Up to this point I have not used flash with my view camera on location, within my proposal for this module I decided to use flash for this series of images. I use the zone system for ambient exposure, using a spot meter to read and record all the exposure values in a scene and assign a zone to them. Adams, A.,& Baker H. R., (1981). This is used to assess the dynamic and texture range of a scene and to set my exposure, Adams, A.,& Baker H. R., (1981). Through research and experimentation I found using that the zone system could still be applied to my exposure metering formula.
Initially I did a test with a digital camera setting up my Elinchrom Ranger pack with one light. Boosting the output of the flash two stops higher than the ambient light I was able to overpower the flash and gain a correct exposure. I was shooting in a low light situation and wanted to keep my shutter speed low to let in the available light register.
“So your f-stop camera control is like a rheostat for your flash exposure. Again, the shutter speed has no effect, because the flash is just an instanteaneous burst of light. The shutter speed becomes a rheostat for the ambient light, independent of the flash. So if I have f/8 storbe light falling on my subject, the background can be at any of a wide range of shutter-speeds without affecting it.” Heisler, G, (2013)
This was a very harsh light as the flash was too powerful and aimed directly at the subject. So I started to feather the to achieve a softer effect, because in its own way, it causes the light to wrap around and act its own fill. It is also a way to emphasize the subject. Heisler, G, (2013). I was also fighting the available light at first because I was not thinking about where the natural light was coming from, placing the strobe so that it follows the direction of the natural light Leibovitz, A., (2008). Created a more natural light look but emphasizes the direction of the natural light Leibovitz, A., (2008).
One thing I did find funny's about this process was initially I thought the use of flash would let me shoot anywhere but using direct flash in direct sun looks unnatural. The best time to shoot is an overcast day, or at the beginning or the end of the day, when light are low and the tones are most even Leibovitz, A., (2008). This is much like shooting available light but the look is quite a bit different.
In Figure 4 there is a side by side comparison of a image with flash and without. The image with flash I can adjust the overall contrast without affecting the subject. The image without flash is very much tied to the exposure of the background. So when editing I could hardly change the contrast without drastically effecting the subject. This is another benefit of using flash.
Adams, A., Baker H. R., 1981. The Negative. 12 th ed., Bulfinch Press.
Heisler, G, 2013. 50 Portraits Stories and Techniques From A Photographer's Photographer. 1st ed. New York: Amphoto Books.
Leibovitz, A., 2008. At Work. 1st ed. New York: Random House.