Discussion in 'Technical threads' started by Ade, May 19, 2014.

  1. My daughter wanted to play hopscotch in the garden at the weekend. As I was chalking it out I started thinking about actions shots. Then I realised they would be hopping with the sun at their backs. Then I got really into thinking how to make the shot work. I ended up with this...

    (For avoidance of doubt, this is my son not my daughter :) )

    Hopscotch Patrick.jpg

    I was quite happy with this. Not entirely happy technically but it certainly captured the action. I have got a couple where the kids are completely in the air. They had more technical issues though.

    As you can probably tell, the light is camera right, a shoot through umbrella on a stand. Flash at 1/2 power to fight the sunshine.

    My technical issue was the shutter speed. This is shot at 1/200th and you can see there is movement blur. I haven't got the exif data to hand but it was f/8 or f/11 I think, ISO 100 and manual focus. The need to not exceed sync speed made it difficult to stop the motion and to kill the ambient light. But I couldn't use high speed sync as it would not have generated enough light.

    So does anyone have any ideas how I could be all this? So far everything I can think of requires kit I don't have!
    Davis, Batty79 and moroseduck like this.
  2. You did everything just how I would have done it... Did you try high speed sync without the umbrella at all? Still might not be enough depending on how bright the sun was and judging by the shadow it was pretty bright. The only answer I can think of would be a bigger, more powerful strobe... Something I don't have either, but is on my short list for a very similar reason. Instead of being able to achieve a faster shutter speed, I want to be able to shoot at f/2.8 or f/4...

    Good times though working threw it and making it work. Fun to do...

  3. Yeah, I can see how a more powerful light would work. I could then use an ND filter to kill the ambient and freeze action with the light.

    I didn't try high speed sync for two reasons:
    1. I thought it would sap too much light output
    2. It requires using the Nikon CLS which is infrared and I was shooting straight into the sun so the IR signal would have been lost

    So maybe the answer is to buy more kit :)

    I actually don't mind a little motion blur in the shot - it is an action shot after all. I have one shot though where the ambient light has burned the door handle across his face. It is those sorts of things I am trying to avoid.
  4. Yeah, the infrared could have been pretty difficult... I am not very familiar with Nikon but one of the thinks I like about my Canon flash is it will give you a distance range on the back.... So I can quickly see if my use of high speed sync is even worth it... If it tells me it is good for 2-8 feet and my subject is 10 feet away then I am really just wasting battery life and I know I need to move the flash closer if that is an option... I think this is why when you see all them behind the scene photos at outdoor portrait shoots that strobe and umbrella is usually about 1/2" out of the frame lol Great for adults holding still, not so much for fast moving kids...

    On the same sort of subject I just read an article where a guy used an enormous amount of strobes to freeze a fighter jet in flight while it was doing a flyby.. Sadly I am not sponsored by Canon or anyone lol
  5. I'd take a lighting sponsorship any day :)
    Not that anyone will be offering. Although I quite fancy the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra!
    Adam likes this.
  6. Just having a Doh! moment tonight.
    From my post here...
    My Fuji X20 syncs wirelessly up to 1/2000th of a second. Possibly I should have used that for the hopscotch rather than the Nikon D80
    Adam likes this.

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