nikon D70 @ 18mm, 1/500 sec, f/13, ISO 200
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This is a technique I've seen described as dark daylight. Basically, you underexpose the scene by 2 or 3 stops, and then use a flash to properly expose the subject. My usual model was happy to pose out in the garden just after she had put the washing up - doesn't she look proud?

I had the SB-800 set up on a tripod to the right of the camera (the wireless feature is awesome), and undexposed the scene by about 2 stops.

Pretty pleased with the results. Even more pleased with the new flash.


As promised, some more details about the set up.

1. Shooting in manual and using matrix metering, the camera gave me a reading of 1/500 sec at f/5.6.

2. I wanted to underexpose the scene by 2 stops. Since 1/500 sec is the fastest the D70 can sync at, I adjusted the aperture to f/13.

3. I set the SB-800 up on a tripod to the right of the camera, at about 45 degrees to the camera axis, and a few inches above the subjects eye level. The flash head was at 90 degrees and aimed directly at the subject.

4. To set the SB-800 to work wirelessly you need to do the following:

i. On the D70 set CSM 19 to Commander and then TTL. This means that only the SB-800 will participate in the lighting.

ii. Set the SB-800 to remote and set the channel to 3 and the group to A.

5. The flash compensation was set at -1/3 on the D70.

6. Because the subject was not in the centre of the frame I had to set CSM 15 to FV lock. This allowed me to put the subject in the centre of the frame and press the AE-L/AF-L button to set the correct output level for the flash. I could then recompose the shot with the subject always being properly exposed.

7. And there we have it. The background is underexposed by 2 stops, but the flash makes sure that the subject is properly exposed.


Blogger popmonkey said...

excellent technique! killer execution. i think this is one of your best yet!

6:10 am, June 22, 2005  
Anonymous Stephen said...

I'd never heard of this technique before so thanks for the info! I'll definitely have to try it out... Nice job with this shot - I like how the sky has plenty of contrast and colour in it. The SB-800 is awesome - you won't regret it :-)

12:46 pm, June 22, 2005  
Anonymous Seshu said...

Hey John

Nice attempt. I would perhaps add a scrim or a softbox into the mix to make the lady appear, well, soft.

It would also help if you broke this down into steps 1, 2, 3 etc. and explained to us how you did it. I think you are onto something, but for those of us who haven't tried it or know how to do this, it would be of great help if we got the process down. Creativity can always be harnessed later.

11:36 am, June 24, 2005  
Blogger John said...

Thanks a lot popmonkey!!

5:20 pm, June 26, 2005  
Blogger John said...

Yeah, it seems like a pretty cool technique stephen. Give it a try and let me know how you get on :)

5:20 pm, June 26, 2005  
Blogger John said...

Hey seshu, thanks for the comments. Yeah, a softbox would have helped, but I haven't got one at the moment - yet another thing to add to my wishlist. Having said that though, I'm not sure if I would have had enough power with a softbox added since the SB-800 was working hard to overpower the daylight.

I'll amend the info above to explain in a little more detail exactly how the shot was set up.


5:24 pm, June 26, 2005  
Blogger Mahes said...

old is gold in your camera

9:47 am, July 31, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

based business home in opt

2:28 am, November 05, 2005  

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