New Christmas Technology – My Quick Experiment

Every year for Christmas my list is stacked with new and fun gadgets that I have been eyeballing all year long. This year I asked for the Yongnuo wireless flash transmitter and two Yongnuo wireless flash trigger transceivers for my two flashes. I typically try to work in natural light as much as I can, but living in the Northwest can make it difficult with our short and VERY dark days through the winter. I am proficient using a flash on camera and have set up my second flash as a slave before, but I really wanted to try to do more fun stuff with both flashes off camera. Here is my first try – photos are not edited at all, I pulled them into lightroom and then exported JPGs. And wow, this really opens up some fun and cool lighting opportunities when the winters here are so horridly dark.

First up, fooling with settings – the first photo was just to get a feel for what was happening where. My first flash (Flash A) is to the right of the photo on a counter, angled up towards the ceiling & turned slightly towards Jeremy and my second flash(Flash B) is in between the two chairs pointed straight up. Reason I am showing this is to give you a sense of how trial and error works. Flash A was set too strong (blown out face, hard shadows behind) and needed to bounce more before getting to the subject. I pulled the compensation down to 0, then angled the flash to around 60 degrees point towards the wall/window/ceiling on the right.

In the second photo Flash A was set correctly, but Flash B was angled all wrong – by going straight up you can see some crazy shadows and harsh light along the side of Gavin. I liked the where I placed it on the floor, but I angled it about 65 degrees to the left of the photo (basically pointing away from their backs) and pulled the compensation back to -1/3.

FlashTrials-1

Okay, so after making that adjustment, I wanted to see why I would use Flash B. First photo is with Flash B off, second photo is with it on. The left/back side of Jeremy is super dark and Gavin is also slightly dark. In the past I would have cranked up my ISO to get more of the background light in. This time I fired Flash B instead. There is now nice even lighting all around Jeremy and you can see the edge of Gavin is also well exposed. And this is without the graininess you get with a high ISO!

FlashTrials-2

And here is one more example. Since I knew I wanted to get a shot of Gavin, I move Flash B from between the two chairs to the end of the table (right side of the photo). I kept the 65 degree angle, but pointed it directly away from him (so think on the floor a foot away from the table edge, pointing 65 degrees to the ceiling opposite of where Gavin is sitting). By doing this, it helped fill light into the background of the shot, but the bounce of light also gave a nice definitely edge to the opposite side of Gavin. Notice how his hair basically blends into the background on the first photo? The is completely corrected with Flash B in the second one.

FlashTrials-3

So there you have it! I am sure I will be doing more experimenting with more complicated set ups as I go. I will share those as well!