As is my morning ritual (especially at the weekend) I headed down to the beach for 10 minutes peace before the day starts proper.
Normally I take with me an X-T camera of some description and a sketch pad – quite often I use the sketch pad and not the camera. This morning being bright and sunny I thought I would take the opportunity to see how the new Godox (On camera) TT685F would work in conjunction with PocketWizards for remote camera use at Red Carpet Events.
My PocketWizards are a set of Plus3‘s which connect into the X-T2 via the Mic-In socket. This necessitates a 3.5mm to 2.5mm lead (using Younogo’s a 2.5mm-2.5mm lead is the requirement) .When first connecting the cable into the camera it prompts you to ensure the socket is set to the correct use – Remote Control or Microphone. (Edit: To clarify – this is to trigger the camera remotely and nothing to do with the triggering of the flash unit). The next key step is to pre-focus and set the camera to manual focus as it would not fire when set to either of the AF modes (I have not noticed this before when shooting interiors, however most of the time I am bracketing & pre-focusing on manual to ensure the focus does not change between brackets for the HDR merge).
Once this was working ok I fitted the Godox to the camera and had a play. This is not a particularly flattering image but it does demonstrate why HSS (High Speed Flash Sync) is such an important tool.
Self Portrait at Worthing, UK, 19/08/2017 : Julie Edwards. Picture by Julie Edwards
The key things to remember when shooting outdoors with flash are –
Shutter Speed only affects the ambient light (sun / surroundings)
Aperture affects ambient & flash brightness
ISO affects ambient & flash brightness
Therefore, shooting into bright sun I was able to balance the ambient (sun and background) by raising the shutter speed to 1/1250, setting the aperture and ISO to suit the flash output (in this case TTL output for laziness but probably near or at full output).
So.. The key is Shutter Speed! Actually no, I stand by the T-Shirt, the key IS motivation!
Since upgrading to the X-T2’s my X-T1 has become my standard “walk around” or “sanity” camera with the 35/1.4 fitted (as I also sold on my X100).
Most of the time my walk-around’s are set to Monochrome as I still really love the way it cuts straight through to the essence of a scene, letting the light and composition “speak”. I feel you really have to nail these two aspects to make a Black and White image really work but it’s clear from comments that quite a few [fellow press photographers] feel that its an “easy way out” or a way to disguise shortcomings in a colour image. So recently I have switched my walk-around to colour, well I say colour, sort of colour – the Fuji Classic Chrome film simulation. When this film simulation was first added to the cameras a few years back it was really overused but now the Acros simulation has been added and Chrome being a few years old, it’s over use has diminished.
As always my “walk-arounds” are set up to shoot JPG Fine only and I have also set both the Hi-lights and Shadows to +2 for a really contrasty look. Set this way the shadows do really block up a lot but I kind of like the look.
One of the places I shoot often is Hyde Park as I walk through. Today the mixture of clouds and strong light pushed the contrast further. The images were downloaded through ShutterSnitch over WiFi and edited on the iPADPro in Lightroom Mobile where I mainly pushed the curves further, added clarity and a vignette.
The formation of the blue boats in relation to the tower block, along with the dark trees and contrasty sky took my eye here.
Here I pushed the sky a little further with a graduated filter in LR but again I really like the layers and mood of this with the boat contrasting against the cafe which contrasts against the trees and sky.
Diagonals and Contrast. Its like a Monochrome image – but its not!
This tunnel always reminds me of the “Death Wish” series of films with Charles Bronson (filmed in Central Park, NYC).
Running in and out of the shadows.
Having an X-T1 as a walk around is kind of nice – now all of my cameras are basically the same format with mostly the same controls and handling, but being able to change what comes out of them in terms of images is really powerful aspect of the Fuji system. Why not give it a go next time you go for a wander?