So I recently got myself a pair of Cactus V6ii triggers to that I can use off camera flash more easily in HSS (High Speed Sync – basically I can use a faster shutter speed when using my flash) these triggers work on a radio frequency so I don’t have to be in line of sight of the triggers which is ideal for when I am photographing in woods or if I want the flash behind or to the side of me. I also got myself a Neewer softbox flash defuser.
I have followed a lot of amazing dog photographers on instagram and am really inspired by the results that they get when using off camera flash with a softbox and want to do some similar photographs myself.
I briefly tested the triggers out inside and over the weekend at the bike park but wanted to do a proper test of them paired with the softbox, so I set everything up and grabbed my ever willing model and went into the field behind my house to try things out properly.
The set up
My Sigma EF630 flash mounted on one of the Cactus triggers and in the softbox
Cactus V6ii HSS Trigger
Neewer softbox – I love this thing ❤
Travis providing the stability
Once I had set up in the field my beautiful puppy dawg joined me, we were out shooting just after 7pm which at the moment is in the golden hour just before the sun sets. Unfortunately there was a fair bit of cloud cover so the colours weren’t as vibrant as I had hoped but I am very happy with my results 🙂
I edited the RAW files in lightroom and then removed some road signs in Photoshop to clean the background up.
I am so happy with the images I got, they came out exactly as I hoped they would (which doesn’t usually happen). I am excited to get out and use this new gear for more photos and hopefully with some more models, now I’ve got the setup I want I am going to try and pursue dog photography a bit more as I love it so much. #dogsrule
So for those of you that are out side of the UK, winter here is usually pretty poop with the norm being constant grey overcast rainy days. However Storm Caroline hit the UK on Thursday and brought with her strong winds on Thursday night but then also quite a large amount of snow! So Friday there wasn’t too much when I woke up but it hit hard Friday night – this meant the bike park was going to be closed Saturday.
I had been constantly checking my weather app (I highly recommend weather underground, its so accurate!) on my phone and the forecast for Saturday morning was a bit of cloud but mostly clear – result! My plan was to get up early and photograph the sunrise from the Lonely Tree.
I got up just before 7 am and put on a lot of layers (it was saying the temperature was going to be -1°C but with the wind it would be a bit colder – I know -1 isn’t that cold in the grand scheme of things but I’m soft! hahahah) and donned my head torch as it was still dark outside and headed off up the hill. (Skylar didn’t come as it was a) way too early for her to drag herself out of bed – she likes a lay in! and b) she is worse than me in the cold and i think she would have turned into a puppy shaped ice-cube!). It was an interesting walk to the Lonely Tree as it is rather steep! Fortunately I didn’t slide all the way down and was taking my first photo at 7:40 am in the blue hour just before the sunrise.
It was amazing up there, like a scene from Narnia! And best of all I had it all to myself!!!!
I wondered around a bit looking for a few different compositions while the sun started to rise and the golden hour began.
I took a few photos for panoramic stitching as well as bracketing some exposures for an HDR effect so I could capture the whole range of highlights and shadows.
As the sun started to rise I found another spot to shoot from (I did manage to walk into a snow drift at that point which was almost a deep as my welly boots are tall!!)
I had an awesome time taking my photos and I think I captured some of my best ever photos today.
WOW is been 2 months since I last did a blog post! Can’t believe where the time has gone its like winter now! Anywho a lot has happened in the last couple months. I have finally got a flashgun to play with woop, its awesome and I will do a proper post about it soon.
So enough of my babbling on, today I managed to accomplish something I have been trying to do for a while. Photographing an epic sunset with Skylar dawg lit up with the flash in the foreground. My day wasn’t going great, I had decided to take an unscheduled day off (I normally work 6 days a week so I was looking forward to it) The day started fine then took a downturn when I wanted to do something on my computer which led to more than 2 hours faffing around trying to get my headphones to work before giving up at walking Skylar who was by now really really ready to go for a walk.
I had planned that we would have a wonderful day in the sunshine (which was forecast but the usually grey Welsh autumn/winter weather was in full swing as usual) and I was going to take loads of photos of my besty Skylar. Anyway even with the overcast sky I took the camera and off we went to the lonely tree. The area near the bottom of the hill is quite wooded but also really dark due to the overcast sky’s so we carried on up the hill, as we walked up it was getting closer to golden hour and the clouds were breaking on right side of the valley YAY!!!
When we got to the top I got to work getting all my gear set up and ready for shooting, I did a load of test shots to make sure I had my flash set up properly and not too bright and my focus point right – que bag in place of Skylar who was having a fun time running around like a hooligan. Once I had the focus right It was photography time, Skylar had other ideas though and I forgot the treats so we ended up both being in the photo :-D. I set the camera to interval mode so I didn’t have to keep running between shots to press the trigger again. It worked well doing it like this as I had it set to 10 shots 5 seconds apart to make sure we were in position for at least a few of them!
Needless to say even though I didn’t get any of Skylar on her own this time I am very pleased with the images I got and know what to do next time.