A Merry-go-Round, Fill Flash, and Too Fast a Shutter
Enjoying a Merry-go-Round -- Independence, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Enjoying a Merry-go-Round

We've continued to visit area playgrounds. The first was a playground in Stow, Ohio, and it's still on my list to post more about the second, an amazing playground in Ravenna. Today's pictures are from the third, a playground in Independence that we visited a few days ago. (We visited a fourth playground today, but I haven't looked at those photos yet.)

Independence, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

This time I brought my Nikon SB-800 flash, and tried to use it on-camera for some simple fill. I set it on manual mode, and adjusted the power anywhere from full to 1/64th, to try to get an unobtrusive fill that seemed natural.

Of course, I generally failed. I'm no good at flash photography.

Top of the World -- Independence, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Top of the World

The photo above looks okay, I hope, but it didn't come out of the camera that way. I used Lightroom's “fill flash” feature a bit, which brightens shadows across the entire frame, and on top of that, I used the new local-corrections feature of Lightroom 2 to “paint” in extra brightness just on his face.

It took only a minute or two, but that's time I wouldn't have had to spend had I gotten it right the first time.

Apprehensive -- Independence, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Apprehensive

As physical as Anthony likes to play, he's really quite the scaredy-cat when it comes to new things (or new people, for that matter). There were some hanging rings that some other kids were swinging from, and he wanted to try them, but was too scared.

I was not too scared to take a picture of them, but the fill flash was a tad too strong...

Game Time -- Independence, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Game Time
Spinning no, really, he's spinning -- Independence, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Spinning
no, really, he's spinning

Most of our time was on a small merry-go-round. Sadly, almost all of the pictures I took ended up using a fast shutter and so the movement was frozen, leaving bland, static results like that above.

This next picture would have been so much better with a blurred background...

Making Daddy's Head Spin -- Independence, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 17 mm — 1/750 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Making Daddy's Head Spin

Sometimes I actively thought about the shutter speed, and I did get a bit of blur here, but it's too little too late...

Independence, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/60 sec, f/9, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Warp Speed ( you'll have to use your imagination ) -- Independence, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 18 mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Warp Speed
( you'll have to use your imagination )

I'm kicking myself for not thinking about the shutter speed more, especially since early on I took a shot of other kids playing on the merry-go-round where I specifically did use a longish exposure to capture the movement:

Independence, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/40 sec, f/22, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

With all the playgrounds in the area, I'm sure I'll have a chance to redeem myself soon...


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

You can usually trust Nikon’s iTTL for fill-flash… no need to futz around with setting the flash manually.

Also try a slower shutter speed and rear-curtain flash for moving subjects… here’s an example from a playground in Stockholm:

http://flickr.com/photos/gerikson/2686721818/

Of course if you have a really sunny day it can be hard to get the slow shutter speeds needed.

— comment by Gustaf Erikson on August 5th, 2008 at 3:03am JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

I have watched this video recently and it’s about neutral density filters wich are helpfull in getting slow shutter speed in bright conditions. Lilkiwiguy87 made other great production that are worth watching. Your blog thought me(a beginner) a lot while being very enjoyable and relaxing. I hope that this bit of information will be usefull.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1f2prDLVV0&feature=user

Hopping that this hotlink does not violate any terms. 😉

I’ve got three ND filters of differing darkness, but they’re all home in Kyoto. I did have a polarization filter on, which acts as a mild ND filter. An ND filter is basically “sunglasses for the lens”, so of course if you use them you’ll need a slower shutter speed (or wider aperture, or higher ISO, or some combination), so the video is a bit misleading when it says the filter “plays with your light meter”. In any case, my problem with the merry-go-round is that I simply didn’t remember to think about ensuring motion blur when it mattered. —Jeffrey

— comment by Richard on August 6th, 2008 at 1:13pm JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

For flash photography techniques and especially for “making flash not look like flash” I recommend to take a look at Neil van Niekerk’s blog:
http://planetneil.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/

— comment by Thomas on August 12th, 2008 at 3:55am JST (9 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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