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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.
Jim Now, this is what I took out of that. Male Oh, cool. And that's, that's the core of the hive there. That's what you're building on? Jim This is plain old comb and it's got lots of honey in it. Male I'm rethinking this whole being a foot away from bee sting without the net so, we'll, we'll see. >> (INAUDIBLE). Male Oh, you got one on your jacket just crawling around. I'm going to give them a second to settle. Is that okay? Jim Yep. Male And rotate around more towards where Dave is.
yeah, Dave in black. There we go. I'm going to come in quietly. Okay, Dave, I don't know if you're going off in there. Dave I don't see it going off. Male Okay, hold for a second. Check our connections, one, two, half the button. There we go, Yep. So, you want to be on his face.
Yeah, I can see now. Raise it up just a little bit. Oh, no. Okay, so Dave Pyle raise the light up just a little bit. Jim, you, Jim you're doing great. Dave Do you want a different piece of comb? Male No, I like this a lot. Dave Shows up against the white background, maybe. Male It does. Very well. And this is the kind of thing I'll go in and tweak, after the fact. Rather than try to light it against the white, I'll tweak it in Photoshop to bring those levels up just a little bit.
I didn't say that out loud, but that, that's common. Jim, if you could rotate around a little more to your left. Jim I'd like to get another piece with more bees on it. Male Okay, okay. Jim If we're talking bees, (UNKNOWN). Male I'll take it. So, looking in this now. The, the, the special that Dave Keil is holding is a is an SB800, now down as far as it can go. So, that's 128 power. We're running a little grid. A little 1/8 inch grid, which obviously looks. Jim This says lots of activities on them.
Male Okay. You've got my full attention. Never mind. Male Okay. So, rotate around a little to your left, Jim. Jim My left. Male Other left. There you go. Jim Stage left. Male And come forward just a little bit. Jim} Alright. Male You're tall, so I'm cheating your height a little bit. Jim Right. Now, this has some. I, I broke off, and there's honey exposed. Male Is that firing? Dave I tested it. Male Yep, it is, yes it is firing, I just checked it. Okay? We've got it, okay, an action second.
Yeah, it's sometimes it's very hard to see, it's just a little bit of a wink. And Jim, I want to make sure I can see your face, as you're, there you go, that's, that's good, when you're looking down at them. at the bees. Yep. I've got you in there now. Jim I haven't had a phone call all day. (LAUGH). Dave That one was sound. Male It's firing. Okay hold for a second. Jim No flash. Male Yep, I most certainly have a bad bad cord in there.
Now, I'm set on a 128 power back on here and a 16th power up there, so I almost, literally motor. I don't have to wait for these flashes to recharge at all, it's fantastic. Alright Jim, we're ready whenever you are. Jim This is a piece of comb. Male Okay. Jim There's some root closest to my left hand. Male Okay, Dave are you firing? Yep, you are. One more stop of power out of that Dave, if you could. Jim There's some open honey there. Male Okay, there we go, now we got it.
Okay we're good, that's it. So, they're actually, they're working in there now. Are they mostly staying warm? Are they, are they making something or? Jim they will be covering the brood. And at some point they're going to tap the honey over there. Do whatever's next. It's late in the season for them to be tapping honey. Male We, we got the one warm day this, this, this week where we felt comfortable bringing them out.
Jim Yeah. Male Okay, I've still got intermittent on this flash here. Let's check and see. Okay? Let's give it a try. Okay, and rotate around a little to your left and move right into there if you could. There we go. All right. Okay, aim right at his face Dave, there you go perfect.
Jim It's too bad this is sort of special case meaning that these aren't you know, your typical frame bees. Male I kind of like that natural look though to be honest with you. Jim It is interesting. Male Okay, let's see if we're firing. Okay, don't cover that window. There we go. Okay, Jim, turn in where you're facing almost more in towards. There, there we go. I want, I want that light to be able to see your face. There we go, perfect. Let's switch the raws for just a moment.
Bump, bump, bump. Now, a hard thing, I want to make sure I'm focusing up under this veil. And I am. I'm, it's hard to it's hard to see that light up under there. There we go. Okay, I'm on my last two frames. down like you were a little more. There, there you go, just, because he can see you fine up under there. And rotate a little around more towards your left. That's good.
And here comes the sun all of the sudden, not a moment too soon. Okay, could you rotate the bees to where I could see them just a little more? perfect, perfect. All right, that's great. I'm going to grab a close up of those guys in just a moment, okay? So, we look nice up under his face so that's good.
I'm double checking focus while everyone is still here. It's not easy to focus up under that that bee veil. That's actually pretty neat. Hey Jim, just pop down in there just like you did just a moment ago. So, the special light that we've got on the on the bees, is working as an interesting light for him too.
It's funny, you know, I spend all the time doing the lit shot and this might be the shot that ends up going in the in the, in the web site. Never, never like, pass up that little moment, turn around and see it. Thank you very much.
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