Single Flash

Service technician Justin Bailey drains the antifreeze from a truck at Privitt Auto Service, Inc. on Wednesday. Bailey graduated from MU with degrees in both computer and electrical engineering, but he decided to pursue his hobby, working on cars, as a career. “I could make more turning wrenches,” he said. However, after years of working in auto repair, Bailey has found that his job that started as a hobby is no longer fun for him.
(Camera: f/28, 1/125, ISO 100, Daylight White Balance
Direct Flash: TTL)

After inspecting the brakes and axel seals on a truck, Bailey consults a list given to him by the truck’s owner. The owner asked Bailey to check specific items on the vehicle. “It’s going on a long trip, and they don’t want any problems,” said Bailey.
(Camera: f/2.8, 1/125, ISO 100, Daylight White Balance
Bounce Flash: TTL dialed up 1 stop)

Self Critique

For my first take of this assignment, I shot some in TTL and some in manual. The TTL shots were all right, but I felt very awkward shooting in manual. When in manual, I spent most of the time trying to figure out what my aperture should be based on my guide number and how far away I was. As a result, my content definitely suffered. While I was shooting, I checked my LCD screen to see what the flash looked like. I was generally surprised at how unnatural the direct flash looked. The light dropped off so quickly that the backgrounds were often completely black, and the subjects looked very odd being so bright. It was generally pretty discouraging. I also tried using the diffuser on my flash as well as bracketing in hopes that I would find some usable combination. Unfortunately I was still left feeling unsatisfied. I was a little encouraged when I found that virtually everyone else in class had similar problems.

For my second take, I shot only in TTL. I still need work in manual, but with the limited time we had to shoot the second take, I decided it would be best to focus on my placement of the flash this time. I went to an auto repair shop and started shooting a technician. I mostly used direct flash, and I think I had some luck finding good placement of the flash. For my direct flash select, I left the flash on TTL, and I had my camera set at f/28, 1/125, ISO 100, Daylight White Balance. With this setting, the flash still overpowered the existing light, but I was able to keep the intensity of the flash fairly low. Knowing that I wasn’t blinding my subject helped me to feel more comfortable. The light still drops off rapidly here, but I think the tight composition helps make the light feel less awkward compared to some of my first-take shots.

My bounce flash shot isn’t as successful in terms of composition. I bounced the flash off of a white panel on the ceiling of the shop. It was about a 12-foot ceiling, so I found that I needed to dial the flash up a stop. Ultimately this was not enough, and the shot is underexposed. My camera was set at f/28, 1/125, ISO 100, Daylight White Balance.