“You’ve gotta taste the light. And when you see light like this, trust me, it’s like a strawberry sundae with sprinkles.”-—Joe McNally
In my journey to understand light and to capture it, I’m reading about the characteristics of light as much as I possibly can. It’s a vast and complex topic.
My first step in this attempt to paint with light was to buy a speedlite, albet a modest one. It was made in China and sold by Amazon under the name of Yongnuo. Model? Yongnuo YN565 EX. For the last two weeks I’ve been playing with it. My wife is assisting by being my model. She is doing great.
My latest acquisition was a cheap plastic Chinese light diffuser, also known as a “Sto-fen” light diffuser. A light diffuser creates a diffused bare bulb effect, giving even coverage across the entire frame, with lenses from 15mm to 200mm in the 35mm format (and equal in other formats as well). It is easy to use and fits in and off the speedlite in seconds with custom fitting and no touch fasteners.
This white dome will convert the flashlight-style light into a bare bulb-style light. It’s omni-directional, but it is still small and harsh. But it will absolutely make your flash act like a bare light bulb.
The diffuser I purchased was very cheap—$3.94. Interesting to comment that bringing it from Miami to Panama had a cost of $7.71. Transportation costs were a bit more than twice the cost of the diffuser.
Below is a sample picture of my wife acting as a model in our living room. It was about seven o’clock at night with the light of the dining room lit. The speedlite was placed beside her on the floor about three feet away, aimed at the white ceiling. The idea was to bounce the light from the ceiling to the subject. The flash’s power was set at the minimum setting of 1/128. The DSLR Canon EOS Rebel T2i camera was set up as follows: ISO 200, Aperture Value 5.6 and Shutter Speed 1/200.
Tonight I will slightly darken the scene by changing the Aperture Value (AV) to f/7.1 and see what happens.
We plan to continue our shooting sessions again this evening. In my opinion, the only way to learn is by doing, over and over again. “Practice makes perfection.” Good Day.