Wednesday, August 24, 2011

evening lighting

we were on our way back from dinner with the kids and the sun was behind the clouds before sunset... so i had to grab the camera, a flash, and the reflector.
i am not fond of light backgrounds outdoors... just a personal taste i have developed... especially around the head of my subjects
so i chose the tree as the background... that means getting lower than my subjects because the tree is fairly close (say 15-20 feet away from subject)

i grab my 70-200mm lens... i have really learned to enjoy this lens for personal portrait work

i have my wife grab the reflector and my SB800, which is incidentally triggered by the cactus v5
i find the cactus just right for my needs with the SB800

since i am shooting A mode and my fstop is around f3.2 and ISO 200, so i guess at 1/4 power.  my wife is holding the flash in one hand in front of the reflector (which is on the silver/gold mixed side) to match the warmth of the almost-sunset.   she stands about 6 feet away from the subject

here's the shot...

the sun is coming in from the subjects left side and my light is popping from subjects right side

i am trying to match the sunlight in intensity (a nice thing is about using strobes with sunlight is that they match color value quite well versus the mixed lighting you get with indoor lights)
also important to note here is that my exposure value is at -1 2/3 and i am on pattern or matrix metering
this exposure value allows me to pop my subject in brightness by decreasing the ambient light (the items not influenced by the flash) and then correctly exposing the subject
---we have to be careful of the shadows on the subject brought by the flash... the sun is a softer light source than the bounced flash -as evidenced by the softer shadows on the subjects left cheek/neck

next image... 
no flash... only ambient light
settings --- keep the ISO at 200, still bright enough for that, even with 135mm zoom
also keep the A priority and then set the EV up to -2/3  because it's all natural light now and i don't have that fill flash to compensate for the decreased EV
shooting now at f2.8, which it could be argued is giving me too short of a focal length (as evidenced by baby in focus while mommy is out of focus (slightly))

i am still not placing the light directly behind me... instead i am adding some depth by having it at about 5pm if 12 noon is at the subject
in this case, we can add some vignette around the edges to enhance the light on our subject and potentially even use some gradients with exposure decreased (here i went to LR and used 3 gradient filters with decreased exposure values of about -1.2

pic of the day
you can almost see the setting sun in the eyes of the subjects here
that evening light combined with the reflected sunlight behind them off of the grain creates a very soft  and warm light

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have a challenge for you.  Try a silhouette.  I haven't done much with silhouettes.
But a few things that are fun about the silhouette is that it forces you to simplify.  The subject is simplified to an outline.  The lighting is simplified to simply underexpose your subject.

Put your camera in M mode, if it's not already.  Let's go with ISO 200, f4 and shutter speed of 8000.
Get your subject between you and the sun.  And you may find the focusing is a little difficult.  The focus on the camera works best with contrast.  So if it is only seeing the dark (underexposed) subject, it can struggle to focus.  Manual focus may be necessary.
Play around with the shutter speed, maybe go down to 4000.
Even play around with the f stop.  If you hit an fstop of f16 you could get subject and your background in focus.  Remember to slow down your shutter if you do that.
Another important note is to keep the background fairly well lit.  You can really lose your subject, as in my example here, if the background has a similar light (or dark) value.

ISO 200, f4 at 1/8000 95mm

Here is another attempt but with better composition with my background... or as Cliff likes to say, juxtaposing the subject with the background.
ISO 200 f4 at 1/4000 116mm

Remember that your background really speaks in a silhouette.

Happy shooting... would love to see some links in the comments to you silhouette shots.

PIC of the Day: This shot at ISO 100, f5.6 at 1/2000  300mm

Saturday, August 13, 2011

quick tip

When shooting skies, make sure you try a few with a really wide angle lens.

I find that when I shoot wide angle, it accentuates the drama and movement in the sky.

This was shot at 11mm from my front porch. (Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens with a D300s)

Monday, July 18, 2011

manual exposure

Have you been shooting in Program or Auto mode for quite some time now?  And you've been afraid to try manual mode.  Skies are a great subject to experiment with Manual exposure mode.  Point your lens at the part of the sky you want to meter for and play around with the fstop and shutter speed, keeping your ISO set between 200 and 400.  I have found that oftentimes skies look more dramatic when they are under exposed.  This shot was taken in South Dakota at ISO 400, f4.0 and 1/750 sec.  I thought to crop the trees out, but then I like the balance they give to the dark part of the sky.  In addition, the shapes of the clouds are similar to the shapes of the tree branches.
This was taken at the same time but more to the East
And one more...

Pic of the day: I took the liberty of running a little noise reduction on it.  But I really like the inclusion of the multiple layers and the great choice of foreground .  Notice the thin line of black at the bottom contrasting with the white on the top of the image.  Great shot!

Monday, July 11, 2011

available light and backgrounds

I like to study the works of others.  I find that I learn a lot about what I like and don't like, and it definitely has an influence on how I shoot.  One thing that I have noticed lately is backgrounds.  Try this:  choose a few blogs that you follow or at your favorites on flickr or the like and instead of noticing the subject, look at the background.  Notice how the background either adds to or distracts from the subject.  Is it too busy, too light, too dark, some of both?
I have found when taking portraits, I really prefer to not have the sky be in the background.  So often the sky contrasts with the ground in a very distracting way.  Are there exceptions, sure.  But generally speaking, I like to leave the sky out.
Although it has been said "we are our own worst critic"... i don't know if that means we aren't good at critiquing our own work or that we critique ourselves too much.  At any rate... I will be my own critic here.  I like the background on the left of this image because it allows some context and is underexposed and doesn't fight for my attention.  The part that doesn't work so well for me is the wall on the right side of the image.  It grabs my eye both with its exposure value and it has the drastic contrasting light and dark which paints a line right down my image, leading me away from the subject.  If I must leave in the lines, as in this picture, I like to line those lines up with the edge of the image, like a straightened hanging photo. 

One more word.  I am not a pro with black and whites, but a few things I try to maintain when choosing an image to be black and white are:  keep it simple, have the brightest highlights be on my main subject, and use the spectrum of light and dark. When I originally published this shot it was too dark... the background was too dark and the subject was not well lit either (not enough highlights).  So in LR, I upped the highlight value to about +26 and increased the fill light a bit.  That gave me a better range of exposure.
Here was the original processing...
I didn't like that my subject was a drab gray.  I wanted his face to have the highlights on it. And for those highlights to be more white than gray.

Pic of the day:  This image contains such great range of light and darks... and simple background. And I like the light.  The light moves from high right to lower left in a diagonal through the image.  I find that having a diagonal directive through an image lends to its aesthetics.

Friday, June 24, 2011

ISO, fstop, EV from a different perspective

more light please...

there are lots of entries/articles out there explaining fstop, ISO, shutter speed, and the like. They all are speaking from the camera's perspective. Well, today I want to allude to these from the photographers perspective.

The scenario... My boy is in the dining room having breakfast, alone. The rest of the kids are asleep or otherwise occupied.  I grab the camera for some shots because the light from the window (no other ambient light source) is inviting.

I am using the 70-200mm lens... because it's attached and I really like it for portraits.  I try to compose the shot with mainly his face and his breakfast.  I also want to get some darks just behind his head because I want his exposed face to really stand out. I want to contrast with focus as well, hence the long zoom and wide aperture (more to come).

And mind you, I am not thinking all of the following items prior to first shot. I am thinking, shooting, looking at image, then repeating the process until I start to see what I want... often called "chimping".

First, I put the camera in A mode (aperture priority)- this way I can adjust the fstop, the ISO, and the EV. So ISO first. I have recently set my ISO to full stops... This means when I move my ISO selector, it moves in these increments 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600. If I had a cropped sensor, I would be a little more conservative and put 1/2 steps. This is because the full size sensor looks just fine at ISO 1600. So, ISO 800 is what I choose... [could have gone 1600 in retrospect to allow for faster shutter speed, because about half of my images weren't crisp clear.]  By the way, I have also changed my fstop to full stops too.  This is because when I am working with my Manual powered flashes, it's simpler math.  So ISO 800

Next, fstop. When I adjust fstop in A mode, I am wanting to see what the camera gives my in shutter speed. So I choose f2.8 (wide open). This will give me a really narrow depth of focus, but I may be willing to take it. I try 2.8 and I try 4. I end up using 4 because it gives me a little more playing room of focus distance. See previous blog of depth of field, or depth of focus  If I chose f2.8,  point my camera at my subject, then it gives a shutter speed of 1/125 - that's ok. But I want deeper focus, so I change to f4 and figure the 1/60 will work out.

I end up shooting my subject at 160mm so that my subject more fully fills the frame.
***The rule of thumb to avoid blur due to large zoom is to have the shutter speed match the zoom. So my shutter speed should be around 1/160***   Having said that, vibration reduction allows me to use slower speeds and not get the blur.

So, I've set my ISO to 800 and my fstop to 4.  I turn on the VR (vibration reduction) - don't use this if you are on a tripod.  I shoot off a couple of shots, and my subject is too bright for my taste.  What can I do to underexpose the picture a little, yet not have to change to manual mode and dial in f4 and 1/60th?  The answer:  adjust the EV.  Exposure value (EV) is a nice little tool.  I find I use it when my camera is trying to expose for the darker part of the image, and my subject is overexposed.  This usually occurs when the majority of the frame is dark and I am using matrix metering.
IE:  yesterday I was scouting out a place for some engagement shots I am doing for a neighbor and I had a barn in the semi-shade and the cloudy/blue sky as well.  It appeared that I was overexposing the sky to get the barn in correct exposure.  So I dialed my EV down 1 full stop (to -1.0) and those highlights were no longer blown out.  I can easily go back and add highlights in post-processing.

To recap... ISO 800 due to low lighting
f4 to maintain large aperture but still have good depth of focus
EV -1.0 to allow a slightly underexposed image
Result:  good lighting, not so good composition.

What did the subject think of the image?  --"I am really small... I have volcano hair."
Analysis... my subject is smack in the middle... fix: crop
Also, I am not liking the blue chair in the background... it is distracting.  fix: bw or desaturate just the blue
if bw, then increase the contrast to pop the whites

So, the blue chair becomes gray and is still distracting... bummer.  But I like the image other than that.

Pic of the day:  I really like this pose and composition... in fact most all of her images are impeccable.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

off-camera flash

I have been using off camera flash for sometime... I have been using Nikon's commander mode which allows me to fire my off-camera flash using my camera.  A nifty system, but has some shortfalls:
1) you have to have an on-camera flash to trigger the off camera flash - the problem is when you don't want an on-camera flash to be firing.  Sure you can set it down to it's lowest setting, but you are still introducing a front light source. 
2) you have to make sure the infrared receiver on the off-camera flash is 'visible' to the on-camera flash.  This limits your range and makes using that flash more complicated and less reliable.

So, I was at my cousins wedding and her photographer was using the Cactus Triggers, which are one of the least expensive triggers on the market.  I had read about these, but had heard mixed reviews on their reliability.  But this photographer had nothing but good to say about them. 

I looked more into them and they had some problems with one of the versions (v4).  Now they have the v5's.  So I ordered a pair and have been trying them out.  

Overall, I really like them.  This is not a review of these wireless triggers per se, so I won't elaborate too much.  Briefly:  they work on manual setting, so you don't get to use Nikon's TTL technology (which is basically Auto Flash mode).  They are very reliable thus far.  And I love not having to line up the old infra-red sensors.  The only problem I have found thus far is that they didn't work with my SB-600 flashes until I put some duct tape covering one of the pins on the bottom of the SB-600s.  Thanks forums for pointing me that direction.
The newer triggers are nice because they claim to work up to 1/1000 shutter speed. They worked at 1/500 for me, but not so well at 1/1000. Further testing may reveal otherwise.

One more shot:   settings:  70mm ISO 800 f4, 1/125 -off-camera flash powered at 1/128 M (SB800)

By the way, here was my set-up for this shot.

And don't worry, the goblet is empty.

Pic of the Day:  

Picture came from the photographer, Amanda, who was so kind to entertain my questions regarding the cactus triggers...  I think she really nails this shot:  great evening light with equally subdued pose and colors; great contrast with her depth of focus, and superb lines/curves take me through the whole of the subjects.  I don't think she uses any reflectors, diffusers, or fill flash... just good natural lighting.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Portrait time

Due to excessive rain, I have been taking pictures of the kids indoors the past couple of weeks.  What are some things you can do to get enough light indoors?

First of all, beware of the mixed lighting sources.
Note that the fluorescent lights put off a greenish hue, the tungsten lights a bluish hue, and outdoor is the standard here.  And it's all about balance.
If you have a subject close to a really bright window, the fluorescent light in the room may not even show up in your image. Another way is to introduce a flash. This allows you to shoot with the window light and the flash (which are quite similar in their white balance) in a room with tungsten or fluorescent.   So here's the lighting setup for these portrait shots.
The flash on the floor is set at the lowest setting it has M 1/128.  So is the camera flash.  The camera flash is used here to simply trigger the SB600 flash.  The exposure is f3.2 at 1/80 at ISO 800.  
I chose 1/80 because I notice if I use 1/60 or slower, my kids pictures are blurred due to subject movement.
I like: the focus at f3.2 and 70mm (enough of the subject is in focus).  To calculate my depth of field... it was taken with  Nikon D700 taken at 5ft away from subject at f3.2.  That gives me about 4 inches of depth... that's not a lot... so I really need to ensure that my focus point is the eyes.  
The lighting: I like that my subject is a little brighter than the background.  
I don't like: the highlight on his face is a little hot and a little larger than I wanted.
Do over:  I would move the flash back a little bit more... maybe more of 1 or 2 o'clock (instead of the 2:30 it is currently at)
And hope I don't lose you here... I would dial my f-stop up just a bit, maybe to 4.5 so that my lowest setting on my flash wasn't as strong.  More on flash output power*** later
Here are some others from the same shoot:

Pic of the day:

*** flash output is influenced by distance to subject, flash power setting, f-stop and ISO of camera.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Post processing

I really like taking pictures of the sky. Springtime seems to bring a lot of dynamics to the heavens. Post processing can really go a long ways with skies. So I am attaching a preset that I created for stormy skies. Download this and try it out, if you have Lightroom.
If you don't have lightroom, play around with the tone curve (increase the lights), give it plenty of contrast, a little vignette, and increase the blacks a touch.
Here is the before:

And the after:

Pic of the Day -- I really like the evening light on this... and the composition lends a lot to the aesthetics as well.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Links on Monday

Gotta take a post to share some digital photography tutorial/learning links...

"A Learning Community for Photographers"

Really Basic

Good site for the basics...

Boot camp for flash photography

Some good stuff here

Pic of the Day:  is from Awkward Family Photos

don't blame me when you wet your pants due to uncontrolled laughter on this site

Friday, May 13, 2011

Posting Problems

It appears that Google's Blog has been going through some surgery and some things are missing... so the post today will be short and hopefully sweet.

I am re-posting one from Joe McNally on how to hold the camera.  Simple yet effective.
Mind you, this works well if you are left eyed.  Most people (myself included) probably use their right eye predominantly... but I gave it whirl at 1/5th of a second and was impressed with the steady result.

Here is the video that goes along with Joe's blog...

Pic of the Day - this guy shoots 4x5 film... still nothing like it!

Diagnosing a Dirty Sensor

Symptoms: My pictures have a dark spot on them. It is in the same place on each photo. The only time it changes appearances is when I shoot at F22 the spot is more crisp and defined. Whereas when I shoot at F4 the spot is out of focus.

Objective: DSLR camera is otherwise functioning correctly. Camera was taken in the desert for a weekend trip and it was a bit windy. Camera lens was changed while outdoors. Camera is 1.5 years old and has not had the sensor cleaned.

Assessment: The sensor has dust on it due to normal wear/tear. Conditions of changing the lens outdoors in a windy desert likely the time of onset, due to opening up the inner workings of the camera to outside dust particles.

Plan: First, try the self cleaning menu option on the camera if it has one.  This can work if the dust is lightly attached.  But more often with the visible dust particles, it will require manual cleaning.  Refer to your owners manual for opening the mirror and/or manually self cleaning.  If you are a DIYer: watch a couple of youtube videos, decide what method/tools you want to try, and clean the sensor at home. Or if you are more comfortable with sending it in, take it to a reliable camera store and who offers sensor cleaning.  Whatever you select, remember that this sensor is your permanent 'film'.  You only get one per camera.

Personally, I have cleaned my own sensors and for other people at times.  I have taken a rubber spatula from the kitchen (don't tell Amber) and cut it to the width of the sensor (you can find that here).  I have used rubbing alcohol but would probably get slightly better results if I used some Methanol (harder to find).
I ensure that I use a new cleaning cloth each time I clean the sensor.  Here are a couple of videos that I have found helpful.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How did they get that shot? ... show me the data

If you're like me, you've probably seen a shot you really like and wondered, "how did they get that shot?"  Well, besides the setting and composition, there are a few things that you can look at to give you some clues... at least on the technical aspect of the image.

Digital cameras store a lot of information about the technical specs of the picture called EXIF Data.  The camera stores info such as times/dates/fstop/lens/shutter speed/ISO/mode/shutter count/  and many other settings.  Programs like Picasa Albums and Flickr make this EXIF Data available to the viewer (unless the user somehow disables or doesn't upload it intentionally).  Let's try it.  I have this flickr image from my favorites
In the Actions drop down, you can go to View Exif Info

In this truncated view, we can see that it was taken at ISO 50, 116mm, f18 at 0.6 of a second with a Canon DSLR.  It was shot in manual exposure (out of view on this screenshot) and the on-camera flash did not fire.

From Google's Picasa Albums, we see this from a different image:
This shot was take with Nikon D70s, at ISO 400 etc etc

There are a few free programs out there that allow you to look at the EXIF data of your own images.  You may already have a program that allows you to view that information.

Chase Jarvis sometimes does a little image breakdown where he shows an image and people guess how it was taken.  Some of his lighting techniques go right over my head, but there's some good stuff in there.

Some people include their lighting notes in the caption of their images on Flickr.  They generally begin with the word "Strobist" and as in this example.

Pic of the Day: Oregon coast shot with a Graduated Neutral Density filter.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Can you take some pictures of.... ?

In my day job, I get a lot of questions...  I have learned that in order to give the right answer, I often need to ask various other questions in order to clarify the question.

Today's blog will hopefully help you ask a few questions so that you are prepared when someone asks you to shoot some pictures of an event for them.
What do you need to know before you can accept the assignment?  whether it is paid or pro bono.   

I've put together some of the questions I like to have answered prior to 'game day', or even before accepting the challenge of a shoot.

1. What are the clients' expectations? - this one can be a little nebulous... people may have their expectations set in stone; or more often, they just want something aesthetic and memorable.
First, it helps to know where the images will be used... are they only going to be posted online or are they going to be enlarged for the living room wall?
If you are charging for your service, make sure the expectations are set out fairly specifically.  I have a neighbor who was doing a family shoot for a large extended family.  She was getting paid a nominal amount.  She ended up spending hours and hours and days and days on the phone with the mother and then in Photoshop trying to please the client; swapping heads, whitening teeth, even taking away double chins.
Ideally, the client should come to you expecting you to do your best and maintain the integrity you have shown in your portfolio.  They should not expect you to shoot like so and so, or worse, make me look like so and so...  (having said that, if you're one who offers alteration services, knock yourself out, and have a good time with it - just remember to let the client know up front their will be an hourly charge for additional alterations)

2.  How many people in the group? (we are assuming this will be some sort of portraiture work).   This is really important to know.  Larger groups take much more coordination... of people, props, lighting, expectations, etc.  It is not always easy to get the entire group in focus if your lighting is low... remember that the more light you let in with the aperture (fstop), the shorter your depth of focus (and the larger the group, the more focal depth you will need).  Don't forget to keep your focal length no less than 35mm, because you can really start to stretch the people at the ends.
Again, feel free to decline if the group size or conditions are greater than your comfort level.  It is better to have people find the right person for the job than to do them a favor and they end up having to redo the whole event because they weren't satisfied with the results.  -- I learned the hard way one time.  I was shooting a family group and I couldn't get far enough away at the location they had selected. I pushed my focal length to 24mm.  When I went to process these pictures, I was shocked at how much the people on the ends were stretched... not very appealing.  Luckily Photoshop and Lightroom have a way to correct, but it's never the same... would I want to be the person on the end who was stretched and then corrected?  nope.

3. Indoor/Outdoor  - lighting, space to work in, backdrop.  Most cameras allow us to shoot well in daylight.  But if you don't feel comfortable in low-light settings, don't accept the offer.  Even shooting a reception in a gymnasium can be difficult (they are often lit by fluorescent lights mixed with sky lights, and the wood floors give a golden yellow reflection).  Tungsten lights (traditional bulbs) give off a bluish hue while fluorescent lighting create green in a photo.  Also ask yourself how much room am I going to have to work with?  What lenses will I need?  And do I have the right lens/lenses for the job.

4.  Do I need an assistant?  When I have shot weddings, it has been so helpful to have an assistant there (AKA my wife).  She can keep the flow to our session, notice clothing out of place, understand some of the expectations, and ensure that the party feels that they are getting the interaction they need to feel comfortable in the pictures.  Do I need my assistant to hold a reflector, a diffuser, a flash, a lens or camera, or just hold up my spirits when it is a long day?  
This last weekend I had a helper for the prom shoot.  He was invaluable.  We knew we would be shooting mainly in the shade.  I like to either use an off camera flash or a reflector when I shoot in the shade so that the subjects pop and I get the correct skin tones.  So my assistant was there to make sure the flash was firing, it was the right distance to the subjects, and it didn't fall over in the wind and end up in the rubbish bin.  Because I had an assistant, we were able to shoot with a flash (speed light); thus we were able to use a faster shutter speed and get this shot:

5.  Finally, and this is after you've accepted the job and are at the shoot: Save time for the individual or group to give you some input or make a suggestion.  Sometimes they know what pose they want to try.  This lends credibility to you as a photographer and it gives the client the satisfaction that you really wanted to give them a product they were pleased with and personalize their session. 
I was shooting some families I am related to and I asked a set of parents if they wanted any individual shots.  They casually asked for the kids to be together in one.  The kids were very excited and glad to have their own time in front of the lens.  The kids grouped up and wham bam.

Pic of the Day:  There is a place for supersaturated photos.  It's in Havasu Indian Reservation

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lovin' Lightroom

I have really fallen in love with Lightroom 3. I had previously used Photoshop Bridge. With Bridge, I would apply some rudimentary settings.  I would then take my images to Photoshop and apply actions (these are meant to be handled by Bridge, but I find that system clunky at best). The organization Bridge applied was nice and it allowed me to non-destructively make changes...
Now, with Lightroom, it truly has taken my processing to a whole new level. I still get the non-destructive editing... but now I have so much more control over my images... from noise to components of tonality, to special looks.
Besides having much more control over the organization, virtual copies, and snapshots of my processed images, the Presets have given me great control and creativity over my work.
I began by downloading a few presets. I studied what had been done in those and then tweaked them to make my own. The next step was to create presets from scratch.
It's kind of like going to a restaurant, finding something that really sparks your fancy, and then coming back home and trying to re-create it. I feel like I have the tools to do so with Lightroom. This is beginning to sound like an ad. But being able to re-create a look is really important to me, because it gives me the confidence to select a setting and take control of it and give it the feel that I want. In addition, it gives me the flexibility to offer my interpretation of the setting. It's like reading Jane Eyre and having my vocabulary soar to new heights... I just can't help but be inspired by the quality works of others. Enough rambling...

I have alluded in the past to enjoying Cliff Mautner's work.
I have developed a few presets that help me get a similar feel to my photographs. I really like the low key look with the highlights bringing the viewers attention to just what I am trying to portray. It helps me communicate better through my images.

Here is an example... the first image is how it came straight from the camera:
The part I want the viewer to focus on is the expression with an emphasis on the eye.  They are over-exposed here.  Since I am shooting in RAW format, most of the detail is going to be retrievable.  
I made a setting that decreased the exposure by about 1.5 stops and separates out the tones a bit... bump up the lights, tone down the darks (basically creating contrast selectively, without doing much with the shadows or the highlights), and applied a vignette.
With one press of a button (applying my preset), I get this:

There are a few images where I would take them to photoshop or use the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom to do some selective lighting... but that seems to be the exception.

So, I really like Lightroom and the control it gives me over my images.

Pic of the Day:
This guy does some great work... He merges the real with the surreal with his photography and Photoshop in his work.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Game Day

Today was busy... took my little point and shoot camera up to hike the Y in Provo with the Youth.  Then did spring cleaning... took a break to run through the sprinklers and have a picnic... finally ended up over at the Gardens to shoot part of a wedding, with a break in there to do a prom group.  Have to say... the prom group was a lot of fun (cute couples --- love working with the sweet sixteens)... got some good experience with the wedding shoot (thanks Suzie)... know what I would do differently next time... and hopefully I can share some of these.  For today's post, here is a slide show of the prom shots.  I shot in manual mode... Stopped down the exposure by 1 stop.  Shooting at f4.5 and 1/400.  It was in the shade, so I shot at ISO 200.  Had a SB800 flash on the camera set at 1/128 and it popped the off-camera SB600 flash which was set to Manual 1/4 power at 50mm.  I had an assistant (thanks Andy) holding the flash at about 3 meters from the subjects.

And just a handful from the wedding shoot...