In our recent and still unfinished posting on How to Take Fire Photos at Night, a flash bracket was mentioned as a solution for reducing the glow from reflective surfaces. Such as a Stroboframe. To test that theory, an external and off-camera flash was tried at last night's house fire on Ujamma Drive. My Canon 50D was in one hand, and my Canon Speedlite 580EX was in the other. Sync cord connected the two. Below are examples of the results, which aren't bad for a first attempt.
Top shot combines (a.) low ambient light with (b.) lots of reflective striping. Alas, the striping on each person's gear is still glowing pretty strong. Middle shot combines (a.) good ambient light with (b.) some reflective striping. The striping isn't quite as pronounced, and almost blends into the scene. The bottom photo combines (a.) good ambient light with (b.) no reflective striping or surfaces. That one's the best of the lot, and really demonstrates the benefit of an external flash.
The settings used for these shots?
Program (P) mode, evaluative metering, and ISO 2500 or ISO 3200. Plus flash
exposure compensation, but which didn't record in the EXIF settings for some
reason. Lots of flash exposure adjustments during the shooting. Dialing up,
dialing down. Trying to get the blend just right. We'll try this again another night, and probably pick up a flash bracket along the way. Looks to work
Forgot to include the position of my hand-held external flash in these shots, which was parallel to the lens, to the left of the camera, about six inches away. No diffuser used, no deflection. Occasionally turned slightly away from the subject, unintentionally.
Legeros - 11/28/11 - 08:24