Practical workshop – Week 6

Flash workshop 2 of 2: controlling flash and ambient light.

I went to the earlier workshop for this practical as i needed to be at the train station in the afternoon. This meant i was working with people I’ve not spoken to before in this group, which wasn’t a problem, i just couldn’t remember peoples names. Although i couldn’t remember anyones name, the small group i was in managed to get a couple of pictures for the tasks. I was the model and the other girls were behind the camera. We set up next to a window using the daylight as our ambient light, and used a flash light just off the camera.

Task 1 was to get creative mixing flash and ambient light together. I was sat on the ledge of a window cill holding a light meter to measure the amount of ambient light coming in from the window in order to adjust the shutter speed on the camera for an aperture of f/8. I then changed the light meter to its flash mode setting and took another reading until the flash was reading at f/8. On the camera we changed the aperture to f/8 and used the shutter speed we got a reading of earlier. Doing this again three times but gradually increasing the shutter speed each time in stops.


Example of flash sync speed not correct. Shutter speed was too fast here.


Task 2 was to get creative again and use a fill-in flash. Using the same position, we already knew the ambient light reading. Our starting aperture was f/8 and we took a shot with the flash on the same stop. We then put the flash one stop lower at f/5.6 and then adjusted the flash power to the equivalent so that it reduced the amount of light it was producing. Again repeating this but by two stops at f/4.


Using a faster shutter speed reduces the amount of light that gets into the camera from the outside (ambient light). The light coming from the window (the background) gets darker but the flash isn’t effected as this is controlled by the aperture. Reducing the flash power darkens the foreground and the ambient light coming from the window stays the same.


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