Howdy folks!

Guess what, on the 2nd day of my sulking, i bought the Speedlight. Here comes another family to our house. I wont call it a member to existing family, because in fotog, camera bodies are a separate family, lenses a different one, the lights another family, the modifiers and so on 🙂  So, i finally bought the Nikon SB 600 speedlight…my first flash light which i was yearning for since long.

After lot of humdrum, as i got it, I fiddled with it for a day or two and put it to work on the 3rd. I’ve started loving it already 🙂

You see… every photographer awaits this day, every photographer has the desire to take this shot one day. Its like your first entry into the boxing ring….you practice the basics, learn all the techniques, have been closely observing other masters do it and you make mental moves to replicate those punches and then one day, you land up…there to take the first jab 🙂  This is the shot am talking about:

I know, this is bad lighting, the glass is not clean, left part of the splash is over exposed and so on, but heck that! I made this shot! 😀  It may sound silly, but i call it a day! ….afterall am just a beginner, there are thousands of hours to go more into fotog before i make flawless work.

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The one below is more of an initial shot that i took while striving for the above result. When you dont have the right appliances, no helpers and have to handle everything on your own, even a seemingly simple shot like this becomes extremely tedious. The setup goes like this….put camera on stand at proper height, put it to manual focus and adjust exactly at glass’s clarity level (manual focus because you cannot let the lens do focusing when the splash is over in few micro-seconds), then hold the light on one side of glass in desired direction and distance, set up a reflector on the other side of glass to bounce back flash, put the camera to self-timer, hold the lemon above glass, wait for timer to get over and let camera take the click and drop it exactly at the moment when the camera closes the shutter.

Phew! after about 15-20 lemon drops, I got a shot where the timing is perfect in such a way that lemon is into the water, there is splash within the glass and out of the glass, you see the directional force through bubbles and all that stuff. Its pretty hard to do it all alone.

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Here is the setup for the lemon shot above. The stand for glass is my college time sub-woofer (which brought me lot of fame those days :P), reflector on right is made at home which is falling off at this moment, but i had to balance that too after initiating the self timer:

I had a nice sleep that night, when i took the above “lemon splash” shot. Though couldnt wait for the next day when my next desired shot was to be executed.

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As for the next setup for the shot below, i had no other choice than taking my wife’s help to pour the colored water into the glass. It was impossible that i may leave camera on self-timer and expect it to take such shots while i pour the fluid into my subject.

I really owe my wife a lot for all the madness she bears while i am busy with such things. I do all crazy things when am planning and executing a shot.

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At such times when i am fuming between household crap to erect a stand to use it as a backdrop with the help of my mallu style lungi 😛 and managing bounce back reflectors using black drawing sheets clipped to photo frames, curtains placed carefully on chair to block direct flash from the speedlight on glass and so on…..she is worried about the costly wine glass, water spilling on the floor and so on 😀

But anyways, when am done, she takes a huge sigh that nothing broke and I wiped the floor without being asked 😀  Not to mention, she loves the final images too when i show it to her for comments. Those moments for me is what i call “photography” 🙂

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The setup for this shot is as below. the chair covered with black curtain has been moved away so that i could show the placement of external flash which at the time of shoot, has to be covered on its right side to avoid reflection by direct flash light on the wine glass:

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And as another day of dream shots folded, i eagerly woke up the next day early morning to get to the 3rd most desired shot.

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I love shapes, specially shapes that can change with air blow caused by a wink of your eye. Incense sticks are a nice subject to experiment with such high speed fotog.

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Just gel the light and you can create some interesting color flicks too. Can you see the blue hearts forming? and the slight tinch of yellow as the outlines? This is the easiest setup that i had for the initial shoots with my new speedlight.

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The setup of above smokey shots is a simple one as below. There on the left side lies the new family father (flash) placed inside a used water purifier funnel, next to it lies the transparent color papers which i used to gel the light, the black curtain against my sister’s gift (a huge photo frame, that i use only for such purposes :D) as the backdrop. Since this is not a post on the speedlight review of Nikon SB600, so havent added any close up shot of the member:

God! i love fotog. Its too much fun to keep my hands off it.

For me its one of those thrilling day like the ones of our childhood when we just learned bicycling. The first day you take both your feet off the ground and place them on the pedals, you just wont stop! You may go straight into the nearby pothole or sideway canal, bang into a lamp post or simply fall….but you cant wait to get your feet on the pedals again! Thats the thrill of learning something that you long awaited. Am relishing one of such days 🙂

Will add the snapshots of the setups i used for above shots by today evening, kindly visit back if you are interested in them. As promised, i’ve added images of the setups too. These shots would not be possible without an external flash the reason being all these shots are taken at an shutter speed of 1/1000 except the smokey shots which were taken at 1/500. At such high shutter speeds, you would get a blank dark frame with nothing visible, unless you are shooting out in the sun. As you can see in the setup images, the room isnt completely dark. All the tubes are ON and its my living room with ambient light coming from all around, still the images have perfect backgrounds because they are lit with only the external flash (the speedlight) and clicked at high shutter speeds to disallow ambient light into the shots. We will discuss the other technical aspects of these shots in my next blog post. I felt like it would be too boring for you if i came up with another tutorial after the previous one without showing some results to inspire 🙂

Keep the comments, questions and suggestions coming it. I love interacting with you all.

Cheers!

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