Fill Flash!

Hey there!

After working out how to do this whole blogging thing, I’m starting my new blog, which will share photography images and also include a few travel tips from various adventures.  I’ll be sharing links and information on places to go and what to see, along with tips on how to capture some of these images yourself.  Hope all is well and I will see you out there!

This week I’m sharing how to get environmental portraits in low light:

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The picture above was shot at 6:30 AM on the Tybee Island Pier just outside of Savannah, GA. The rising sun was behind my subject in the east.

If you have a good DSLR digital camera, with an off-camera flash, this is a relatively easy shot.  In this picture of Scott Mitchell (Scooter) Nelson at the Pier, I shot manually, metering off the available light in the background.  With my off-camera flash set on manual, I added just enough light to brighten up Scooter’s face without it being overpowering.  Often when your light source is behind your subject (which it was here), your subject will appear dark, which is why that fill light is so important.

If you don’t use fill flash, your subject is dark and you end up with something like the picture below.  He’s dark and the picture kind of sucks.  I don’t know why I copyrighted that shot, nobody will ever use it…

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A good fill flash picture doesn’t require super expensive equipment.  You can achieve similar results using an on-camera flash as well, as long as you meter your exposure off the available background light.  I shot the picture below in the Galapagos Islands with a Canon Rebel XT using the built-in camera flash:

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Don’t be afraid to use flash!  If you have a beautiful background that’s low-lit, set your camera for a little longer exposure to capture that ambient light, so that you don’t just have really bright subjects with a black background.  It’s also a good idea to have your brother holding the beer bottle with the label away from the camera, so that you don’t get slapped with a lawsuit!

See you out there!

For information on the Tybee Island Pier, check out this link: http://tybeeisland.com/place/tybee-pier-pavilion/

James

www.jcharlessmithphoto.com

Shooting in Savannah, GA

Shooting in Savannah, GA is an absolute blast.  Many people have differing opinions on which city is more beautiful, Charleston, SC or Savannah.  I’m not 100% decided on that question, but I can tell you that the history and layout of Savannah makes it a great city to walk around and explore with a camera.  During Sherman’s March at the peak of the Civil War, the General refused to burn Savannah down.  As a result, many of it’s original buildings are still intact.

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Savannah is the only city in the South that was planned, so it’s central, oldest area is on a grid, with squares and fountains galore. A trolly runs along the riverfront, which is crowded with eclectic shops, restaurants and bars.  The mixture of old architecture, Spanish moss (more on that later) and quirky characters makes Savannah totally unique.

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http://jcharlessmithphoto.photoshelter.com/image/I0000aOoD7MkSan0

I have found that the best time to go to Savannah is in the Spring or Fall.  The summers can be sweltering.  You should consider, however, going on Saint Patrick’s Day weekend of you’re looking for a good party and a huge parade!

Here are some helpful links to plan your next trip to Savannah:

For information on the Spanish Moss, which is neither Spanish nor Moss:

http://savannah.for91days.com/2011/01/24/spanish-moss-neither-spanish-nor-moss/

And the local visitor’s guide:

http://www.officialsavannahguide.com/

Happy Travels!

Hello world!

Starting a blog is something that I have considered and rejected before, but the time has come to jump in!  I will be sharing photos of recent shoots, travels, projects and etc.  This is a test blog for my own understanding of how this whole process works.  Sorry if it’s boring!

Here’s a shot that I took recently.  I recently travelled with my friends Wes Suggs, Andy Suggs and Scooter Nelson to Tybee Island, GA to do photography of Savannah and Fort Pulaski National Monument.  I ended up taking more pictures of my friends than of any of the sights!

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I did at least get a few shots of the surroundings…

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http://jcharlessmithphoto.photoshelter.com/image/I0000DPjILZnYy0g

For more information about visiting Fort Pulaski, go to

http://www.nps.gov/fopu/index.htm

For information about visiting the Tybee Lighthouse, please go to

http://www.tybeelighthouse.org/

Until next time, have a great day!

James