flash …off the camera!

While roaming in Seoul’s old part of town I’ve found this interesting pattern – bunch of wooden sticks. Initial frame just simply filled with sticks was pretty OK, but I’ve tried to find a way how to make it a bit more appealing. And here’s the final one, using two simple – but very effective techniques. First – I’ve broken the pattern with something visually different. In this case I’ve inserted a piece of plastic rose (looks pretty fresh, huh? 😉 from a nearby store “decorations”. But still not dramatic enough to my taste as you can see below. Midday overcast light didn’t help too much, pretty dull, right?So, as a second improvement, I’ve added a strong sidelight using my beloved flash SB-900 – flashing OFF the camera, just a less than meter away. And voilá! Which one do you prefer more? I definitely like more the one above 😉 Taking your flash off the camera is super easy. All new digital Nikon cameras and flashes will allow you to shoot without Pocketwizard or similar radio controlled tools, just staying in the visible distance to camera. Give it a try. If you have any issues, shoot me an email, I’ll be glad to help and guide! 😉Ahoj! Patrik

korean backlight

Back in Korea in May I have been playing a bit with my flash, especially when used off the camera.I was the most curious to use it as a backlight with an orange gel to simulate sunset (or sunrise if you want).After a several trials with my fellow friend and “two legs voice activated assistant” Andrew I’ve identified one Korean teenager in front of the huge shopping mall, with a quite long and curly hair, to really let the backlighted flash effect stand out.  She was super surprised, properly teenagerly giggling all the time (that’s why I do not have any picture without tongue out ;), but she was braved enough and dedicated me with her girlfriend above 2-3 minutes 😉This one above is the one I like the most, mainly due to the fact how the flash really did the sunset effect. And  just one additional, confirming the giggling part of my story… PS: Notice her hand? It’s not a scarce, it’s mark of lipstick trials! What else to do with a teenage girl in the shopping mall, right? 😉

limited, but so colorful lights!

Yes, of course I’m talking about a very specific source of light – fireworks. Actually, there is not a better time and the place in a whole world then to be on 4th of July in US… We packed our kids and Monika throw to our van our gears too and we’ve got to our favorite place with a spectacular view to our local firework show. At the end we finished with the only one composition, as kids were pretty amazed, so we preferred to enjoy this entertainment rather with them. However, even only one single composition rewarded us with a few nice soooo classical shots 😉 Enjoy! BTW – I can’t take whole credit for all pictures, we were both either enjoying kids or capturing this source of light, so (c) patrik and monika! 😉 PS: During a summer you might get close to some fireworks, so here’s my setup, which I’ve tried already in Singapore and got as a tip via ppsop.com newsletter (sign up, it’s always full of great tips!) Secure your camera to your tripod Use your remote or cable release Set your camera in manual mode Set your ISO to 100 Set your exposure to 4 seconds Set your aperture to f/11 Set your lens to manual and then to infinity focus PS2: And sooo unfortunately, I’ve got this additional great tip for cool creative way of shooting fireworks on 5th of July from a son of my colleague – but I’ll be trying for sure next time!

star trails (how did you do that?)

My trip to Death Valley was an exceptional one with a hundreds of fantastic shots I’m so proud of it. But one of all hundreds is a very specific and personal, as I’ve tried for the first ever star trail photo (and left my camera alone in the middle of nowhere for whole night!)As I’ve received many “how did you do that?!”, here’s a short “how I did that” 😉Môj výlet do Death Valley v Kalifornii bol úžasný a doniesol som si stamadiaľ stovky fotografií, na ktoré som vážne pyšný. Ale jedna z tej kopy je obzvlášť špecifická, nakoľko som si po prvýkrát vyskúšal fotenie nočného pohybu hviezd (v angličtine Star Trail photography) – a nechal svoj foťák celú noc len tak napospas uprostred púšte!Keďže som dostal kopec dotazov “ako si to vlastne urobil?”, tak tu je skrátený popis “ako som to urobil” 😉 Honestly – from the shooting and post processing point of view it’s pretty easy.What is more “complicated” is a proper set up for shooting itself:a) the courage to leave your camera in the middle of nowhere for the whole night (or to sleep next to it at least for 5-6 hours!:)b) finding a place far far away from the light pollution (I was 3 hours drive far away from LasVegas and you can still see it on the some other night pictures – it’s not a sunset 😉 AND a proper timing – new moon is a must (or let’s say no moon at all:) Then you just buy intervalometer for about 50 bucks and you’ll set it up to take 4mins long exposures until battery will die (38 in my case). Then you’ll stock them up in the Photoshop (I’ll send an exact blending ways of working upon request) – and – VOILA! I have to say, […]

women in black

Still processing pictures with my models. Tons of them, more to come.This is a mini set called woman in black or how can you easily create two different persons, so unexpectedly with blond hair or bright green eyes respectively. Camera and lights are a beautiful magic things, you can create whoever you want…