Spring was showing so I was wondering around the yard taking pictures of flowers, but they were mostly in the shade, so I tried adding my own light with wonderful, natural results!
I used my Panasonic GX8 camera with a Canon 550EX flash on manual with a Yongnuo flash trigger to get it off the camera and put a 1/2 CTO gel on the flash to warm it up. (very important!) I set my white balance to Daylight (sun) I held the flash lowish (maybe 10 degrees off level) and off to the left. Now, these aren’t anything special photo wise, but the golden hour effect created by the flash is!
From a flatish, cool, shadowy flowers, to warm, low setting/rising sun look. The sun is just a small lightsource, so the unmodified (besides the color) flash give s the same look as the sun would have shadow wise.
Having trouble finding the Panasonic GX-8 User Manual PDF to download? Well HERE it is! Download it and learn all about your new camera. It’s a shame they didn’t include a full printed manual with the camera. 🙁
Here’s a good, pretty simple video on how to use that crazy histogram on your camera or in your photo editing program.
Many people say to “shoot to the right” which means lean towards a lighter exposure, which would have that hump nearer the right side. (this applies to RAW files that you will post process and not as much to jpgs) This is generally a good idea as opposed to making a darker exposure because you’ll get a cleaner (less noise and artifactings) image if you have to darken it some rather than lighten up the shadows/darks. In digital cameras, there’s usually more image data available to recover in the lights than the darks. Just don’t go too far and actually blow out the whites or block up the blacks, because you can’t recover that at all. It will just turn light or dark gray depending on which way you went too far. You can go past the right end of the histogram a little bit (though you can’t tell how far) and still recover some of the highlights, but that’s just something you’ll have to experiment with to see how much you can recover with your particular camera and RAW processor.
This is a great post on keeping the best image quality during your post processing of images! It shows how to reduce banding or fix banding if you already have it. Why to edit with smart layers and in 16 bit vs. 8 bit in Photoshop and some noise reduction.
Depending on your zoo/nature preserve, you’ll be shooting through fence, bars, or a window of some sort. (probably thick plexiglass type stuff) If you are lucky you will have a clear shot over whatever is keeping the animal contained and can ignore most of this, but that probably won’t be the case most of the time. Check though the gallery at the end for example photos with explanatory captions.