Sep 28, 2009

Nikon SB 900 off camera

Somebody asked me recently how to do a basic setup of the Nikon SB-900
off camera with the D300. So here goes..

First the camera

Click on the menu button and go to CUSTOM SETTING MENU
Select option e: Bracketing/Flash.

Next Select option e3 Flash cntrl for built-in flash

Next Select the Commander mode option
Next have a look at the Built-in flash setting, by default this is set to TTL - cycle through it till you see
the "--" (you have a choice of Manual, TTL or "--") this minimises the amount of flash coming out of your pop-up flash.  You can pretty much leave the Group A and B settings as is (in TTL) or dial in + or - compensation depending on your need (in this particular instance we only have one flash so we are only actually using one or the other (A or B). Next Select a Channel (1 to 4) I happen to like the number 3 so thats what I've selected

Now the flash

Switch the Flash to remote using that little button/switch on the bottom right hand corner.
Next we need to set the flash to match the settings we did on the Camera (Group A, Channel 3)
the current group/channel are displayed at the top of the LCD screen.
To select a group press on the small button on the left most side (there is a set of 3 just below the LCD screen, its the one with the green dot beside it) and it will cycle you through the available groups(A,B,C).
To select a Channel (we want channel 3)use the second button from the left

And thats it good to go........

Theres a whole lot more you can do with it from both the flash and the camera , everything from controlling it manually to using TTL, dialing in +/- compensation and so on .... , for more advanced stuff you can do check out Strobist , probably the best resource anywhere for off camera flashing .

Anybody else know of other flash resources out there? please share :)

Sep 26, 2009


"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

A curtain rod, a sports bandage , and a head scarf with a red sun and some japanese writing and he is suddenly a Ninja in ancient Japan. I just love how kids can let their imaginations run wild... its a pity we seem to lose some of that as we grow older. hmmmm must start chanelling my inner child :)

Sep 25, 2009

The blogs I read today

I love reading other peoples blogs, great place to learn, interact, be inspired and just enjoy other peoples work.....

today I looked at:
The Selby
Monday Artday
Flak Photo
A Painting Today
feature shoot
The Picture Show

.... so I've got a lot of time on my hands !

Sep 23, 2009

Red Dust Storm in Sydney

OK, so I was too chicken to bring my camera out in the middle of a dust storm ... looks like I missed out on some pretty spectacular shots  ... oh well time to clean up ....

Earthquake in Melbourne , dust storms in Sydney, bush fire season round the corner.....  this is getting scary...

Finally stepped out when it settled down a bit

Sep 21, 2009

Sep 18, 2009

Whats the best camera?

The one you've got in your hands !... can't remember who said that - I think it was Joe McNally
(Having said that.... there is a nice little guide on choosing a dslr over in digital photography school)

My 14 year old daughter took this one with her Sony DCW 150. She's been asking about my old D70 .... I think I'll lend it to her and see what she comes up with!

Sep 16, 2009

On seeing the light

Taking the time to understand how light affects your subject goes a long way in how your photographs come out.

Our eyes are wonderfull instruments that adjust and compensate automatically for any variations of light. Unfortunately what we see with our eyes does not automatically translate to what the camera sees. Todays cameras are extraordinarily sophisticated machines with all the functions and abilities to make any compensation or adjustment you might need, but it is still just a tool , a dumb machine that needs to be told what to do.

When I first started in photography I just shot every which way without thought about the light, shooting in the mddle of the day in the harsh sunlight, in the shade, with my on-board flash and so on, just eager to shoot as many pictures I can.

Over the years I've learned (from other photographers and books and all sorts of ther sources on the web)to try to take a moment to ask myself a few questions -
  • Where is the light coming from - in front of your subject, behind, from the side , from the  top ,through a window or door, outside ....
  • What is the quality of the light - harsh or hard, soft , or somewhere in between...
  • What am I trying to achieve - a dark moody portrait , a bright happy scene, a quiet moment?
  • Is there enough light for what I want to achieve...
Taking a moment to consider these questions you can get a pretty good idea of how your photograph may come out... even a small adustment such as where your subject is facing or where you are shooting from can make the difference between a snapshot and a beautiful portrait.

Invariably, asking myself these questions before shooting have resulted in better photographs then when I have just shot without thinking...

Sep 13, 2009

Major yuminess

If you ever get a chance to go to Katomba in the Blue mountains, check out the Swiss Cottage . The food is absolutely yummy...

Sep 10, 2009

Simplifying the Photograph

"What's really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer" - William Albert Allard

Sep 6, 2009

Photographic IT-ness

What are we aiming for in our photographic journey? over the years scouring the photo forums, I've seen the same question in vaious forms pop up "How do I know when I've got IT".... heck, I've asked it myself?

aummmmmmmmmm... you must reach the 6th level of IT-ness my child before you can trully call yourself a "Photographer" . Nothing wrong with striving to better your art, but sometime I think the goal of attaining IT-ness overwhelms the joy of the actual journey.

I'm a regular reader of the blogs and twitter posts of the likes of Chase Jarvis, Joe McNally and Mr. Strobist (people who I would say are way past the 6th level of IT-ness) and one of the things I see in common is that they're all enjoying their individual journeys, there's this sense of exuberance with the whole process of creating more than the end result (though their end results are usually pretty spectacular) and they are more than happy to share that experience with us noobs.

and then there's Lee a Junior in High school who uses a point and shoot (though I hear he's recently upgraded to an SLR) , he's got the same exuberance and joy of discovery as our photographers of great IT-ness. and is thoroughly enjoying his own journey...

ok, so what was I talking about again, I forget my point..... oh yeah...

it doesn't matter what stage you are in your photographic journey , if you're absolutlely loving what your're doing (irrespective of the results) then you my friend have achieved great IT-ness!!!

Spent the afternoon with my son at the Archery range .... that was great fun , but could not for the life of me capture the arrow flying out to the target!

Sep 3, 2009

Cottage in the woods

One of the things I like about digital photography is being able to easily redo old photos in many different ways. This was taken somewhere in Queensland a couple of years ago.