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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shooting your family

This post is in response to some questions I have gotten about taking shots of the family. I have posted quite a few pictures with the family in the kitchen, living room and other low light areas. It is a pain to try and get nice shots using the flash without blasting your subject with news press flashes. The first thing that is good to have but not a necessity is a fast lens. You can see in the picture above my weapon of choice. It is a 50mm 1.8 lens which is about 100 bucks. May sound like a lot of money but compared to other lenses it is a steal. The 1.8 lets lots of light in and makes for nice out of focus backgrounds. Unfortunately I usually need even more light.
This is where I use flashes. I have 2 Vivitar 285 hv's which are about 100 bucks a piece. Classics from the 70's but they work great. I use Alien Bee cybersync to trigger the flashes. That is what you see in the camera's hot shoe and connected to the flash. This allows the flashes to be triggered without wires.
Last of all I place the flashes pointed at the ceilings, dial them into about 1/16th power, set my shutter to 1/200th and F2.8-3.5 and fire away. It gives nice soft light with sharp subjects and out of focus backgrounds. You can move around the room and have pretty consistent lighting. Works great for kids with A.D.D. much like mine. They get if from their mom. ~Erik


Anna said...

How much is the hard body for a Nikon like that? I saw a device on Craig's list for a unipod? Is that something cool? It looked dorky to me, like a tripod you couldn't stand up. IT was weird. Your thoughts? Sweet picture Angela, by the way!

Alaska Massey said...

Camera was about $350, I don't use a monopod, they are a bit dorky. Angela is a good model huh...