|My beautiful wife photographed with a pair of Nikon Speedlights mounted on flash stands |
with umbrellas. Nikon FE-2 with a $25.00 Nikkor 50mm f1.8 Series-E lens and Fuji Pro400H
A real strobist, whether using film or digital, operates in manual exposure mode not any type of auto exposure or program mode. The aperture setting, shutter speed, light output level and of course film speed or ASA are the factors that must be calculated to determine the correct exposure. These factors are input and calculated with a flash meter. After the film speed and shutter speed are input into the flash meter, you then prepare it to measure the speed lights when they fire. You do this by holding the flash meter in front of your subject with the white dome facing out. You then click your flash triggers which fire the flashes and allow the light meter to read the light levels and advise you as to the corrected settings for your lighting situation.
Take several readings so you can know exactly how your subject is being lit. Lets say for example that while photographing a portrait your flash meter reads an f2.8 at the face but an f4 on the subjects clothing. The meter is advising you that the scene is unevenly lit and you have a two-stop difference between the subjects face and clothing. In this example the face is receiving less light and requires f2.8 for correct exposure while the clothing which metered at f4 may be too brightly lit at f2.8 since the meter read f4.
If you want the classic shadow on one side of the face and the other side more brightly lit just ensure that the one side of the face is maybe a stop and a half or more lower than the other side. This technique is amazingly accurate and yields the exact results that I expected.
Don't stop there, measure the light levels all over your scene-even under the chin of your subject which can cause really ugly shadows. I generally check the entire scene from left to right so there are no surprises.
|Taken with a Nikon FE-2 and 55mm f2.8 micro and a pair Nikon speedlights triggered by FlashwaveIII|
remote triggers. Film is Kodak Ektar 100 and multiple exposure readings taken with a Minolta Auto Meter IIIf.
Nikon speed lights, even older ones like my SB-24s, circa 1994 are great for Strobists because they allow you to change the brightness of the flash output and they seemingly last forever.