Writing With Light

This is Francesca who is helping with the Community Garden in the Agalta Valley region of Honduras. I was covering the work of Honduras Outreach, Inc. a nonprofit based in Atlanta, Georgia. [NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 450, 1/250, ƒ/14, (35mm = 22)]

The one tool most photographers have and don’t always use well is light.

Community Garden Francesca Honduras Outreach [NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 125, 1/250, ƒ/14, (35mm = 14)]

Now in the best of situations this just will not work without some help. Dodging the face just doesn’t work as well as just adding light to her face with an off camera flash.

Community Garden Francesca Honduras Outreach [NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 125, 1/250, ƒ/14, (35mm = 14)]

Here is another example which might not be as drastic, but notice the color and dynamic range in the skin tones of the face that without flash is missing.

Honduras Outreach Estabian Olancho [NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 640, 1/250, ƒ/14, (35mm = 15)]

Now I want those clouds and rich colors and if I open it up it will wash out the background.

Honduras Outreach Estabian Olancho [NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 500, 1/250, ƒ/14, (35mm = 18)]

Just adding a little flash off to the side makes a huge difference.

Honduras Outreach Estabian Olancho [NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 280, 1/250, ƒ/14, (35mm = 15)]

Here the boy on the horseback with no light on his face except the sun behind him. If we let the sun light him then he will squint.

Honduras Outreach Estabian Olancho [NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 320, 1/250, ƒ/14, (35mm = 15)]

Now this is a lot better in my opinion if you are trying to tell the story of him riding to school on horseback.

Godox V860IIN 2.4G TTL Lion Battery Camera Flash Speedlite for Nikon +Godox X1NT Flash Trigger

This is the setup I like to use. I have a radio transmitter on the camera and then a small flash off to the side on a light stand. This is small and travels well when I am needing to fly through airports.

I love to also use the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 HSS TTL Battery-Powered Monolight with Built-in R2 2.4GHz Radio Remote System – Bowens Mount. These are more powerful and need less time to recharge in sunlight.

What exactly does the word “photography” mean? For those of you that might be curious, it means “Writing with Light.” Yes, that is accurate. The word “Photo” stands for “light” and its suffix “graphy” stands for “writing.” 

So if you are a photographer you are suppose to be writing with light, so learn how to write with light rather than just pushing the button and capturing light.