I wanted to share a few photos from a recent trip visiting family down in Oceanside. I like to use my family and friends to experiment with my photography and in turn they get some nice photos to keep. Here's a few of my niece and daughter at my brothers house. I used a 45 inch shoot through umbrella with two flashes (Canon 600's) to light up the girls in the first two shots.
In the next four photos of the girls individually I changed up the lighting a little bit. The ambient light was getting darker and I wanted to add a hair light. I took off one of the Canon 600EX-RT's from the umbrella and changed it to optical master mode on my camera. I changed the flash shooting through the umbrella to optical slave and the pulled out my Canon 430EX II and set that to optical slave. I set the smaller 430 on my tripod behind and to the left and had it fire on their back and right shoulder. The flash on my camera was firing only to trigger the slaves and I was far back enough for it not to influence the light on the girls faces. I really like the way these came out and the hair/kicker light really adds a lot of depth.
Click to view largerEXIF: 1/125 at f/8 ISO 400 135mm Click to view largerEXIF: 1/60 at f/5.6 ISO 200 200mm Click to view largerEXIF: 1/60 at f/5.6 ISO 200 200mm Click to view largerEXIF: 1/60 at f/5.6 ISO 400 200mm
I don't remember what flash settings I was using other than I know I was in manual mode. If I had more time I would have bumped up the kicker light a stop or two. It looks great, IMO, on my daughter with her lighter complexion, but perhaps a little dim on my niece because of her dark sweater and darker hair. It was a work of wonder just to get them to pose for me; I bribed one with candy and the other with money. And while it worked I still only had a few seconds with each of them.
It's always a fun challenge when I go back home to photograph things and places I've never looked at before. There's a lot of farmland behind my dad's house and sometimes when I look at it and it looks like it would be amazing to photograph. Figuring out from what location, what angle, time of day, etc., is the hard part. The only thing that had any color this time of year were the strawberry fields so I went up to a nice farm and tried to come up with something interesting with all the lines the crops provide. There was nothing happening in the sky so I tried to just focus on the patterns with the crops and play with it like an exercise in shooting abstract stuff. This is about as abstract as I get. I know -- not really abstract at all.
Shooting the crops was actually pretty fun but I wanted to try another portrait. I've been wanting to do one of my brother with his dirt bike out in the desert but we couldn't quite make it happen. We did go out to the desert for some skeet shooting though.
He's holding a .22, the shotgun was in the truck and he definitely should have been holding it instead. We received a lot of critical, and comical, feedback on Instagram.
I filled in his right side with 2 flashes at full power bouncing off a white umbrella. I was really testing my limits with speedlites in a harsh desert sun but, IMO, it worked really well in this photo. I tried to angle the umbrella in a way to catch the sun as well so the flashes probably had some help.
Mission San Luis ReyEXIF: 20 sec at f/32 ISO 100 230mm The picture above of the mission is part of a larger panorama I took. I shot it at f/32 because I wasn't prepared with an ND filter and I wanted a longer shutter speed to blur out the traffic.
I also went to Joshua Tree for a night with the hopes of doing some astrophotography. Unfortunately there were some clouds that limited the the star gazing but the sunset and sunrise were pretty cool. Here's a couple photos from Joshua Tree National Par, a few of which available for purchase.
The rest of my time was spent hanging out flying kites. My daughter had an absolute blast hanging out with her cousins and aunts.
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