Every journey starts with a single step…

I have always tried to avoid two things with my photography – artificial light and taking photos of people unless they are participating in sport.  My reasons for this are various and thus far apart from the odd presentation photograph I have been easily able to avoid such photographs.  However having recently had the opportunity to listen to and work with, amongst others, Dave Black, Joey Terrill, Mark Reis, Jeff Jacobson and Andrew Hancock I have been sold on the idea of strobe and speedlites in action and sport portrait photography. The opportunities to provide a new dimension to my action and event photography have been swirling through my head ever since.

The Journey

As with any new idea the first thing is to map out where I wish to end up and then plot the path and the steps that need to be taken.  Most of these will involve me getting up to speed with a number of techniques.  Whilst the quality of the five photographers I have named checked is a gold standard benchmark I remain confident that my aim of producing a new angle to my rugby union and other event imagery and provide some exiting opportunities to existing clients is there to be fulfilled.

The First Step

Keeping clear of a living model I used a model from TJFrog’s collection.  Absolute pleasure to work with!  With a strong back light from another delightful day on Skye without any flash the results were always going to be choosing between a blown out back ground. or a silhouette.

I often use camera mounted fill in flash when I do get my speedlite out of the camera bag.  However as the weeds through the shrubs testify I either need to tidy the garden or swallow the bullet and start playing with high speed synchronisation!

Quite pleased with my first effort.  The Isle of Eigg can just be made out in the back ground.  Shooting wide open at 2.8 with a 1/4000th shutter speed has blended the weeds and the shrubs into a better background and the highlights not totally blown.

The Second Step

The flash unit was on the camera so next is to experiment with off camera flash and then perhaps maybe introduce a real person before looking to add action scenes.  But there is no rush – one step at a time!

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