Failing with a Flash

Flash Photography

I felt like a newbie. I really have not got much of a clue when it comes to using a flash. Tonight I was walking home and was told our local village was having a dance party at 7 pm. Locals dancing is something I definitely wanted to capture. I set out just after 6, taking along my flash unit. I have only recently purchased the Nissan i40, and really have not had a chance to try it out with my Olympus EM5ii.

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I had some success.

When I am shooting during the day I rarely use my glasses. However, it quickly became apparent that at night they are a necessity. I do not know my flash inside out and it was impossible to read the settings, the situation was made worse due to the falling light.

I experimented with auto, manual and TTL (Through The Lens, I’m not totally ignorant). The unit would work for a while and then stop, leaving me to fumble and find another setting where at least it flashed. When the settings on the flash let me down, I dived into the Olympus menu. The Em5’s menu is something that can be terrifying, however, I have set up enough shortcuts to take me easily to the settings that mattered. The flash still fired inconsistently.

I gave up with autofocus hunting in the dark, and I slipped the clutch into manual. This is no big deal, but on top of everything else, it was another hurdle to overcome. As always in India, there were children wanting to have their photo taken, and parents holding infants up for a picture. I tried my best. My last post was about how I needed to work on artistic imperfections in my photography. At night, I have mastered imperfections, now it is time to do some serious learning!

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He danced like Mick Jagger.

On return to home, I found it was a dodgy connection and the flash was just not connected that well. With a little click, everything became a lot clearer. However, it is easy to find a mistake when you are sitting at home with a cup of tea, time on your side and good light. When I am out on location, added pressures make it vital that I know my kit inside out. Fortunately, I love learning. In just over a month I am going to be in Bangkok, where, when the sun falls, the city comes to life. This is a time for using a flash. I know what my homework is.

Somehow, I came away with a couple of keepers. Luck more than judgment. Enjoy, and keep clicking,

Chris

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