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Friday, April 10, 2009

Flash among the ruins

Last week I was in Rome with the family and decided to go with the wife to Villa Adriana, a magnificent ruin near Tivoli, not far from the capital. The Villa was built as retirement place for the emperor Adriano, around II ac on an area of 300 hectares.

This is a magnificent place. Simply amazing, I'd say. I highly recommend anybody visiting Rome or Italy for that matter to spend an afternoon there.

Of course there's a lot of monuments, ruins, lakes, pools, gardens to see and photograph and during one of the least inspired days of my life I came up with some experimental shots. At least experimental for me. First I decided to use the flash as much as I could in order to handle a bit the major exposure difference I was finding from a spot to another. Then, for the same reason I placed a Graduated filter in front of the lens. Even though sometimes in a different manner. Tripod was left at home.

This first shot is an arch opening to a beautiful pool surrounded by columns. This is called the Teatro Marítimo, one of the most outstanding areas of the Villa.
As you can see from the first image I exposed for the sky with the result that the arch is dark and underexposed. Image straight from camera RAW

In this second image I took the SB600, put it off camera and fired it through the CLS. The arch is now properly exposed and the sky as well. There was people looking at me when I was taking these photos and they were pretty puzzled by the fact that I was lighting a piece of history with a small flashgun. To be honest with you I felt weird too, but driven by my experimental mood, I proceeded. The flash was handheld camera left and pointed upward with a slight angle, the maximum allowed by my arm's lenght. Image straight from camera RAW

As far as the Grad filters is concerned I used it in this other situation where the pavement was well lit and the roof too dark. In this image you can see the straight result, with no filter. Image straight from camera RAW

Then I placed the filter upside down, darkening the floor and correcting the exposure difference. Nothing to rave about, I think many photographers have been using this for ages but it was fun for me to try it and the results quite pleased me . Image straight from camera RAW.

Maybe I repeat myself but this is not the blog of a professional photographer. I know about shooting a guy with a fish but everything else is a learning curve for me and what I share with those who wants to read me, is simple day by day field work. I'm glad if I can help but is sure not my intention to "teach" anybody, in a straight manner.

1 comment:

Fish Whisperer said...

Good post. It gives beginners a good idea of how flashes work and how to experiment with them. Personally I have found shooting fish very frustrating at time, especially in the tropics with bright sun, hats and sunglasses.