Flash of Insight

26 July 2009 · 3 comments

I’ve been itching to make more photographs lately, and to learn more about the craft. This interest is made more urgent by the fact that Celeste has asked me to be one of two photographers next weekend at her commitment ceremony with Nikki. I’m happy to do it, but also nervous because I haven’t used a camera regularly for more than three years.

Last night I picked up my seldom-used Nikon D90, attached a new SB-600 flash unit (the first flash unit I’ve ever used), and took some photos of the MNF group.

Background: When I was in high school, I was part of a church youth group: the Mennonite Youth Fellowship, or MYF. This group has remained friends for more than 20 years, though now many folks are in different churches. We call the group the “MNF group” because we used to get together to watch Monday Night Football — before there were so many kids…

It was fun getting re-acquainted with the camera. I didn’t get any great shots, but I had fun trying:

More importantly, I got to play with the flash unit. Having never used one before, I didn’t really know when or how to activate it. Eventually I realized that “fill flash” can be a powerful option, even in decent light. For example, here on the left is Diego running across a balance beam without flash. On the right is a similar shot with flash:

  

I like it.

This isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, I know. But as somebody who has rarely done flash photography, I’m intrigued by the possibilities.

I learned most of my photography skills by taking a series of community college classes. I’m tempted to take one again this fall to get more practice. I’m excited about dabbling in photography again. I’ve been away too long.

1 Will July 26, 2009 at 20:51

I think I may have an old copy of Beyond Basic Photography laying around. Although, at $1.31 used you might want to just get your own. The majority of it no longer really applies (negative, chemistry, processing) but there is a good chapter on lighting.
Looking back through it I am amazed how much photography has changed since I last took a class.

2 Bill M July 26, 2009 at 22:13

Consider spending some time on Strobist (www.strobist.com) – learning about off-camera lighting. Start with “Lighting 101” (link in the upper right corner) – and then immerse yourself in the thousands of articles already there.

It’s a slippery slope.

3 Amy Jo July 27, 2009 at 13:32

how i wish this was an itch you wouldn’t scratch. i’ve enjoyed *borrowing* your prime lens for the one+ years i’ve had it . . .

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