Friday, February 18, 2011


Day_48_DoubleHearts, originally uploaded by chomonkyaw.

Or triple...
Can you guess what book this is?

I tried to shape the light by using snoot with very small opening aimed at the setup very close ~4" away so that the light is focused. The more focused the flash is the easier to shape it around the heart.

1/250 sec, 1/8
1/32 M. 1/64 is too dark. I could open up the aperture or I did? Forgot. BAsically I tweaked around f/stop and 1/32 and 1/64. Bad habit. Gotta learn more.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Slow Sync Flash


- choose a dark background. I've been taking ~50 shots with different f/ and speed and flash power settings in the kitchen with light cabinet background and the hand just doesn't show up. Turned out hand color is same as cabinet and ghostly movement just get lost in the cabinet color background. Once I switched to black background, boom! same setting in the kitchen shows the
movement now. It's about background. Just like my smoke lesson.

- Manually expose (without flash) for a little darker than 0 exposure (-1 or -2). If it's too dark, the movement is not seen (just like noodle smoke lesson). If you can't see the movement by eye without flash, you won't see it at all. So expose for some normal exposure. 0 is fine too depends on how much the hand can be seen.

- Speed! I've been trying 5 sec, 4 sec, 3 sec , 2 sec. Shorter has more precise movement. Just hit the object and the trajectory is more natural looking. ~2 sec is perfect. Now with 4 secs, movement path is wiggly. And focusing on the hand is tough unless it's very quick. Don't rest the hand at the e
nd because it'll be shaking unless it's very quick. I hold my breath so that the hand at the end will appear sharp. no. It's very hard to be still for the last 1 sec. Btw, counting in 1 Mississippi works perfect for timing.

- My mistake is using squishy ball. It bounces back so the ball just showed up blurry, so later pics, I dont touch the ball anymore to have it sharp in the pic. (too bad I aldy deleted them too fast. Could have shown it here of how bad the squishy ball looks because of its squishness). Well, even if I smash a glass, it'l be blurry too unless it's quick enough. Because most of the time of a perfect glass is exposed most of the time during 4 sec, so the broken glasses will be mixed with perfect glass. So, if you want something pure sharp, don't ruin its shape at all during shutter open time.

For next time:
- off-camera flash -> set 2nd curtain sync on flash by >>> arrows
- Set a better background. See inspirations
- again snoot. My snoot doesn't seem to work as desired. This time I didn't learn much from the flash. It was just trial and error.
- plan , plan , plan!

Using snoot

f/1.8 for both
flash ~ 2 ft away on M 1/64
Left is with Al foil snoot. Right is w/o snoot

With snoot, the pic is darker with the same f/1.8. Even the subject itself is not as bright as without snoot. Background is as expected, but subject is less dark with snoot. Am I missing something? Is my Al snoot doing something wrong?

With this shot yesterday, I can see the snoot opening pattern on the box. The big spread seemed to be the bounced light escaping from the sides of the AL foil before it reaches the end. THe light is escaping! Well, it's not fiber optics, but I thought it should bounce internally better than this. Time to read Strobist.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How to take smoke pictures

Day_36_noodle, originally uploaded by chomonkyaw.

I'm not over the smokes yet until I get it right. You will see more smoke pics in future. This smoke/steam from noodle is short-lived as in dry ice. I need more sustainable smoke.

1/64 M ~1ft away. f/1.8, 1/250

- Need dark background. If I can't see smoke with bare eyes, I can't see it in pics.
- Focus is hard. I wish this has better focus.
- Best solution for next time: Put the food in window light and expose for that natural light (w/o considering flash exposure) so that the food will look appetizing in natural light. For the smoke, put the food against black background (dark cabinets), so basically put the food between the window and the dark wall.
- Without flash, the food should look appetizing. Wil not see the steam well.
- Now Aim the flash at smoke. The flash will expose the smoke.
- I need snoots so that it doesn't spread to the food to interfere with natural light on the food.

** I should start using snoots

The pic on the right has the right idea, but the background needs to be dark.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

flash zoom focus

-f/13 for all
- 1/64 M
- ~1ft above subject
24mm is very broad, 108mm sends a narrow beam to reach 108mm focal length, so the mushrooms has brighter/hasher light hitting their head. 24mm light is so broad that their heads are not lit enough.

Notice the beam spread at the top of each image. 108mm image has the dark corners (means narrow beam coming out) and 24mm has almost uniform light at corners.
My fav is 108mm out of these 3 pics. The others are too dark. Flash is "in-focus" for 108mm and "not-in-focus" for 24mm.

I don't think this is how 'Apparent light source' exercise is to be done; it needs to be bounced off the wall to create a bigger+softer light source with 24mm and smaller+hasher light source with 108mm. But this is how I ended up. I need to plan next time before clicking.

I had so much fun with this shot. First time mounting flash on Gorillapod overhead. Gorillapod is gripping on the lamp. Scary. But it works! And my first time having flash overhead. Gorillapod is so worth it now. I've made good uses of it recently.


Day_29_Apple_reflection, originally uploaded by chomonkyaw.

Strobist info: M 1/64 ~1.5ft away
I tried to make background black, but don't know how. If the light is closer than that, the background is darker as in Strobist distance exercise, but it's too flashy and harsh. Am I missing something? How do people take totally black background with flash focus only on the subject without getting to 1ft and being too harsh?

Need to learn how to get black background. Snoob?

Self-portrait with BBF

Self-portrait is so fun. I used a remote control with back-button focusing, mainly to see if I can back-button focus and use self timer.

f/stop is not too low. I used an object an arm length and focus on that object, remembering the reference plane. Then I have to very carefully line my face with that plane to get my face in focus.

My fav shot after a few trials. See my left eye, I can even see the veins! Love the focus. I think I can do BBF with timer . yayy. I've never gotten this nice focus with AF w/ shutter focusing. I feel like I master BBF now. Finally I'm confortable with BBF.