I just tried that with mine and it works. Pretty neat.
I just tried that with mine and it works. Pretty neat.
From what I've read (and been told at Nikonians), direct illumination wouldn't have been a problem at f/8 and ISO 200, but asking it to bounce off the ceiling (and therefore asking it to illuminate the whole room rather than just the subjects I'm photographing) is just asking it for more power than it can put out.
Looking back on the images I shot last night at f/2.8, I thought I'd focused on my wife's eyes. But when I got into the picture next to her, it moved her just enough to the right so that the focus point I'd chosen in the viewfinder was now on the Christmas tree behind us. The tree is in perfect focus, of course. My wife and I are slightly soft, and my little girl is noticeably out-of-focus.
And here, when I looked last night, I thought it was a too-shallow DOF thing when instead it was an operator-error thing. Had the focus point stayed on my wife, I think we all would have been tolerably sharp in the captures.
I'm not a portrait guy to begin with, but I'm learning more every time I try it.
I really do think I need a second (and perhaps a third) SB-800 and some umbrellas. Or maybe just an inexpensive studio kit.
You trying to illuminate too much with your flash was one of the first things I thought of. But somehow I thought you might get offended, if I asked you about it, since it's so trivial.
I don't necessarily think I was trying to illuminate "too much," just asking the flash to overcome the tighter f-stop.
You thought I'd be offended by the suggestion?
With the studio strobes, it is much more, "OK, I know I want to shoot a portrait today, and I know where it is going to be and what it is going to be." There isn't the freedom that you have with the flashguns, as you need AC power (they can be mobile however with a battery pack and inverter, and they work very well). They are also going to be full manual, and the highest sync speed you are going to be able to get with them is probably 1/120th to 1/160th (remember that the flash duration is around 1/10,000, so even though the shutter is open for a while, with such a short flash burst, there isn't much motion blur, where it is a problem is if you are trying to use it as a fill light on a bright sunny day for action shots) but their greatest advantage is MUCH more power, which is most handy when you want to use light modifiers, such as BIG umbrellas or soft boxes, light up big rooms or fill a large area. I went with the studio strobes (from Alien Bee) which I currently love, but I imagine that making this set up mobile will hurt in the future if I want to do more location shooting, but for around the house, at work, or in studio, they have been great. As long as I have power, and more importantly, am willing to tote them around, I am very happy with them.
OK, so now I have swapped the camera I use and the lens I use and got a new flash. ALL of these items are things you guys recommended and now my pics are WAY better than before in fact I would call them PRO quality since I saw a lot of guys taking Derby Dolls photos with tons of pro equipment and then compared my pics with theirs after the fact. (I can say without a doubt that mine were higher quality than the LA Weekly.) Having this kind of quality available is essential if you want to be taken seriously and now that the playing field is (almost) even then I can at least have a chance of expressing what I want and having it come out like I envisioned it. Still, I can think of a few more lenses that would fit nicely in my collection, but at least I have a start.
SO I just wanted to say THANKS to you guys for pointing me in the right direction with the D30, the 17-55 2.8 EF-S lens and the 580EXII flash. Having this ability has given me a new inspiration to go out and take more pics. In fact I'd really like to get into some concert photography and may look into doing something like that and I might be able to use some old connections to do so, hopefully.
I don't think I've personally gotten to the level of "pro quality" yet. I've got some pictures I'm pretty proud of, because to me they represent some small advancement somewhere on the learning curve I'm bound to. But in terms of thinking "I could sell this photograph," I don't think I've gotten there just yet. I need more equipment! ;) Well...practice is probably what I need more of, actually. But I find that if I leave the house with my camera and have in my mind something I want to work on technique wise, I'm better able to "see" opportunities for photo-taking that suits the skill I want to practice.
I've got to say that this thread has been a HUGE help for me with overcoming some plateaus and getting my learning curve trending upward again. By wanting to be able to "hang" with the quality of the photographs that you guys post in here, I feel my images are getting more and more interesting and better overall.
So, thanks. Let's keep this thread going until it chokes the bandwidth!
I think this thread has been great for gently nudging the bar for all of us, as well as providing constructive criticism, which is, in my opinion, greatly appreciated. I actually read through the whole thing again yesterday to pass the time during this snow storm the East was getting hit with.
So, thanks to all of you guys for participating and keeping this tread alive!
I would echo VFs comments. This has been one of my favorite threads this year. It is kind of odd to talk cameras on a hockey fan site, but I have to say its also a little frienlier and less intimidating here than other photography forums.
It's also kind of funny when I tell my pro photographer friend something he doesn't know and when he asks me, "where did you hear that?" I say Letsgokings.com