Nikon World of Photography Vol-2

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World of PhotographyNew Creative Techniques

Nikon

.Vol. 2

A

FUSION

OF

ART

AND

SCIENCE

The challenge of taking dramatic close-ups using creative lighting

1. TTL control

without

Balanced

FiJI-Flash

Nikon World of Photography

3

The challenge of taking dramatic close-ups using creative lighting

ubtle adjustments to subject lighting make a world of difference in your photography. The right lighting can be the difference between good and great photography. A butterfly, resting on a leaf, was the subject of our photographs. The examples illustrate the importance of controlling background exposure, as well as the main subject'S exposure, through the use of creative lighting. The photographer creates a more dramatic picture by carefully composing the image and controlling the exposure.

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Using light to create dramatic picturesThe scene's overall lighting was low and the brightness of the background was similar to that of the foreground. You could hardly see the butterfly. In this ambient lighting condition, picture 2 was the result of using the Nikon F4 in the Programmed exposure mode and the Nikon 8B-25 8peedlight in the Balanced Fill-Flash control mode. Off-camera flash was the technique involved using the Nikon 8C-17 TTL flash cord. Notice the overall uniform lighting and the slight highlighting of the butterfly. Balanced Fill-Flash created this effect. Realising that Balanced Fill-Flash was not the only technique available to create the picture, the photographer turned off Balanced Fill-Flash control, switched to manual exposure control and changed the picture's composition by changing the angle of view (3). Picture 1,which spotlights the subject against a nearblack background, creates a much more dramatic effect.

3. TTL control without Balanced Fill-Flash

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Exposure Using the camera's Matrix Metering system in the Programmed mode, the photographer noted the overall exposure of the scene in the ambient lighting condition through the lens in use - the Micro- ikkor 200mm f/4 IF - by checking the aperture and shutter speed indicated in the camera's finder. Since the light was dim, the aperture indicated was wide open at f/4, with a 1/60 second shutter speed. The photographer then manually adjusted the lens aperture to f/16 and increased the shutter speed to 1/250 second. The ambient light of the scene was underexposed by about 6.5 EV as a result, which turned the background nearly black. In addition, the smaller aperture ensured sufficient depth of field, thus keeping the butterfly sharply in focus. Nikon F4 camera settings

Flash exposure TTL flash control was used, but with Balanced Fill-Flash control turned off. Holding the flash to the left and slightly to the rear enabled the butterfly to be lightly silhouetted in picture 3. By lowering the angle of view even more, but still using the same lighting, the photographer created a more dramatic image in picture 1. In both pictures, the photographer was careful to keep the flash out of the viewing area, but close enough to ensure that sufficient light was available to maintain the f/16 aperture. Check the LCD panel on the SB-25 to make sure that the combination of ISO film speed, flash-to-subject distance and selected aperture is within the picture-taking range of the flash. Nikon SB-25 Speedlight settingsMode: TTL for through-the-lens control.

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Lens selection

AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm rl2.BO

AI" Zoom-Nikkor BO-200mm fl2.BD ED

Meter selected: Matrix metering 0 Exposure mode: Manual control f) Shutter speed: 1/250 second top sync

speed e

seuing. f/16 (aperture may be larger or smaller depending on ambient light's brightness) 8 Drive mode: Single-frame e Exposure compensation: None Focus mode: Manual with lens in use e. Autofocus possible with AF Nikkor options.Aperture

Press M button to turn off Balanced Fill-Flash control, making the person/ sun symbol disappear 0 Sync: ormal f) Flash exposure compensation: None Zoom control: Set to a wide position to ensure easier aiming of flash held off camera e.widest position reduces flash brightness. Check the LCD to make sure you have not lost too much light to maintain small shooting aperture.

When photographing insects or other small subjects, keep as far away from the subject as possible. This way, you can more effectively1ight the scene and also avoid casting a shadow on the subject. In addition, by staying farther away, you are less likely to frighten the subject, possibly losing the shot. For these pictures the photographer chose a Micro- ikkor 200mm f/4 IF lens, which is capable of extreme close-up photography with a substantial working distance. As an alternative, you can use AF Zoom-Nikkor lenses which offer macro focus capability. Close focusing varies, depending upon the lens used but, typically, focus is close enough for a 1 : 6 to 1 : 8 reproduction ratio. If, when shooting with one of these lenses, you want to get even greater magnification, try one of the Nikon accessory close-up lenses like model 5T or 6T. These accessories are specially made to work with ikon telephoto optics. While no conventional optics can match the superb performance of a Mlcro-Nikkor, these close-up lenses perform exceptionally well and they are comparatively economical, too.

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5

AI

F'USION

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The challenge of precise exposure control

1. Standard TTL flash with Spot Metering

Nikon6

World of Photography

7

W

hat is the correct exposure? That's a question that has always been in dispute and will probably remain so. The reason for this stems from each individual's idea of picture exposure, which is not a technical matter but an aesthetic one, allowing for personal taste in the consideration. One solution used to get a range of exposure control in the past was exposure bracketing - a technique that gives the same scene a variety of exposures. Exposure bracketing can satisfy everyone's taste, and there usually is at least one acceptable end result. In making exposure brackets, the photographer often considers only the "total exposure". He rarely takes into account that changing the total exposure would result in more different effects for the highlighted areas than for the shadow areas. One solution to this limitation is to add fill-flash lighting to the scene. This allows the photographer to control exposure for the highlights by bracketing the basic exposure, and to control exposure for the shadow areas by adding an appropriate amount of flash lighting. This may sound very easy, but in the past it was an enormously complex process to calculate the various combinations of flash and ambient light exposure, and then to execute these calculations with exposure control. Lighting could change at the last moment, subjects might move, or the scene's lighting contrast might vary continuously. The solution Today, Nikon offers a solution to these problems. The results offer more opportunities for creative exposure control than ever imagined - and it is surprisinglyeasy. Consider the two exposures shown here. Each picture is a unique rendering of the same scene, and each exposure uses both ambient lighting and fill-flash illumination to create a different mood. Picture 1 was made by taking a spot meter reading from the sky area and using controlled fill-flash to brighten the foreground. Picture 2 was made with a more general exposure setting (e.g., Matrix metering) based on the entire scene's brightness and contrast; fill-flash brightened the foreground. The two8

Playing with exposure For picture 1, use the F4's spot meter to take the primary ambient brightness reading off a bright area of the sky but not the sun. The narrow angle of the spot meter, which varies depending on the focal length of lens in use, allows you to determine the brightness value upon which ~obase the exposure. Recognising that there is a limit to a film's ability to render detail over an extreme range of brightness, you should use fill-flash to brighten the foreground and bring out detail. Notice that the fillflash only brightens the foreground and leaves the silhouetted rocky background very dark, thus accentuating the saturated colours of the sky. To ensure that the foreground does not become overly bright, set the S8-25's fill-flash output to a -2 EV setting. The camera settings are shown in the accompanying illustrations. Varying the S8-25's fill-flash setting (from + 1 to -3) will change the balance of exposure between the foreground and the background, thus offering various brightness ranges, while keeping the same ambient light exposure. This example demonstrates the possibility of varying (i.e., bracketing) the fill-flash effect with a simple pushbutton setting of the S8-25. Picture 2 shows how Nikon's fully-automatic Matrix light metering system establishes the ambient light exposure. The meter's five sensors evaluate the brightness and various contrasts of the scene and then establish the ambient exposure settings (aperture and shutter) depending on which exposure control mode is in use. We can readily see that the Matrix meter, unlike the Spot meter reading of the sky area, takes into account the darker rocky areas and brightens the overall exposure. However, even with the brighter Matrix reading, the foreground can still benefit from some fill-flash. Using the S8-25 Speedlight, on its completely automatic 8alanced Fill-Flash setting, we allow the system to operate totally automatically. To add dimension to the pi