Had a great time teaching at a one-week photograpy workshop in Scandinavia (Swedish Lapland, to be more precise). It was a fun mix of landscape photography, environmental portraiture and teaching postprocessing techniques.
Our guide navigates us and the adopted 10 week old Lisa through the waters near Överkalix. Water, forests, a reindeer and a guy named Carl. It doesn’t get much more Swedish than this.
I couldn’t resist the urge to whip out the old flash and make this environmental portrait. I used a Lumiquest SBIII softbox to slightly soften the harsh cast shadows an undiffused flash would make. I find the Lumiquest to be a great, highly portable little light modifier. It’s handholdable and ideal for those guerilla-style ‘the-photographer-is-also-the-lighstand’ kind of shots that I always wind up doing. Best of all, it folds flat and fits just perfectly in my ThinkTank Speedracer bag.
I had left my PocketWizards FlexTT5 & MiniTT1 at home so I used simple Cactus Triggers to trigger my flash. I could have used Nikon’s own CLS, but in bright ambient sunlight conditions such as during this trip, the triggering isn’t always reliable. When working with these triggers, you loose the ability to go beyond the sync speed of 1/200th. You also lose the ability to work in TTL and remotely control the power of your flash. When working outside, I find this to be not so much of a problem as most of the time, you need full power anyway to tame the ambient sunlight, especially when you make that sun a part of your composition, as I’ll explain in the next blog post.