Little Adventures

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lighting A House Party

Many people, even the casual party snappers, are now aware of the horrible results direct flash gives.  And so with this, people will either shoot without flash or just put-up with with direct flash.  Either way, results cand't be that good.  Without flash, you get the risk of blurry pictures.  With direct flash . . . well, need I say more?

Those with DSLR's would normally shoot with the external flash pointed to the ceiling for bounce lights or shoot with Stofens or white bounce cards.  Honestly, if I have no other choice, this is how I would shoot.  But . . . there is an alternative way of lighting up a small party, especially if the venue is not so big and has white ceiling. 

It's the strobist way or remote flash photography way.  Just put 1 speedlite in one corner - or if you have 2 speedlites that's better, put the other one in the opposite corner.  Do some test shots with both speedlites and camera set to manual.  When you got an exposure that you like, stick to that setting and simply fire away - from any direction or any angle.  As you change shooting angles, you'll notice that the light setup will have varying effects on your pictures, which is great.  No more boring flat lighting.  It will be as if light was coming from varying directions - depending on your camera angle, of course.  If you look at the picture of the vodka and chardonnay bottles, you'd probably think that this was ambient light - but no - there was 1 speedlight involved here.

This is the living / dining room as venue for the small party.  the ceiling is white and the walls are off-white.  All I needed was 1 flash to light up the entire room.

In this picture you can see the bright light coming from the speedlite on top of the piano.

I use this lighting most of the time because it always gives pleasing yet very subtle results.  In this picture, again, at first glance it looks like ambient lighting but the lighting from the speedlight makes it more three dimensional providing rims to the children's faces.

For the photos that are shown in this blog, I used only one Speedlite 580EX II placed on top of a piano next to a wall and pointed up to approximately the center of the room ceiling and with the built-in bounce card up.  Just 1 flash and nothing more.

Group shot?  Not a problem.  This was taken with the same speedlite from the same position.




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