Quick " strobist " - all handheld


Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
25
0
#1

(Image from Welcome to SingaporeWeddingFlorist.com - ROM, Solemnizations, and Weddings,, image rights belong to me, etc etc. )

Notes: This is an early strobist work of mine. shooting in tight time condition. 5mins to shoot the flowers. The only props: glass vase as seen.

1. In which area is critique or feedback to be given?
Please critique flash technique. Kindly do not critique the flower bouquet itself or the flower buttonhole . If there are any suggestions on how better to place the flowers, I would most gladly welcome them!

2. What were you hoping to achieve with this image?
A reasonably focused (artistically and optically) capture of the yellow flower bouquet

3. Under what circumstance was the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
8pm before handover to another vendor, off office premises (ie, just got out of a car with a vase);
frantic photography (yes, could have been better planned but tight schedule). This image was the "best" of series shot in 5 minutes worth of shooting.

Physical shooting conditions: F8, 1/160, Manual Flashes YN465 and 460 II , shooting manual flash manual mode .

4. Thread-starter's personal thoughts about the image.
I felt that the spotlight was literally on the flowers. But as I am a newbie to strobist work I humbly seek all constructive C & C

Thanks in advance to all helpful sempai, seniors, mods, pros, and cats (if any)
 

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eleveninth

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2006
6,213
2
38
#2
Harsh light, no diffuser of any kind I'm guessing.

The grass is very distracting.

is there a smaller flower infront of the cup ( looks like a cup, just read it's a vase)?
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
25
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#4
thanks for the feedback. it is under exposed indeed. i have no diffuser then . not even light stand. my assistant was holding the other flash.
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
25
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#6
very tricky to be bokehlicious when using flash, real danger of flash over exposed. . . I will give it a try
 

eawtan

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2004
1,370
0
36
Tampines
#7
Some thoughts,

1. brighten up the background, could u have shot at f4, 1/60 w/ flash power lowered?
2. Have considered a portrait or square crop?
3. different location, I find the grass patch somewhat difficult. What abt a nearby ledge, park chair ?
 

bonrya

Senior Member
Dec 16, 2010
2,632
3
38
In a mobile cage
#8
very tricky to be bokehlicious when using flash, real danger of flash over exposed. . . I will give it a try
it is quite possible with a macro lens. :D single flash is good enough.. can peek inside the macro section for some inspiration (though you'll mostly see bugs) :sweatsm:

reference to the victor diffuser also in case you want a cheap DIY diffuser! :bsmilie:
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/macr...ake-simplfied-victors-diffuser-5-minutes.html
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
25
0
#10
Some thoughts,

1. brighten up the background, could u have shot at f4, 1/60 w/ flash power lowered?
2. Have considered a portrait or square crop?
3. different location, I find the grass patch somewhat difficult. What abt a nearby ledge, park chair ?
1> actually the background was completely distracting because this was in a car park. =p hence i was trying to kill the background. unfortunately my subject became underexposed due to not enough flash on it.
2> the image is straight out of camera. I should crop it. Thanks for the suggestion.
3> No time :( frantic mode already.


it is quite possible with a macro lens. :D single flash is good enough.. can peek inside the macro section for some inspiration (though you'll mostly see bugs) :sweatsm:

reference to the victor diffuser also in case you want a cheap DIY diffuser! :bsmilie:
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/macr...ake-simplfied-victors-diffuser-5-minutes.html
no macro lens :( only "kit" lens . thanks for the tip on the diffuser, I will take a look at it. I hope it can fit into a small form factor.

Thanks! I will go read. Then I will go practice.


>> Thanks so much seniors for your help! Keep it coming. I am very keen to learn and improve
 

CorneliusK

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2010
790
0
16
#11
Why are you asking people to critique a photo which you have rushed through? Why should I spend 5 mins of my time to critique a photo which you took less than 5 mins to take?

Why not carefully take a photo with 100% of your abilities, then ask people how you can improve from there?
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
25
0
#12
Why are you asking people to critique a photo which you have rushed through? Why should I spend 5 mins of my time to critique a photo which you took less than 5 mins to take?

Why not carefully take a photo with 100% of your abilities, then ask people how you can improve from there?
Thanks for your input, all 5 mins of it :)

i will re compose, or decompose. thanks. that is a very valid point .
 

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foxtwo

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2004
2,523
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36
singapore
#14
Actually I find no correlation between time taken to plan & execute a shot against time to critic. Sometimes situations happen in front of us. Or sometimes we just run out of time to properly plan the shot. When sh!t happens, as professional (career) photographers we solve clients problems, not turn around and argue about planning. Suck thumb situation but very rewarding if carried out well. A certain thrill right? Right up there with photojournalists, wedding photographers, event photographers, sometimes landscape photographers... hmm actually a lot of people face this issue...

The best advice to give is not to say "Next time plan better", but to work our brains and say "Don't panic, slow down, look what's around and what we may see along the way." However look at the situation too, if you're not photographing the space shuttle launch or the President just try to squeeze some extra minutes for yourself. You can't always please everyone, and if you're certain of an excellent shot then make sure to spend the time to get it ~90%+.

I agree this composition is not the best, nor acceptable. Cow grass has to be one of the worst grass types to prominently feature in the foreground. Unfortunately it's also the most common.
1. Try looking for better or Turf grass along the way.

Foreground should not steal attention from hero, and should be a complimentary colour to hero. Green is the common colour. Turf grass is also lighter and thus would appear brighter than hero under flash, especially since you're shooting without modifier (honeycomb).
2. Eliminate grass composition or leave it as backup. Some have suggested a table or bench which should provide less distraction.

Get rid of the vase because its shape is ugly, too wide and not suitable for the theme at all. You should be able to make this connection immediately (or at least after a few tries) and remove it from the equation.
3. Analyse what're on hand and how they contribute or bring down the shoot. Do not waste time composing or mental composing with non-essential props. You'll be free to explore angles by ridding such anchors.

If it does not work lying down then get someone to hold it. Had you did this from the start you could have spent 2mins looking for a suitable lady, 30secs to cajole her and remaining time shooting. I admit not every section of that 3 step is easy, especially if you die die MUST insist on 5min deadline.
4. Find a suitable lady, with nice dress/attire and hands. If the dress doesn't work then work within the posing to eliminate background distractions (arms, attire, etc). Cajoling wise since you shoot ROMs & people it shouldn't be too hard to convince strangers to help out. Flash position just keep simple, 1 on top and another from the front for even illumination. The worst enemy is distracting shadows in the background, so position accordingly.

Now that you have time to compose within the frame. Analyse the hero on a deeper level.
5. Brighter coloured elements are more attractive and thus given more emphasis for composition and lighting. Clearly what're important here is the yellow (flower & baubles), to the baby blue (ribbon). Green (stem & leaves) is supporting. Compose and light accordingly. I won't talk too much about that aspect here.

At the end of the day, you want a better shot than this, and not actually aiming for a portfolio-worthy drooling shot so I think this amount of advice suffices. Of course if you can produce beautiful shots in future then all the more goody for you.

You mentioned this was a "early attempt" so I hope you're a lot better now in regards to flash usage... Cheers~
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
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#15
thank you senior Foxtwo for helping
 

foxtwo

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2004
2,523
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36
singapore
#16
No problem, these "unexpected" situations happens rarely enough, but each a valuable lesson. I'm still learning from my mistakes as well, every time.
Having more equipment on hand helps as well as collecting an arsenal of ideas at the back of your mind, it's a slow process...
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
2,557
25
0
#17
thank you senior. i have since finally bought a shoot through umbrella .
 

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