Using ND Filters and Flash

When I was starting out in photography I did what most people do, go on YouTube and see what everyone else is doing. I saw photographers with these expensive cameras and flashes that produced some awesome images. One particular type of image that was created was the use of a high speed sync flash. The flashes I had didn’t have High speed sync. So I decided to go the cheap route and use ND filters. I had the opportunity to photograph a friend of mine and I decided to try out some ND filters and flash to see if I could get the same effect of high speed sync. I used my Sony A6000 with a 50 mm 1.8 lens with an ND8 filter attached. Off camera flash with a 32 inch umbrella flash modifier. 

I used a low cost ND filter brand from Amazon, Ranger to be exact, because at the moment I cannot afford a high speed sync mono light. 

My camera settings were ISO 100, aperture at 1.8, and and my shutter speed around 200. Anymore than 250 and I get the black stripe in my photo. My flash was set to about 1/16 power maybe 1/8 to get enough light to light my subject. With some editing in Lightroom to clean up the photo and Photoshop to enhance the color and clean up some blemishes this is my end result. What do you think? 

Sony A6000, 50mm f/1.8, ND8 filter

Sony A6000, 50mm f/1.8, ND8 filter

Expect the Unexpected

December of 2016 we set out to do some photos for a sponsor that my daughter represented, Bra Strap Designers( http://www.perteh.com/ ), in Downtown West Palm Beach. We had the location set, the time set, and the wardrobe that she would wear set. I set up my one flash with a 32 inch octobox umbrella and stand and while setting up my camera the wind blew my flash set up. Oh was I upset. I tried to fix the umbrella but to no avail, it was missing a small metal piece that held it open. Frustrated I wanted to give up and call it a day but it took time to get our here and I didn't want to waste any of it. So I had no choice but to go bare flash. I was afraid that I wasn't going to get good soft light on my model but I had to do what I could. Bare flash was what I had to do. I was pleasantly surprised at the results. Here is one shot I did I a small nook outside one of the buildings. my oldest daughter held the flash about five to six feet away.

Remember any light is good light as long as you know how to use it. If you can manipulate the direction and power of the light you can produce some really great results. Always look for available light from the sun or from buildings. Always be prepared for the unexpected because something is bound to happen.