Monday, November 10, 2008

Diffusers part II - plus tips to reduce glare on glasses

My wife took this image of me using an 85mm f1.8 on the Nikon D200. I set the camera up for her using aperture priority - f/3.5 @ ISO 400 and the SB800 on the camera. The Gary Fong Lightsphere II was attached to the SB800 to reduce glare on my glasses. The backdrop was our backyard. The flash illuminated me but 'blacked out' the backyard to create an illusion of a black background.
Have you ever attempted to take a picture of someone with glasses while using a flash and all you get is a glare on the glasses? It is very frustrating to take a picture of someone with glasses and all you get is a glare that looks like a distress flare from a sinking ship.
Tip one: Stand 'higher' than your subject. In this case I was on one knee [as a subject is in front of royalty :-) ] before my wife which helped reduce the glare and reduce the look of a double chin.
Tip two: The Gary Fong Lightsphere II helped too! Both techniques combined eliminated any glare off my glasses. As I mentioned in yesterday's post; I highly recommend the Lightsphere II.

With the holidays approaching fast [can you believe Thanksgiving is only weeks away] there is no doubt you will have many opportunities to take pictures of friends and family who wear glasses. Keep these tips in mind. If you cannot get higher than your subject [they are the next NBA star standing in at 7'10" and you are 5'5" then you might have a problem. However, for most situations, position yourself higher than your subject if you need to use a flash. Even if you have to stand on a stool or chair. [Hopefully, the chair isn't a swivel chair and all you do is spin around.] Standing on a stool or chair [be careful not to hit your head on the ceiling].

Another tip is to not use a flash if you have enough light. Even if you have to bump up the ISO to 800 [unless you have small point and shoot then the noise might be too much] and reduce your shutter speed to 1/60 or even 1/30 of a second. If you have to reduce your shutter speed to 1/30 second then instruct your subject to remain as still as possible. It is critical that you do not move either.

Have fun and get out and capture the beauty of life!

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