My brother-in-law, Vinod, has taken up photography like nobody’s business. He and his wife just had twins and so there is nearly double the need to make (great) images. I introduced him to his first DSLR (a Nikon D80) and urged him to start making images with a single focal length 35mm f/2.0 lens and a dedicated flash unit (his choice was a SB-600). The results are spectacular.
But before I unveil some of his images here, I must also say that I was instrumental in having him use off-camera flash. Why? Because on-camera flash is blech!
Check out his latest experiment and see for yourself:
This image is the on-camera (blech!) version:
This image is the off-camera (wow) version:
Both images had to be optimized for the web and so you may not fully appreciate the quality of these two images. The first, more easier, option delivers an image that is “good-enough” (oh, how I hate that expression!) It renders my sis-in-law in harsh, unforgiving light and says nothing of her relationship with her newborn son. The second option, to move the flash off the camera shows how you can really play with light and affect the mood, quality and emotion that’s built into any moment. What does this second image say? Is the image not more dramatic, inviting, soft-in tone? Vinod placed his strobe in such a way that it gives the entire image a dimensionality that the first option simply lacks. Bravo, Vinod!
So, all you dads and moms out there with point-n-shoot cameras, I hope you will reconsider and buy a DSLR, one lens and of course a flash unit that you can trigger using your camera’s wireless system. Your kids will thank you for it.
For more information about using your flash, the go-to-site is The Strobist.