Top Photo Settings [NIKON Z 9, NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 2000, 1/8000, ƒ/4, (35mm = 100)]
Due to a mistake, I came across something I had not seen with other digital cameras.
After shooting inside with flash and balancing it with available light, I went outside for another setup. Unfortunately, I did not change the ISO from ISO 2000 to ISO 64. Due to this, I was shooting with a shutter speed of 1/8000.
The results you see in the top photo. It looks like Venetian blinds where a little light is getting through, and the existing light is still bright enough to light the rest of the face.
This is not the same as what you see with flickering lights that cause banding. Instead, mixing the flash duration with the 1/8000 created two exposures where the flash was hitting the subject.
There is no effect on the background because the flash wasn’t affecting it.
I used the Flashpoint XPlor 600 HSS TTL on a light stand and the 7” reflector with a diffuser. I was triggering it with my Godox X1. I was using TTL mode for the flash.
I was shooting in Aperture Priority, Auto ISO with the lowest setting turned to ISO 2000 due to shooting inside earlier. So the shutter speed would vary as the light changed.
Those photos shot at slower shutter speeds of 1/4000 didn’t have those lines.
This could easily be due to the Flashpoint lights and their flash duration in TTL mode.
This is the downside of not seeing your images on a large screen. Unfortunately, on the back of the camera, I did not think to zoom in to look for such an anomaly.
I immediately called my client and reshot those particular photos on my dime. Here is a couple of them here. I did change and use a softbox as well. I shot with the Nikon Z9, 85mm ƒ/1.8, with ISO 64, 1/125, ƒ/2.
Many other photos I have taken at 1/8000 and similar ISO have not had this issue. I hope to figure out what is causing this in the future, but I know that when I choose the lowest ISO possible, I have never seen those lines. Double-checking your settings is the takeaway from this unexpected failure.
People often ask me my favorite story or photo I have ever taken. That is like asking a parent who is their favorite child.
What that question has done to me over the years is make me think more and more about what I like to photograph the most. This has led me to ponder a great deal about what is important to me.
There are two types of assignments that I am continually pursuing. First, my needs require me to pursue those jobs that pay the bills. The second has me seeking those assignments that move my heart.
Seldom do I have a photo shoot where I don’t learn something new or meet a new person that enriched my life in some way.
I am always asking people about themselves and learning about their stories. Most of the time, I know so much more than the photos from those assignments reveal. Often I know things that are outside the project. So sometimes, I will come back later and do a story on what I discovered from that encounter.
ROI – Return On Investment
Everyone wants the work they do to be valued. I want my work to make a difference.
While working at The Hickory Daily Record, I shot images in print the next day and helped to inform the public. Since I lived in the same town, I covered stories over time and got personal feedback from the community.
Most of the feedback was that people enjoyed seeing their family and friends in the newspaper. They would even ask for copies of the photo for themselves. Another type of feedback was when people asked more questions about the stories. Again, my photography engaged them and had them interested in the story.
While on staff at Georgia Tech, I often photographed research, and those photos helped those researchers with more funding. For example, I once helped a researcher who told me that my work helped his team get a multi-million dollar contract with the Department of Defense.
When I did work with Chick-fil-A, Truett Cathy asked the staff at the home office, “Are you helping the restaurants sell more Chicken?”
One of the first stories I did for Chick-fil-A was to help tell how an Operator in Kansas had created a Daddy Daughter Date Night event. This was used internally for the chain, and I would later hear that people were stopping my video and copying as much as they could from that video to do in their restaurants. That became the most successful event for Chick-fil-A. This helped in building their brand as the company that CARES.
I learned through the years that every type of photography, from headshots to sports, editorial, product, humanitarian, etc., impacts the bottom line. They could all make a difference.
Variety Is The Spice Of Life
The best part of my job is meeting people and hearing their stories. Even when taking a photo of a product, I have to meet someone and learn about that product to understand what I am trying to highlight.
I enjoy photojournalism and humanitarian work the most of all types of photography. The reason is that when I am done with the project, I will be able to share what I learned about the people I met with the audience.
My favorite type of assignment with photojournalism and humanitarian work is cross-cultural work. I love just going to another part of my town and meeting people from a different culture than my own.
It is like getting to try out new food. This reminds me that my happy place in the story is usually me sitting with the subject and eating some food. The best site for this is in their home and their kitchen. I love hearing their stories as they cook.
My Favorite Assignment
My next assignment is my favorite because this is when I will meet someone new and learn something I didn’t know before. The best part of this process is when I have figured out how to package this for you, the audience, to see. My greatest reward is doing those stories with a call to action.
I love telling stories that ask the audience not just to enjoy the story’s entertainment but to do something—asking them to get involved by giving financially or of their time. Stories like Habitat for Humanity are so rewarding.
While I love telling stories, my greatest joy may be teaching others how to tell stories.
The most rewarding thing I can do right now, at this point in my life, is to be sure there are others to continue telling stories way past my time. I love doing workshops where the students are working on a story, and I get to help coach them through the process.
If you want to learn how to tell stories, drop me a line, and I would love to help you become a storyteller.