Our Nikon sales rep and a national trainer held a short wireless lighting demo for employees prior to this evening's workshop for registered customers. They went over a few situations and then set us loose to create our own versions at some pre-envisioned stations. The trainer, Paul Van Allen, has a flickr page devoted to his projects for home studio set-ups designed to be budgeted under $25 each (assuming you have a camera, lens and speedlight).
A few of the projects reminded me of the Camera Creative book I've recently gleaned some inspiration from, especially, of course, the water-droplet demo. Typically I prefer to shoot alone, but it was fun to play with this group.
More images than usual today but I also struggled regarding whether I should post these, since, although I made decisions, the original concepts are Paul's. This runs into the master's theme I intend to explore, regarding image ownership.
For this image I deviated from instruction a bit, merely in the act of playing with flash manual settings rather than TTL. That choice led to the yellow portions. The setup was a folded piece of paper on top of an opaque tub. Underneath the lid was (what looked like) an SB-400 speedlight, and optional red and blue Honl gels.
I prefer this image rotated. It was shot with a softbox set up to the left of a left-facing flower.
I adjusted the white balance for this shot of a cheese-grater, which is shown cropped and upside-down.
These shots were fun to make. We could have dropped things into a fish tank all day! Jeff, our rep, was very kind to continue holding a focusing aid (in this case, a hammer) in the tank, in between strawberry drops. Of course, the top image is rotated to my preference, again. Two flashes were used for this situation: one behind to illuminate the water, and one to the side for the strawberry.
These last two images are even less my own. I had little hand in the composition aside from post-production cropping. Paul set up a camera on a tripod and we each used the cards we'd been shooting on in that camera. He also physically depressed the shutter on several of my shots, while we talked about timing. But, they're posted here to illustrate, again, the fun to be had with patience and water, as well as the creative possibilities of adjusting white balance. He also stressed utilizing the reflective property of water, demonstrated in the bottom image with a pink flower. I liked his idea to use a clamped, pierced water-filled plastic baggie, as it created such a nice steady stream of drops... so much better than my one-handed attempts with a turkey baster, on January 17th (but that worked, too).
Gear: Nikon D300s, Nikkor AFS 85mm f/3.5 micro, SB-900 (unless otherwise noted)