Tips for the Traveling Photographer

Preparing Photographically for Your Next Trip

Are you planning to take a trip abroad, and feel overwhelmed with preparations for what to pack, photographically speaking?  Travelling with camera gear can be stressful, so here are some tips to get you started.

First off, NEVER check your cameras and lenses.   These should be taken as carry on whenever possible.  The voyage of checked baggage is often rough, and no amount of Fragile stickers will guarantee your gear makes it safely to your destination.   Also, make sure you have enough juice to power your camera on before airport security, as some security staff may want to see it actually is a camera.

Travel Photography what to pack

What should I pack?” This question is asked all the time and the answer is, it depends. You need to pack for what you plan to do on your trip. For example, if you’re going trekking in the Alps, you want to be mindful of how much everything weighs because you need to carry it! If you plan to shoot night scenes at your destination, you will need a tripod or monopod to steady your camera. If you’re going on a travel safari and your goal is to shoot amazing, up close animal photos, then you need to long telephoto lenses. If you’re headed to Brazil to capture the Olympics, then you need to select your gear with fast action shots in mind. And for the Instagrammers and social media mavens, if your camera doesn’t have built in wifi, get a wifi enabled memory card so that you can instantly send the photos to your phone or device.  So again, what should you pack? It depends… 😉

travel photography tips

Always Bring:

•Lots of memory cards. Don’t assume that you can buy them where you’re going because chances are they’re going to expensive and often times, unreliable.

•Extra Batteries (carry these on – new aviation laws restrict lithium batteries from being checked),

•Chargers,

•Lens Cloths.

Also, it is important to back up your photos while vacationing. If you have the option to back up to the cloud or portable hard drives using a small laptop, great.  Even without a laptop, your hotel may have a computer for you to use, or else internet cafes are another place you could download your photos via a card reader.  Some cameras may also have dual card, which you can be written to simultaneously, so if one card fails, you have a backup.

travel photography

Safety First!

•Where petty crime is a concern, avoid sporting obvious camera bags with brandnames on them.

•Pack carefully so you can avoid fumbling around for what what you need.

•Always be aware of your surroundings while photographing.

•In crowds, walk with your bag on the front of you, so you can see it.

•Be discreet.

Relax, have fun and take lots of photos!

Travel Photography tips


Shopping Tips for Buying a New DSLR Camera

Tips for Buying the Right Lenses

When shopping for a new camera, it is important to ask yourself: What am I likely to photograph? People and Pets? Landscapes? Closeups of plants and bugs?

You’re probably wondering, why is what you’re photographing so important when buying a camera? These questions aren’t so much to do with what type of camera you need, but what kind of lens you should buy. Camera stores and Big Box stores will often try to sell you both the camera and lens together, for a discounted price. It will seem like a really good deal, but take my word for it, that will be the first lens you’ll replace. We call this type of lens a “kit lens”.

The biggest issue with a kit lens is that the aperture doesn’t go wide enough. Usually they will only go to f/3.5 and f/5.6 at their lowest, where as a quality lens can go down to f/2.8 in a zoom lens, or even lower (down to f/1.4 or f/1.2 for a prime lens). Why is being able to go down to a low f/stop important? If your plan is to shoot indoors this will be essential for you. It is impossible to capture images properly, in low light, without your f/stop being low (f/2.8) unless you are using flash. It is also impossible to get a nice shallow depth of field without a low f/stop. For example, When you see a photo of children sitting in front of a christmas tree, with the lights blurred in the background, this can not be done without your aperture setting at f/2.8.

Low aperture blurred lights in backgroundlow aperture low light

You will also need to decide if you want a Prime or Zoom Lens. Prime lenses have only one focal length, however, they can be purchased in a variety of lengths that can include wide angles through to the longer telephoto ones. A Zoom lens has a range of focal lengths available within one lens. On the surface, it would seem that a “good” zoom lens would be the way to go. Prime lenses are “better glass” and better quality than zoom lenses at the focal length they are fixed at. This is the portrait photographer’s big debate and many use a variety or both. So, if you ask yourself from the beginning what you will most likely be shooting, the answer becomes specific. A macro prime lens is excellent for up close photographs. A prime lens at 50mm or 85mm is perfect for portraits of people. A prime lens of 55mm or 35 mm or a 24-70 zoom lens may be the way to go for someone who loves photographing nature. Photographing birds or animals from far away you may like a 300mm lens. Most wedding photographers would never part from their 200 mm lens or their 70-200 f/2.8 aperture zoom lens. That said, if you go from shooting landscapes to close ups of plants, you will need to switch out your lens- are you up for that? If you care less about being able to photograph without flash and having a shallow depth of field then perhaps a kit lens is okay for you. If you are going on a vacation to Italy and want a lens that can “do it all” (though not as well) then getting a lens that zooms from wide (24mm to close up… 200mm) may actually make sense for you.

Lenses investing in lenses buying lenses

The best advice we can give you, when buying a camera, is to focus on the lens. Camera bodies get upgraded many times over the years, but over ten years of photographing I have never replaced a lens. So, figure out what you’ll be photographing and buy yourself the right lens from the beginning!


Mixing White Balances

In this post we’ll discuss the problems of mixing white balances in one shot.

To learn about these principles and put them into practice, take Using Your DSLR Camera at the CPLC.

White Balance

In a perfect world, all light sources would only shine ‘pure white light’, without any colour cast or hue added. If this were true, than we would never need to white balance or colour correct any images or videos we took.

In the real world, we are faced with the reality that every single light source that can light our scene–be it natural sunlight, indoor light bulbs, or flashes or strobes, shine their white light with a certain colour hue or cast to it. In some cases, such as ‘yellow light bulbs’, the cast is so saturated that the light even appears to us to be yellow, and not just white with a yellow hue. In other cases, like fluorescents or flash bulbs, the light appears white (but isn’t) in ideal situations, but in reality has a blue cast to it.

When two light sources with different colour casts illuminate one scene, photographers are inevitably faced with the reality that the two different colour casts will not match, and the resulting photo will have, usually, an ugly colour cast in one part of its picture. (Sometimes, we get lucky and the two colours complement each other).

In the below images, you see in a dimly hit house how the halogen (yellow) bulbs were turned on. In truth, the house was too dark without them turned on for people to walk through. However, it was also too dark for photography, so the photographer had to supplement the ambient lighting with flash light in order to produce a bright enough image. The resulting image reveals what happens to the ‘yellow’ halogen lighting when the image is colour corrected to the dominant–blue–flash lighting.

Mixing white balances - colour problems - white balance problems - Calgary photography classes

Mixing white balances - colour problems - white balance problems - Calgary photography classes

In the top picture, the women are backlit by the halogen lighting, making the back room look like a sickly yellow light, and also backlighting their hair with that same glow. Their faces and the wall next to them, though, are lit by the more natural flash light. The bottom picture has one of the girls lit by the flash light, and the two girls in the background lit by the yellow halogen lighting. Here the two colours are separated on the subjects themselves, but the overall image still has this jarring distinction in two different light sources.

As such, for some of the shots the photographer asked for the yellow light bulbs to be turned off. While this was too dark for the girls to finish getting ready, it allowed the photographer brief moments of control over the quality of the photography. Simply by turning off a conflicting colour source, the images look better–even if in practical terms the photographer can’t ask the subjects to work in these dark circumstances for too long. While the images are bright, in person, the house is quite dark with the yellow lights off.

Mixing white balances - colour problems - white balance problems - Calgary photography classes

Mixing white balances - colour problems - white balance problems - Calgary photography classes

Clearly, the color/lighting in the second set of shots are more pleasing to the eye. Even in situations where you can’t command complete control of the lighting at all times, it’s still nice to take control for brief moments to give yourself the opportunity to elevate the photography to the next level.

 

To learn about these principles and put them into practice, take Using Your DSLR Camera at the CPLC.


Using Levels in Posing

In this post we’ll discuss the use of levels in photographing portraits.

To learn about these principles and put them into practice, take The Art and Design of Photography at the CPLC.

 

Levels in Portraiture

One of the simplest tricks to make your photos look more professional requires only a one-step stool or small ladder.  A common theme through most people’s photos of themselves and their families is that they’re all taken at your eye-height.  Occasionally we will crouch down to take photos of our kids, but even here most often people will take these shots from their adult-standing-height.

levels-posing-tips-calgary-photography-classes

Hollywood movies (at least the mediocre majority) used to largely hold to this as well.  Steven Spielberg, in his film E.T., turned this concept on its head and brought his cameras down so that most every shot in the movie is shot from a 8-year-old’s eye-height, most famously pointed out in the opening shot which is just a set of car keys hanging out of an adult’s hip pocket.

This same concept has been used for years by photographers to add interest to their groups of shots.  Even if nothing else changed, simply having some of your shots at eye-height, some from a crouching or laying position, and some shooting down from a one or two-step ladder, immediately makes your session more engaging and interesting to look at.

The first shot in this series is taken from the photographer’s eye-height.  The next, directly below, is taken at a downward angle, on a step ladder and positioning the subject lower down the hill.

levels-posing-tips-calgary-photography-classes

Next, we have a picture taken from ground-height, while the pose is also brought down to add a new dynamic to the shoot.

levels-posing-tips-calgary-photography-classes

In addition to the photographer’s height-perspective shifting, a similar effect can be achieved by altering the height of your subjects in portraiture, as seen in the below photo.

levels-posing-tips-calgary-photography-classes

Try to keep the level of your lens as well as the levels (sitting, standing, lying, crouching) of your subjects constantly shifting to make your session of photos more dynamic and interesting.

 

To learn about these principles and put them into practice, take The Art and Design of Photography at the CPLC.


Can you bokeh?

To learn about these principles and put them into practice, take Using Your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera and Getting Proper Exposures at the CPLC.

Season’s greetings! A mini Holiday Bokeh tutorial

In this festive season of last minute gift buying, endless Christmas carols, and overindulging in delicious food, we at CPLC would like to remind you that this is also the perfect time of year to pull out your cameras and flex your photographic muscles as a way to combat that tryptophan induced turkey coma. Yes, you can take beautiful portraits of your friends and family, but don’t forget to take advantage of all the stunning Christmas lights/displays to create some unique and creative photos of Christmas Bokeh.

“Holiday Bokeh” – Say What?!

Without delving into sciencey jargon, “bokeh” can be described as the way your lens depicts out of focus areas/points of light, or even more simply, the background blur. Have you seen photos where lights in the background are out of focus, and instead of just being a point, they take on these creamy, soft, and defocused circular shapes? Those out of focus shapes are an example of light bokeh, that you can easily achieve in your photos.

Calgary photography classes

Calgary photography classes

In the above examples, the subjects in focus are the pepsi bottles and a branch in the foreground, while the lights peeking through the trees in the background are out focus, so they get rendered as bokeh. Points of light that are not in focus will take generally on the shape of your lens’ aperture (usually circular). The larger your aperture (or the smaller your f/ number) is set to while taking these photos, the larger the bokeh shapes will be.

Your turn to try!

A couple points to note – in order to make lights on the Christmas tree appear as bokeh circles, they should be

1) out of focus, and
2) photographed with a large aperture.

This is easily done by setting your lens’ aperture to it’s smallest f/number (ie: f/ 3.5, or lower if your lens is able). Then take a photo where you focus on something (the cat, a gift wrapped present, grandma, etc) in the foreground, while the christmas lights are further away in the background. The farther apart your subject is from the background, the more pronounced the bokeh will be.

Calgary photography classes

Even if you don’t have a willing foreground subject because they are all passed out from the Turkey induced coma, you can still take bokeh Christmas lights photos easily. Try setting your lens to manual focus, and intentionally focussing to where a foreground subject would be, while leaving the lights of the Christmas tree in the background out of focus.

Calgary photography classes

Calgary photography classes

In the above examples, neither the lights on the Christmas tree or the reindeer display are in focus, and because they were shot with a large aperture, they become large circular bokeh shapes. Try it out for yourself, it’s very simple to do, and takes little set up.

We hope this mini tutorial helps kickstart your Christmas creativity, and we would love to hear from you in the comments how your adventures with holiday bokeh turn out. From all of us at the CPLC, wishing you and yours a happy holiday season filled with fun, food, and photos!

To learn more about these principles and put them into practice, take Using Your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera and Getting Proper Exposures at the CPLC.


Blacks and Whites in Histograms

In this post we’ll discuss the ambiguous position on editing blacks and whites in histograms. There is a subjective element here, so we won’t have ‘bad and good’ versions. Though it is likely you yourself will think one is bad and the other good, the person next to you might disagree. So rather than say you should do it one way here, we’ll just present both options.

To learn about these principles and put them into practice, take Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC at the CPLC.

B&W histograms, Calgary photography classes

The Classical Approach

B&W histograms, Calgary photography classes

In the classical approach, we could say that it is proper for blacks in B&W photography to be in the ‘true blacks’ section of the histogram, or 0-10% luminance. Likewise, whites in B&W photography should be in the ‘true whites’ section of the histogram, or 90-100% luminance. In the above picture, this is achieved through editing the whites and blacks sliders in Lightroom. As seen in the pictures below, the mouse positioned over the black jacket reveals 7% blacks, and over the white snow, produces 98% whites. (The numbers are visible just under the histogram when you roll your mouse over a part of the picture in the Develop module in Lightroom).

B&W histograms, Calgary photography classes

B&W histograms, Calgary photography classes

A Modern Approach

B&W histograms, Calgary photography classes

While we can’t speak of ‘the modern approach’, because modern photography is as pluralistic as there are modern photographers, we can say that many modern photographers would prefer what classicists would call ‘bad photography’, namely weak blacks and weak whites. Ideally, classicists say, in B&W photography your darkest shade should be a true black and your brightest shade should be a true white. In this modern take on the same photo, however, a more medium-contrast approach is taken. As seen in the pictures below, the same area of blacks is now 14.5%, and the whites are now 89%. Technically speaking, the ‘blacks’ are actually dark greys, and the ‘whites’ are actually bright greys. Hence, they are seen as mistakes from a classical perspective. Nevertheless, perhaps you like this version better than the classical one.

B&W histograms, Calgary photography classes

B&W histograms, Calgary photography classes

While subjective opinion ultimately triumphs in photography (and this should be recognized), it is wise to know when you are breaking classical rules that you are in fact breaking them. As the universal cliche in the arts holds true for photography, “you need to learn the rules BEFORE you break them”. Whichever way you go, it is wise to know that the ‘breakable rule’ in B&W photography is that you should have some parts of your image be true blacks, and some parts true whites.

To learn about these principles and put them into practice, take Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC at the CPLC.


Capturing Autumn in Portrait Photography

We’re back from the summer hiatus, so let’s dig in this fall with an autumn topic: making the ‘autumn look’ look good in photography.

The principles are very basic, but easy to forget, and since they look so much better in the autumn, let’s quickly explore why. The principles we’ll talk about here are depth of field (DOF) and bokeh.

Unfamiliar with any terms we use in this article? Take the “Using Your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera” and “Getting Proper Exposures” classes to get a practical education with your own camera in-class, including in-class exercises and homework, to familiarize yourself with these terms.

DOF and Autumn

To read more about DOF, check out this post here. In terms of autumn, we are already looking at a beautiful landscape when we hit the right place at the right time, meaning enough leaves falling on the ground but there are still enough in the trees too before they become ‘too twiggy’. Once we’re in this setting, we’re surrounded by a beautiful landscape. Unknown to most of us, the DOF our eyes naturally see in (comparable to f/3.2-f/8.3) will naturally blur much of this scenery, giving it the dreamy look we associate with ideal autumn pictures. This is because we’ll always be focussing on something in the distance, and when we do, everything far enough in front of, and far enough behind that focus point, blurs outside our DOF.

edmonton photography school
ISO 320, f/4.5, 1/200 sec

The mistake that’s easy to make in autumn photography is to confuse specific backgrounds (trees) with this ‘autumn feel’, and set our subject in front of–and too close–to one of these pretty trees with its fall colours. When we do this, and when we don’t have enough space between our subject and the autumn background, we’ll end up capturing not only our subject but also the autumn trees inside our DOF, so that we won’t blur the background.

The solution is simply to stage the frame with the proper distances from lens to subject and lens to background. Ensure these steps are taken, and you’ll get a beautiful hazy autumn background:

1) Don’t get too close to the background, but instead get quite far from it–many dozens of feet depending on your lens.
2) Don’t place your subject near the tree, but instead bring them many dozens of feet in front of the tree.
3) Zoom in considerably (preferably 100 mm or more on your lens) on your portrait subject. This will likely mean you must be some distance away from them.
4) Shoot at a reasonably shallow DOF, for example f/4 or lower if possible.

edmonton photography school - autumn portraiture
ISO 160, f/4.5, 1/200 sec

Ensuring you are far from your subject, who in turn is far from the tree, helps to ensure a beautifully shallow DOF that will keep your portrait subject sharp, but blur your background into a haze of colour without the ‘twig and branches’ details that take away from the colour haze look we associate with autumn.

To learn how to manipulate your depth of field, take the “Using Your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera” to learn the theory and gain practical experience, and for opportunities to practice in directed homework exercises and have your shots reviewed in class, take the “Getting Proper Exposures” class.


Why You’re Definitely Not Too Old to Learn Photography

During my short tenure answering phone calls at a popular cooking school, I talked to many 50-somethings who all had the same story: they’d worked in the business world since their 20s and they were finally ready to leave their career behind in order to go after their desire to cook as a vocation. Realizing that so many people had eventually circled back to their dreams made it clear that sooner or later, most of us give into the things we love.

Age insecurity is a mental block that keeps people from doing the things they’re interested in. It goes hand-in-hand with young people who think they’re not old enough to do certain things. In many circumstances, there’s no perfect age to pursue a passion – the sooner you start, the happier you’ll be.

The Never-Ending Learning Curve

The beautiful thing about creative pursuits is that there’s always something new to learn. Photographers, both amateurs and professionals, are constantly discovering new elements of the art form, regardless of their age or how long they’ve been behind the camera. Continuing to learn is par for the course; starting to learn, though, is usually the hardest step. When you’re young, your brain is a sponge, sopping up new knowledge with no problem and, even better, remembering it for life. When you’re older, it’s not nearly as easy to grasp something new, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a way.

Making Time for Education

With time constraints like work and family obligations, most adults can’t commit to going back to school full-time to learn a hobby. Luckily, continuing education classes and workshops are designed to fit into both your busy schedule and level of experience. Courses like these can be taken online, which makes it a cinch to figure education into your week. You may have to get over your fear of your computer, but if you’re ready to learn the ins and outs of a new digital camera, familiarizing yourself with a laptop won’t feel too far out of reach. For many people, their biggest roadblock is technology. Preferring traditional techniques, like favoring film over digital photography, is one thing. Being too stubborn to learn the basics of modern methods is another – it’ll stand in your way of learning something new.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

When in doubt, ask for help. Love a photographer’s work and wonder how they approach subjects in the street? Send them an e-mail with your questions! Unsure of how to market your photographs as a beginner? Talk to entrepreneurs about how they launched their business. Don’t be dismayed if a few of your e-mails go unanswered; in the end, you’ll be surprised by how many professionals are willing to help guide you. People like to talk about the things they’re interested in, especially if they have a talent for a hobby. Remember, flattery will get you everywhere, so start off your e-mail with a compliment.


Histograms in ‘vintage photography’

To learn about these principles and put them into practice, take Ambient Portrait Lighting Workshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC at the CPLC.

A typical histogram in vintage photography

Vintage photography has several different definitions, but one of them that we will focus on for this post is the common inclusion of sun flare, achieved through shooting towards the sun and allowing a little (and sometimes a lot) of the sunlight to enter into the lens in order to wash out the colours and the contrast. This look is very popular right now and has been for a couple years, and it introduces a non-conventional, or according to some, ‘bad’ histogram that has its own needs for editing.

Vintage Histograms | Calgary photography classes | cplc.ca
ISO 100, f/4, 1/200 sec

Vintage Histograms | Calgary photography classes | cplc.ca

Here is the histogram for the above shot, and as you see, it is very right-skewed. This is a stereotypical vintage shot histogram, which, by the very nature of it’s allowing sun flare to wash out colours and contrast, is by definition lacking in blacks, shadows, and even darker mid tones. In classical photography, this would be considered a ‘weak’, if not ‘bad’, histogram. This is by no means true, but an understanding of classical editing certainly produces a more nuanced and informed view of vintage, which is never a bad thing. That is, we can keep the original vintage look, or find a merger between the two. Both are acceptable and fine, as long as we like the final image. The thing with vintage, since it is a style, is that by definition there will be a subjective response. Some of you will love this image or the edited version below, and some of you will hate it. That’s just the nature of ‘style’ in photography.

One approach to editing vintage histograms

Vintage Histograms | Calgary photography classes | cplc.ca

In this image, the same as above but edited, we’ve added some of the common markers of vintage editing, including split toning, warm tones, etc. We’ve also reduced one of the limitations of all cameras when they shoot toward the sun (namely, small dynamic range), and added some dynamic range in editing by punching up the blacks in order to shift the histogram to the left.

Vintage Histograms | Calgary photography classes | cplc.ca

Vintage Histograms | Calgary photography classes | cplc.ca

Crucially, we’ve kept the vintage look by not actually making the histogram touch the left-hand side (this would undo the vintage look altogether, at which point, we would have done better to never have gotten sun flare in the first place, a simple move achievable by simply shifting our angle), but we have shifted it nonetheless, by first moving the exposure slider to the left, and second moving the Blacks slider in Lightroom to the left. The Shadows slider has been used as a counter-balance to ensure in doing so we haven’t added too much contrast to the image, and by balancing this way we’ve made sure the ‘softness’ of the vintage feel isn’t undone by the darkening of the image.

To learn more about these principles and put them into practice, take the Ambient Portrait Lighting Workshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC at the CPLC.


Using flash with glass

To learn about these principles and put them into practice, take Portrait Lighting Workshop and Accessory Flash Workshop at the CPLC.

The reflectance of glass

Off-camera flash | Edmonton photography classes | cplc.ca
Source: http://www.rolith.com/applications/anti-reflective

Have you ever tried to take a photo of a subject that’s behind glass? You might have noticed that sometimes it works, and sometimes you just get a blinding glare of light, and reflection of what’s behind you, or even you yourself, in the glass, and that what’s behind the glass is erased and replaced by this reflection. The reason for this is that while glass does allow light to pass through it, the angle at which you look through it in relation to the angle at which the light source is lighting it matters (the technical term for this is ‘direct reflection’, which we cover the theory of and do exercises that circumvent the problem in our Portrait Lighting Workshop). So, in the following shot, where we are shooting toward the sun, we would be able to see through the glass of the front windshield because the sun isn’t behind us. However, if the sun was behind us, all’d we see would be white on the windshield, literally a reflection of the white sky, just like the in the first image in this post (because the upward angle of the windshield would act like a mirror, and it’s pointed at an angle toward the sky from the viewer’s vantage point).

Off-camera flash | Edmonton photography classes | cplc.ca
ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/200 sec

Here’s a close-up of the same shot:
Off-camera flash | Edmonton photography classes | cplc.ca

Light the subject on the same side of the glass

It is the nature of glass, it’s nature of ‘direct reflection’ specifically, that disallows us from lighting a subject on the other side of glass from our flash (or ambient light source, for that matter). As such, the only way to light a subject that is too dark, as in this case, that is behind a pane of glass is to put the flash on the same side as the subject is. In this case, it meant putting the flash inside the car. Unfortunately, the opportunity for softening the light when the flash is inside a car is minimal, as the flash needs to light up their faces, and there is essentially no room to put the flash behind the glass, but in front of their faces, so that we can light up their faces but at the same time not see the flash. In this first example, we see an unsuccessful attempt which put the flash between the two subjects, pointed straight up at them. Notice the ‘Halloween lighting’ on her face, caused by being lit from below, a general ‘no-no’ in photographic lighting?

Off-camera flash | Edmonton photography classes | cplc.ca
ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/200 sec, off-camera flash inside car, pointed straight up at subjects at 1/16 power.

Here’s a close-up of the same shot:
Off-camera flash | Edmonton photography classes | cplc.ca

Always soften light by bouncing or diffusing

So, in this last shot, we had to figure out a way to make the light come from in front of their faces, but still be on the same side of the glass as their faces. We did this by keeping the flash in the same spot in the car, but instead of pointing it straight up at the subjects, we pointed it forward and up, so that it flashed the dashboard of the car. By doing so, it spread out, became a larger light source, and then bounced back and lit them up more evenly. This worked, in this case, even though the dashboard was largely black, because we also increased the power of the flash 3 stops (from 1/16 to ½ power) to compensate for how much light would be lost to absorption from the black dashboard. You can see that the faces are now lit more evenly and widely, and that the ‘Halloween lighting’ is gone. In addition, since it comes from in front of them, you can see nice big catchlights in the subject’s eyes, popping her out from the dark background in the car even more.

Off-camera flash | Edmonton photography classes | cplc.ca
ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/200 sec, off-camera flash inside car, pointed straight toward dashboard at ½ power.

Here’s a close-up of the same shot:
Off-camera flash | Edmonton photography classes | cplc.ca