Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trip The Light Fantastic

My back deck was bathed in gentle shadows late this afternoon when I found a firehose of light being splashed on one spot.

One of my hobbies other than photography is cooking, but especially BBQ (See the little green guy over there to the right in my side bar? That's my food blog.) For 25 hours straight this rainy weekend I was smoking chicken and pork so the deck was a wreck! I was cleaning it up, taking down my EZ-Up cover when the brilliant beam of sunlight reflected off my neighbor's window like the ending scene from Raiders of The Lost Ark.
I chased it as it moved from my pile of thin sliced hickory.....
To the batch of bok choy Alexis is growing....
Then I went out front and chased Trevor around the maple tree....
He's my favorite model....
But I have a technical question about lighting for all you photographers out there. Here are two action shots I tried to take of Trev the past two afternoons.

Yesterday with an external flash (SB-600) to light up the shadows on the front side of Trevor. I could have started to work on the exposure but since I'm firing a D-60 with a maximum shutter sync speed of 1/200th of a second I won't be able to stop the blur while using a flash.

So today I tried just using no flash and a shutter speed of 1/320th. The blur is better but the lighting is not good. I need a light source from the front.
So what do you think? Is it just an issue of my camera being too slow of a sync speed? Or is there something else I could try?


  1. If you subject is not too far, you could go to high sync speed on your flash (check the manual for instructions) and use the faster shutter speed. The flash will not be as powerful but should be able to keep up. Another option would be shooting at a better time of day.

  2. Not a very good technical advisor since I only use the auto on my $700 camera. lol!! I did find the d-50 book when I moved, maybe I should read up. Your children are beautiful...I know boys don't like that, but they are.

  3. I think professional photographers use one of those reflection screens. While he wasn't taking 'action' shots, the photographer I watched had an assistant holding up a large hoop with white reflective fabric over it.

    But what do I know, I always shoot in auto mode, keep my fingers crossed and then end up with a bunch of crap ass pictures.

    Love that portrait shot... Beautiful lighting!

  4. Great pictures hon. I'm not a photog expert (I just come to ogle over yours) so I can't help. I can easily understand why Trevor is your favorite model, he's definitely photogenic. (Hugs)Indigo

  5. Ah, ok, I can't answer any of the questions. But, I like how you chased the sun and shadows. Trevor was a delightful surprise hidden in the tree!

  6. I am lost, but the skate board looks fun!

  7. Trevor's my favorite model too. What a cutie.

  8. Have Trevor do his tricks in the sunlight. I'm here to help.

  9. Trevor is very handsome...as for the shots...i wish i could help. it does seem the "professionals" have the reflectors but it has to be some sorts of setting for spontaneous photos??? when you find out...let us know!!!

  10. You have a beautiful son, Chris (and Alexis)...

    Except don't tell him that. Tell him I said "cool looking" instead.

  11. Can't answer your questions as I take my pics with my cell :/. Just here to admire your work. And to say that you have a beautiful child! :)