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In this installment of the Lighting with Flash series, photographer and Strobist.com publisher David Hobby employs compact flash units to light an outdoor environmental portrait of a beekeeper and his bees. For the portrait, David balances the light from two strobes with late-afternoon sunshine, using a snap-on grid to focus the light from one strobe and adjusting his camera's white balance to add warmth to shade-lit skin tones.
Next, David addresses a more challenging subject: a humming hive of honeybees. Working quickly for obvious reasons, David uses his camera's automatic, through-the-lens (TTL) flash-exposure mode along with a ring-light adaptor for the strobe. The course concludes with some insights on David's approach to lighting and his choice of subject matter.
Male Jim, I'm going to have you right in here on this, on this patch. And, and you're taller than Dave. So I'm going to have some, I'm going to have some geometry to make up here. No offense. (INAUDIBLE). (LAUGH). That's right. Okay. So I'm looking. So right now, I'm, I'm, I'm looking at it. And, and, I'm going to pop these frames. And actually, just hold it down in your hand. And, and, maybe have it in your other hand, so I can see the bees when you're looking at it. And cheat it towards me a little, a little bit, Let me show you.
So this, this would be where they were, where I can see it. Jim As if I'm reading? Male Yeah, a little bit. And so I'm, what I'm trying to do is cheat the angle of your face and the bees, where it has a natural sight line between the two. But I can also see both objects. Jim Alright. Male So there's a little bit of a, of a geometry half here. Jim Keep talking to me. Male Okay, so looking at you, and I'll maybe have your other hand up, too. wherever you want it, is good with me. I'll back up to where I can see you. So everything looks good in the back. I've got a little bit of a light on the bee, beekeeper equip, what is that called? A hive? Jim Hive.
Male The hive. And the one thing I don't have right now is your face. So we're going to fix that with a special. So Dave Keil is holding a, an SB800 with a handle grid on it. and I want to have you come around this way a little bit, Dave. So, you can see his face. You can see everywhere that light's going to hit. the thing you're going to worry about on this side is that, that shadow that the last white thing is going to produce on his face. Dave Yep. Male And on the other side, you probably don't want to be seeing his other ear too much. So, that's, that's going to give you your zone. I'll see if this is popping. Yep.
Tiny little bit of flash should make some difference. (SOUND) Oh, absolutely. So I'm going to shoot with it and without it real quick. Here's with (SOUND). And there's without (SOUND). Jim, let me show you this real quick. So what Dave is doing is coming in and just adding. Jim Very good. Male So dave I want to cheat this a little up and little to the right and what we are going to do with that is to control the spill on his jacket. 5 layers down and the cellphone goes off, okay, so we've got no lights on, and now, okay (MUSIC) (SOUND).
Male We lost the flash over here (INAUDIBLE) (INAUDIBLE). >> (UNKNOWN). Male No, on the ground. Male Oh, it just fell down. No worries. They do that. Okay I think I'm good. Now your bees is a second issue. Dave might have you go ahead and have that light fall down his face a little bit. Dave The background a little light. Male Yeah. So Jim, if you show me those bees a little more. There you go. That's good. That's good. I can see everybody now. (SOUND). Alright.
I think we're ready to uh, (SOUND). Think we're ready to make some pictures. Let me look at it close. So Jim, I'm going to have you kind of go back and forth between looking at the bees and looking at me. And, and, this is, this is, we got everything technical is taken care of so. Oh, there goes the hot rod. So if i can have you think about one thing i know that you spend a lot of time with these hives and specifically you rescue this hive and you want to grow it into a viable hive, so there is a very strong connection between you guys. Rather than just passively looking at it just be thinking about what's important to you.
It'll come across on your face. Jim Okay. Male And that will, so I can take the ball to the one yard line, but you're the one that pushes it in basically. I want to make sure that after all this technical stuff, we get an expression that is meaningful because there's some thought behind it. Jim Okay. Male And I know that's not something you take lightly either. So I, just to make you aware of it. Alright, so we're going to come out with the actual bees in just a second.
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