Composing Striking Compositions: You Keep Shooting with Bryan Peterson
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Composing Striking Compositions: You Keep Shooting with Bryan Peterson

September 27, 2019

Well it should be obvious where my
location is this morning. Venice, Italy, one of the most beautiful locations, of
course, in all the world. Now, today what I’m so excited about is, as you can
see, I have a relatively dark, deep, cloudy sky. That’s a great opportunity for me to use flash and I’m going to explain all that here momentarily. AdoramaTV presents ‘You Keep Shooting’ with Bryan Peterson. Hi, I’m Bryan Peterson and you are watching AdoramaTV. Hi I’m Bryan Peterson and I’m the author
of ‘Understanding Exposure’ and ‘Bryan Peterson’s Field Guide to Understanding
Photography’. As I mentioned, I’m here in Venice and what we’ve got is a situation
of relatively hazy, foggy, cloudy kind of light. Yet we want to make some dramatic
photograph here. How are we going to do that? We’re going to do that with flash. As you
can clearly see, I’ve got a lamp post here. And in the background, I’ve got the
beautiful buildings of Venice out in the harbor and what I’m going to simply do with the help of my assistant, Tom, also one of the students doing the workshop, is
we’re going to light up those three lamp posts with a red-gelled flash. I think you’d be
surprised by the results but it’s one way to kind of liven things up here in a
relatively overcast day. Let’s go through the steps. I’m using a Nikon SB900 in manual flash mode. I’m using an ISO of 200. Flash is also set for 200. I’m using an aperture in this case in F8. Flash is also set at that aperture of F8. With
the red gel, the distance that Tom needs to be from that lamp post is dictated by how many stops we lose in the red gel, roughly two. Normally 8ft at 200 is about a 14ft flash distance, it’s even a bit closer to seven so I’m
also killing ambience somewhat. At F8, I’m getting a 1/100th of a
second correct exposure but I’m going to be shooting this at a 1/200th of a second to give it a little bit under exposure to the ambient light. Let’s take
a look. Tom, go ahead. I’ve got my pocket wizards on and that’s fires the flash from this distance remotely, and take a look at that photograph and I think you’ll agree, compared to the one without the red gel, the difference is pretty surprising, so the next time you’re thinking ‘hey it’s an overcast, kind of
a crappy weather day,’ as we might call it, bring out your flashes, pop on
some gels and bring a little bit of life to an otherwise relatively mediocre image. Hey, until next time this is Bryan Peterson from Venice, Italy reminding all
of you, you keep shooting. Do you want great looking prints at low-cost? Be sure to visit our easy to use online printing service. AdoramaPix has professionals who treat
your images with the utmost care that you can count on. For a quick turnaround on photos, cards or albums use

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Why don't cut the extra space on the top to show the water?
    I think it would have add a little more context to the scene.

  2. Great result. I liked the red gel effect! Just adding that flash makes all the difference, with or without the gel according to personal preference.

  3. Wow I have never thought about doing that with the landscape/objects around me! Thanks for the tips and inspiration Bryan 👍🏻👌🏻

  4. Nice video, Bryan. I need to use my gels more. What Bryan didn't mention is that a huge advantage of using manual flash is that you can use inexpensive alternatives to the Nikon or Canon strobes. As an example, a manual Yongnuo flash can be had for around $50 compared to the cost of a Nikon or Canon flash for over $300. Also, you could use a Yongnuo trigger instead of a much more expensive Pocket Wizard. I'm not promoting Yongnuo, just mentioning that people should be aware that there are alternatives.

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