Relighting The Woods


McGregNi

Link Posted 17/07/2016 - 23:19
Woodland and forest shots can often present technical challenges with contrast and dynamic range problems, particularly when the sun is bright and the undergrowth is in deep shadow at the same time. I wanted to try and use flash to take some control over these matters, so I headed into the dense fern filled Coombe Woods, near Croydon loaded down with my photo backback, tripod and a collapsible softbox.

I placed a Cactus RF60 flash into the softbox and controlled it with a Cactus V6 transceiver .... I used a radio trigger system because I was placing the softbox directly on the ground and the flash would not be in line-of-sight to the camera. In fact the flash was often buried in the undergrowth ......





I used manual camera exposure mode and controlled the ambient background brightness with shutter speed, and the foreground flash-lit 'subjects' were controlled with flash power control directly from the V6 on the hotshoe. I enjoyed playing around with the lighting balance between the two, making the subject stand out boldly against the background or going for more of a blend of the lighting .....












In that sequence the exposure time was reduced step by step, progressively darkening the background while the flash-lit parts remained consistently exposed.

In the next sequence, the first shot is without flash ....





Then this one aims for a balance between the flash-lit fern and background, just enough to bring out the fern a little .....




And this last one pulls the background exposure right down to allow a more dramatic effect ....




This was the set-up ...




Here's a couple more examples where the flash helped to bring some much needed extra light into the foreground .....








As you can see, I had some fun with all of this ..... I hope it might spark an idea for you also to try some 'relighting' in a local forest or woods .....

Thanks for having a look .... Nigel
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

richandfleur

Link Posted 17/07/2016 - 23:32
Very cool. Lovely setting.

Is that the Samyang 14mm or so there?

McGregNi

Link Posted 17/07/2016 - 23:43
Hi Richard, thanks .... Yes, all but the second to last are with the Samyang 14mm . That other one is with the F35-70.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

alfpics

Link Posted 18/07/2016 - 08:40
Excellent mini-tutorial; has made me want to get back into trying some daylight fill flash. Haven't done it since film era - although with a more 'bodged' set-up than this! A good advert for the Cactus system as well
Andy

Darkmunk

Link Posted 18/07/2016 - 09:38
Great stuff. The first and last look to have the best balance to me.
Watch out for your sky tho', looks like you've been quite bold with the 'whites' slider in post; pulling the highlights down, but it looks unatural. The sky would (and should) be burnt out in this situation I think.
This greyness has affected the highlights on the background leaves too.
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Last Edited by Darkmunk on 18/07/2016 - 09:38

McGregNi

Link Posted 18/07/2016 - 12:44
Thanks also Andy and Mark .... I can always recommend the Cactus flash products, they are reliable, practical and get the job done. And soon we will have the V6II offering radio HSS for Pentax!

Mark, I do tend to try and avoid distracting sky highlights in my wood shots, but I guess I've turned the summer down too much here! DR is the big challenge .... Perhaps this gives me yet another good reason to start planning for a K1 ...
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 18/07/2016 - 12:45

johnriley

Link Posted 18/07/2016 - 13:12
Nice idea that's got lots of potential.
Best regards, John

Darkmunk

Link Posted 18/07/2016 - 13:24
Quote:
And soon we will have the V6II offering radio HSS for Pentax!

Oooo! I just looked this up. I'll be needing one of these
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McGregNi

Link Posted 18/07/2016 - 13:37
You might need two, or an RF60 with firmware update .... Unfortunately the original V6 is not compatible for HSS, even just as receiver .....
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

richandfleur

Link Posted 18/07/2016 - 19:11
Cheapest option for me looks to be the new vii cactus unit and their own model flash, which has a receiver built in.

Finally an off camera wireless trigger option that doesn't require the purchase of a whole other hss capable flash!!

thingsthatihaveseen

Link Posted 18/07/2016 - 19:43
Interesting read... thanks for doing the hard yards and sharing the info...

Best
Bill

BillWardPhotography
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McGregNi

Link Posted 18/07/2016 - 21:45
johnriley wrote:
Nice idea that's got lots of potential.

Indeed , you're unlikely to see me heading into the woods now without the flash and softbox at the ready! There's a few more pics to come from this shoot also .....

Thanks also Bill, I don't take much persuading to do this sort of thing when the rare chance comes up!
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

stub

Link Posted 19/07/2016 - 01:03
Thanks Nigel for the new trigger info... Thinking all my chrismases have finally arrived....lol
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..

McGregNi

Link Posted 19/07/2016 - 10:20
richandfleur wrote:
Cheapest option for me looks to be the new vii cactus unit and their own model flash, which has a receiver built in.

Finally an off camera wireless trigger option that doesn't require the purchase of a whole other hss capable flash!!

That's a fair judgement Richard .... The off -putting things for the proprietary system are the cost of two HSS capable P-TTL flashes, plus the limitations of optical triggering, especially outdoors in bright sun and not in line -of-sight.

The Cactus products now answer those concerns .... In fact even a 2-flash plus 1 trigger system is quite reasonable, considering the power and control available.

I still see P-TTL HSS working as offering more convenience overall .. We tend to do more juggling of settings in HSS situations, as we are working very actively to balance and manipulate ambient and flash exposures. This can mean frequent shutter speed adjustments, especially if the sun is going in and out, or you're changing positions in relation to the sun. Manual HSS is more work as it needs power adjustments for every shutter speed change and flash to subject distance move. P-TTL will automatically hold the flash exposure throughout these needed jugglings, which can save a lot of extra work.

But, there's no denying that the reduced cost plus radio control aspects make the Cactus solution very attractive.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
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