I looked for a book to teach me about flash photography this week. Yeah, yeah, I can info online but I like having a book to look through for certain things. Photography is one of them. I wanted to learn more about ring flashes specifically. I didn’t find one. I did find a blurb about it in one of the books I already own so there’s that. And I read the instruction booklet. Let’s just say that it was not translated by a native English speaker. I did manage to understand it.
So now I know what my flash can do but I’m still unsure of how I should choose my settings. Prepare to see lots of pictures of rocks (my kids collect them) and flowers when I have them. They might not be great pictures but you have to start somewhere, right?
This week, I was planning on borrowing V’s rocks. The ones she got at the American Museum of Natural History. She couldn’t tell me where they were. So E volunteered her own collection for me. Hers come from the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival aka Rhinebeck. They have a couple stations there for the kids. One is a a sifting station (sand and water that you sift to find the rocks) and the other is a geode smashing station.
I put the rocks on some white paper because that’s what I had but I think black would look better. I gotta work on the styling…
The day was overcast and the overhead lights were on. I lowered the flash by 2/3 of a stop. It seemed a little too bright before. Honestly, if I’d been more scientific about it, I would have taken the same picture over and over, changing the flash power each time. And then combining that with the camera exposure settings. I need to understand how it all works together!
Otherwise, apart from the ability to get clearer pictures, I love the way the flash shows off the shine of some of the rocks. The light just bounces back all over and they look so glittery.
I think the ring flash also does a good job of creating catchlights in the eyes for portraits. I’ll have to try that too when I get sick of the rocks…