A new purchase

I have been hoping to pick up an external flash for a while now. Finally deciding the time was right, I ordered an Nikon sb 700 off the internet and was delighted when I finally got to pick it up. I see two main purposes with buying an external flash, and I suppose in a way they co-work. I wish to be able to take professional looking portraits, as well as being able to pull such off in a somewhat rapid manner in an event-like situation. I wish to eventually start shooting events such as weddings and there be able to shoot nice in-door couple portraits etc. As well as this I want to be able to shoot regular portraits when asked to and having them looking all that more professional but in a simple non studio-like manner.

Here some photos I quickly took of my sister in law.

This first one is with the flash pointed straight at her, just like it would with the regular built-in flash. As you can see it looks like a big spotlight is put on her, with no shadows and just weird looking light. Quite frankly, it looks horrible.

Edit: I should mention here, that moreso: it looked horrible. See, as the shot looked straight out of the camera, it was vastly over-exposed and the white balance was way off and rendered the picture looking even more spot-lighty and with a major white/blue colour cast onto it. In other words I ended up tweaking this photo way more than the ones that follow.

Ps. yey for raw!

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Here is the flash pointing up towards the roof. As the light bounces off the wall it is defused and comes down in a much more natural looking way. At this point I realized the glasses were distracting from how the shadows were falling on her face and I asked her to take them off.

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Here is me pointing the flash to the left, leaving a nicely diffused light hitting her cheek. I really like the look of this.

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Here is her turning her head towards the wall, making the most of the light hit the cheek that is turned way, but at the same time softening up the shaded side.

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Oh, and I just wanted to include this last photo to show the problems with using the lense wide open. This is my 50 1.8 lense and clearly I seem to have focused in on her mouth-area rather than the eyes, making the photo too soft.

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Especially with a flash now I realize I do not necessarily need to shoot wide open to collect all that necessary light. It all comes down to how I want the bokeh to look, if I want that soft look to the motives ears, hair and other un-focused part, and how careful I want to have to be while focusing.

In summary, I am very pleased with the flash and how it functions. I hope to follow this post up with some macro shots that I have not been able to pull off before getting this flash with my extension tubes. Other than I mean to keep working on my portraits and I will see if any of that ends up here on the blog as well.

/Martin

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