The iPad and photography: Tool, toy or prop?

I had offered to loan/help another photographer with a project involving the iPad. Of course in order to help him incorporate the iPad into his assignment I had to figure out how to make it work – so off to the studio to do some testing.

I have found the iPad to be much more useful than I had expected in my photography work. I use several Photo apps now at most every session.

So, for you is the iPad use in your photography a tool, toy or prop?

Come join the Flickr group and show your stuff: Flicker iPad and Photography Group

Using Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS) in daylight

SB900 using the sun as a hairlight.

I have heard and get asked a lot of questions about Nikon’s CLS’ ability or inability to function in bright daytime conditions. In my experience it really have not been an issue. I pay attention to the speedlight’s position and its sensor location relative to my camera and SU800.

Today’s metering technology is a great asset so I normally let it take the first ‘shot‘ at what it sees in a scene. While I have studio lights and a Vagabond II, there is little I haven’t been able to do with my SBs. The above shot was taken with a single SB900.

It was very sunny in California the day I shot Candice – notice the shadow on the lower left of the umbrella even though the speedlight fired for this behind the scene picture.

In the photograph of Candice above I metered for the shaded portion of her face and let Nikon TTL do the rest.

In the event it does not produce the result I want I adjust the stop (by 1/3 steps) on the speedlight.

Distance is another concern CLS nay-sayers bring up.

In this photograph Jason is holding a 42 inch Wescott umbrella with a SB-800 tucked up in the open ribs point towarded the camera to get the light reflected back to his face.

Behind him is a SB-900 shooting into another 42 inch Wescott umbrella. That c-stand is a good 50 feet away and up the hill about 10-12 feet above Jason’s head.

Line of sight is important – so just pay attention. But I have used the SB8 & 900s behind glass, reflected the signal off of windows, mirrors, cars just about any reflective surface. I have also ‘staged’ the lights to ‘see’ another but not the SU800.

Think of the IR signal like a billiard ball.

I also use the Nikon CLS to fill on cloudy daylight sessions.

While in Phoenix last week I did the entire shoot with these tools:

The result:

Single SB900 camera left - TTL triggered with SU800.

The only time I have trouble with the system is when I position myself on the wrong side of the speedlight’s optical sensor or move in front of the flash. I use a ballhead so I can quickly rotate the speedlight into the correct position.