In which I try new things with limited success

Another episode in my long, painfully slow saga of becoming a decent photographer. In this episode, I set up my new equipment. I recently acquired a set of light boxes, a backdrop stand, and three backdrops – white, black, and grey watercolor; a Yongnuo 560 IV flash and transmitter, some reflectors and an umbrella. I surmised that these were the basic minimum I might need to attempt some indoor portraiture. Of course, I failed to account for the fact that I don’t have an actual studio space with controlled lighting, so that just upped my challenge level. I also failed to account for my innate inability to understand technical instructions for electronic equipment, which meant that I couldn’t use my new flash until I watched a bunch of youtube tutorials explaining what all the buttons on the gizmos are for and how to put things together. Sometimes I make myself despair. But then I get over it and keep trying!

The kids were more than eager to help me out as models for this photo shoot; and Megan had a new red dress that inspired me to start with a black backdrop. Granted, it came straight out of the package and up onto the stand, so it still had fold wrinkles, but that’s ok.

Anyway, since I didn’t know how to make my flash work yet, I decided to see what would happen with just using the soft box lighting. I only used my 18-135 lens and did what I could to minimize the ambient light. I was working fast and without an assistant, so I didn’t have anyone to hold a reflector, which would definitely have made for a little better lighting on the faces. There was plenty of noise, which meant I had some photoshop fun awaiting me when I was done. I am always surprised when something works well in spite of my deficiencies, and one or two of these shots of Megan make me quite happy artistically.

I’m definitely looking forward to mastering this flash business, though.


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