Freezing the Motion in Night Photography
When I first started to photograph, I was relying only on natural light. I avoided using strobes and night photography because of following common reasons that most photographer encounter:
1. Strobes are costly: The cheapest strobe cost about $80, which can only produce about 60W of power. In addition, the high-end brands of Speedlights such as Nikon or Cannon could range from $300-$500. On top of that, using speedlights requires other minor equipment and counter parts like batteries, transmitter, light stand, diffuser, and soft boxes.
2. Difficult to use: To master the skill of operating a speedlight, not only do you need a proper knowledge but also endless hours of practice. You would also need to identify the right setting on your camera to produce the right ambient light (natural light) and the strobe light on your subject.
3. Difficult to move around: Although the strobe can be mounted on the camera, but there are times and places where the photographer needs to maneuver the strobe freely as he/she desires. To be able to do that, an assistant is necessary, however not all of us have that luxury.
4. Blurry Photos: After all, getting a crystal clear shot at night is not as easy as 1 2 3, especially in motion.
With that being said, as professional photographers, we need to have the ability to produce quality photos at any given time and circumstance especially in festive events like wedding. And strobe is certainly an essential tool. However, the biggest obstacle we face when using speedlights is that the maximum achievable shutter speed on most cameras are about 1/200 or 1/250sec, which is the flash sync speed. The photo above was shot around 9:00 pm, without any ambient light with 1/800sec shutter speed. The good news is that the advancement of technology allows us to photograph up to 1/8000sec shutter speed using High Speed Sync Flashes.
The photo below is the original photo that was shot with a Nikon D750 and 24-70mm lens using the Elinchrom Quadra HS head on Elinchrom ELB400 Battery Pack. Click http://www.elinchrom.com/announcements/HS-Head.html for more information on the product.
The advantages of this product are:
1. Use the shutter speed up to 1/8000sec to freeze the motion at any given time of the day.
2. Achieve a nice depth of field at the worst case of sun dilemma by increase the shutter and leave the aperture at f 2.8.
3. Over powering the sun with 424w of flash power.
4. Easy to operate, carry, and mount.
High Speed Sync Flash
The only disadvantage of this specific product is the price, but there are other brands that have the high speed sync capability that works great. I personally prefer Elinchrom because of its reputation and quality.
To learn more about changing the background color on photoshop, watch PHLEARN's tutorial on youtube. Aaron Nance is has every answer to any photoshop question.
Please leave any tips, comments, or questions about HS Sync flash, and share this blog if you enjoyed it.
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