Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ice Cream is Reason Enough


See the Setup
See the Shot
Read the Blog

Reason enough to blog about. Reason enough to play with my new camera toys. Reason enough to stay in Korea. What other country sells a 500ml BUCKET of premium ice cream for $2.50. Ok, I'm sure there are many out there but Canada isn't one of them.

And why the hell did we Canadians ever accept the idea ice-cream could be sold in cardboard boxes? You don't need to be a packaging genius to figure out ice cream shouldn't be sold in any container with more then one opening, I learned that when I was five and started with the bottom of my ice-cream cone.

Strobist Info:

I gotta say, Nick Wheeleroz was a huge inspiration to me in doing this. After studying his work, the work of his contacts and the contributions of all the people over at it gave me the push I needed to venture into the world of flash photography.

So this is my first strobist post. My new gear arrived about a week ago and I played around much less then I'd have liked to since then.

Originally I just wanted to blog about how much I enjoy cheap ice-cream. Then the idea came to me to fuse my adventures in strob-ism with my ramblings and thus this photo was born.

I knew wanted diffuse light and a nice close up shot. I've seen Nick Wheeloeroz use Ikea chopping boards in many a setup so I borrowed his idea. My board isn't from Ikea, it's a thick Korean-made board picked up here at a local dollar store and is well used.

First I attempted to lazily balance the board on top of my brand new Vivitar 285HV flash which was an accident waiting to happen, so I propped the board up on some cans. I placed a white piece of poster board / Styrofoam behind the scene, set my flash to M, Canon D350 to 1/200 at f/6.3 and took my first test shot. It came out almost pure white so I dialed down to 1/16th on the flash.

My shots were still coming out to bright even at f/9. I didn't want to sacrifice sharpness by shrinking my aperture so I decided to defuse even more. The diffuser of choice... a free cream-colored lens cleaning cloth that came with the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 I was using. I folded the cloth in half and placed it directly on my flash and it reduced the light but this time too much. Thus, I unfolded it, played around with the aperture a bit, and got the shot above.

The shot pleased me but I had to know what a secondary light source could do for the photo. So I unpacked my brand new umbrella, propped it up on my cloths drying rack and shot through it with my second Vivitar, Zap, (yes... I named it). I set Zap to 1/4 and got decent lighting, as in it was a good looking histogram. Unfortunately, it didn't look so hot on screen (Here's that picture). I think the reason is that the large soft light actually flattened the image because is was spilling onto my background.

There's a lot left to be desired as far as subject, focus, composition and creativity go but I am happy with this on a technical level as I feel more confident shooting with flash than I did a day ago.

Technical Info:
Camera ------- D350 / Rebel / Kiss
Lens ----------- Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 @ 50mm
Aperture ------ f/9
ISO ------------ 100
Flash 1 Blitz - 1/16 Power
Flash 2 Zap -- No
Tripod --------- Yes

WB ------------ Slight Temp Decrease


White Poster Board
$2.50 Oreo Ice-cream
White Cutting Board
Vivitar 285HV + Cactus V2s
ExpoDisk Neutral
Lens Hood
Lens Cleaning Cloth
Tomato Paste
Red Kidney Beans
Baked Beans
Manfrotto Tripod + Ball Head
Canon D350
Tamron 28-75 f/2.8
48" Dual Umbrella
Flash Bracket
Cactus V2s

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