Flash – Ah ha, Saviour of the Universe

So today brought us on another trip to the fabulous Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. When I say us, I mean the gang from Navan Camera Club and what a gang turned out – there must have been over thirty of us. Great to see so many new faces from the beginners and so many regulars too.
Of course you can’t visit the Bots without bumping into other togs you know, so it was no surprise to see Brendan and his wife Lorraine along with a couple of friends and of course his old skool film camera – look forward to seeing his shots – eventually 🙂 ( Go digital Brendan!)
We also bumped into Shane Murphy the star man – without his camera though so he’ll have nothing to post on his website.

So on to my few shots and the odd ball title of this post. Flash – Ah ha, Saviour of the Universe – (you have to sing that to the tune of the Queen song).
Flash is a mystery to me. I’ve read the manual, watched the videos and done the courses but I still can’t feicin use it. So, today was a flash day.
I was totally prepared for every eventually. My Sanyo Eneloop Batteries for my two 580 EXII’s were fully charged. Tripod, cable release and remote flash triggers were loaded up and we were ready to go. So with everything ready I set off with Mary, our club Chairperson and had coffee and a scone in the cafe. It’s all about priorities.
All coffeed up, I arrived at my first location and stuck on my remote triggers only to find that the batteries were flat! So much for preparation.
Plan B, set one flash on top of the camera as master and the other as slave. That worked with the drawback that you needed line of sight for the slave to work so my creative experiments were somewhat hampered.
Ok we’re stuck with what we have. No point in complaining, just get on with it. Eventually figure out how to set the master flash to 1/128 power on manual and how to set the slave in manual mode too. That took a while and many wasted shots but thank crunchie we’re digital (Hello Brendan!). Once we worked out how to do it, it was time to take some shots.
First up – a drop or not a drop? You decide………

Big drop on tree trunk
Small or far away?

Next up was a trip to the vegetable gardens and our willing model, Mr. Scarecrow. of course I shouldn’t really publish this shot as he wouldn’t sign a model release….
Using my VAL I was able to get this shot by getting the flash up high and right of the subject without blowing out the sky – even keeping a little detail in the grey clouds.
For those non photographer readers a VAL is a Voice Activated Lightstand – namely my good wife Lorraine 🙂

Scarecrow in vegetable garden
Standing tall……

On then to the Angel of Death! I’m sure this beautiful sculpture wasn’t called the Angel of Death but that’s exactly how I saw it. At least that’s how I tried to see and portray it – whether it worked or not is another thing. You decide…..

Sculpture of an angel
……….and on the tenth day……

Of course you can’t have flash without a flash-mob so I got my mob to hang out in a tree – as you do.
To be fair it was Lorraine’s idea to get them to “pose” in a tree and who was I to disagree. So with a little bit of jiggery pokery, all four of them managed to strike some sort of half dignified pose in the branches of a tree and lit by a strategically placed light source (a flash on the ground in front of them), this award winning shot was captured.

posing in a tree
Tree huggers in a feicin tree…

That’s it. I’m now an expert on flash and will be offering ridiculously priced tutorials and classes. The DVD will be available shortly….watch this space!

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Author: Denis O'Donovan

Photographer. Professional Killer. Angler.

5 thoughts on “Flash – Ah ha, Saviour of the Universe”

  1. I love the way that you made the background look totally black with the glass balls on the tree, flash is great when you know how to use it (I certainly don’t) fair play to ya :-). I still really like the angel of death photo, reminds me of the film ‘The Village’.

    Also fab piccie of us all in the tree, always said I was a tree hugger, now I’ve got followers 😉

    Great post Denis xxx

  2. Don’t know how I missed this one Denis, it was great to bump into you and Lorraine and of course the rest of Navan CC . The flash worked well here, must give this a go and blow the dust of my digital camera.

    Have you just moved to WP? I thought I was finding your blog somewhere else before..

  3. Cheers Brendan. No I’ve been on WP since day one and haven’t changed anything. Then again I’m no tech expert so God knows what I’ve been up to. Thanks for stopping by and that reminds me, I must add the link to your blog on mine. Been meaning to do it for ages!

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