Learning to light your pictures with flashguns is a great skill to have. These very portable light sources are very handy and put in a camera bag they become available light. Whenever you lack of light or the natural light needs some complement, just take your speedlight and make the magic happens.
One of the most important thing in taking photographs with flash is not only what you are lighting but mostly what you are not.
We often need to separate our subject from the background, make it stands out from distracting elements in the scene. For photographers using only natural light, there is the depth of field (DOF) that allows the isolation of the subject from the background scene by creating a blurr also called bokeh. This can be achieve by using a lens that has a wide aperture (smallest aperture value) like f/2.8, f/1.8 etc... the wider the aperture, the more blurr you can create without going too close to the subject. But for photographers using flash in their work, very often they need to use a small aperture when shooting outdoors due to the fact that the use of flash restrict your shutter speed to a max value of 250th sec (can be different depending on the camera). The brigthness of the ambiance and this max shutter speed make you need to close the aperture to expose the ambiance properly and thus loose the bokeh. So how can you make the subject stands out?
It's become tougher to take pictures in the City nowadays, you can be stopped by an overzealous security guard or a police officer saying you are breaking the law by taking pictures on the location. They can even suspect you of being a terrorist or helping one.
"Set to become law on 16 February, the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 amends the Terrorism Act 2000 regarding offences relating to information about members of armed forces, a member of the intelligence services, or a police officer.
The new set of rules, under section 76 of the 2008 Act and section 58A of the 2000 Act, will target anyone who 'elicits or attempts to elicit information about (members of armed forces) ... which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism'.
A person found guilty of this offence could be liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years, and to a fine."
Using flash is something that a lot of beginners and even pro photographers are avoiding stating that available light is the way to go and natural light is the best light. But have you ever thought that by putting your flashgun in you bag, you make it an available light ready to be used wherever and whenever you need to complement or replace a bad natural light?
What if you need to do a bikini shoot in a dull cloudy day like we got here in London, UK? What if you are shooting indoor with low light level without those high end cameras? There are a lot of situations where a flashgun becomes handy and that's the reason why you should now start to use an external flashgun and learn to use it off-camera for a more creative light.
Learning to use your flash properly is not difficult. It's just a matter of practicing again and again. But once you get it, it will boost your creativity and make you go to the next level.
China and Vietnam are sharing the same lunar calendar and astrology (except for the rabbit which is a cat in Vietnam). The Ox is going to govern this year starting on the 26th of January.
The Vietnamese New Year or Spring Festival, also called Tết, is the most important of our traditional holidays. It's the time for all the family to gather together around lovely food, forget about all the bad things that happened last year and start a new one in a happy atmosphere. It is believed that what ever happen on the beginning of the year is likely to be repeated throughout the year, so everyone tries to be happy, put any anger or bad feeling aside that's why kids are excited as they can do what ever they want (or nearly) without being reproved by their parents. They can also eat a lot of those lovely dried fruits and receive Lì Xì lucky red envelopes containing money, I wish I was a kid again :-P
This year, as every year, the London Chinatown Chinese Association has organized a celebration of the Chinese New Year in Centre London. There were traditional dances, songs, Lion dances etc... From Trafalgar Square to Soho, all the streets were very busy and full of colours.