Monday, July 23, 2012

Lesson Number 1

Know your equipment!

I can honestly say I haven't read the entire four hundred page manual for my camera and I can also say I probably should have. I don't know how many things I learned while Q was here but it has definitely opened up several more opportunities for taking photos. Q, you should give seminars to photographers wanting to learn their craft. You would be very good at it!

These two photos were taken using the SB-900 flash as a remote flash. I knew this was possible but for some reason I was thinking I had to buy another piece of hardware for my camera to make it work. Turns out I was wrong. Q showed me how to set up the camera and flash so that the D700 will work as a commander to other remote flashes.

With the temps in the 100's everyday the hummingbirds have only been coming into the feeder in the early mornings or late evenings. Or maybe that's the only time I'm outside to see them, I'm not sure. LOL At those times there isn't enough light to get a fast shutter speed shot of the birds so I took what Q had shown me and put it to use.

I took these two photos from about ten feet away however I had the SB-900 flash set just to the side of the feeder about two feet away. I used a diffuser on the flash to cut down some of the harsh light and manually focused the lens. I still didn't get the freeze frame shot I wanted but that was just because I didn't set the shutter speed correctly. I'm still learning.


  1. Taking humming bird photos and getting a good capture is very challenging, you've done a very nice job of capturing these two! I think your shutter speed would have to be quite fast to actually get a freeze frame shot of a humming bird.

  2. beautiful! love the shimmer you caught on them!

  3. Normally, to freeze the hummingbirds winds your shutter speed would be around 1/8000sec. I think your flash sync speed for these shots are around 1/250sec. However, to increase your flash sync speed, you need to change the flash sync speed in your D700 to "1/250sec (Auto FP)". The SB900 will fire to the maximum shutter speed. The Auto FP mode is on for TTL, TTL BL, Auto, and Manual. The one down point to FP is the flash power is less because what the flash is doing is putting out strobes of light in order to expose the sensor while the curtains are crossing it. That's why Quantum Turbo Batteries are suitable for this situation. I know, you have to spend more money.
    However, you could shoot in higher shutter speed by using homemade reflectors from aluminum foils covered on a 2' X 2' cardboard. Once, you have couple of these reflectors, just positioned to reflected the sunlight.
    Your free photography lessons is expired. LOL.

    1. Will dinner and a mai tai on Kuau'i renew my subscription to the lessons? LOL

      Thanks (again) for the info Q! Quantum Turbo batteries huh? I'll have to look into that.

  4. Hummers in action! You sure picked up alot from Q while he was visiting!

  5. These are wonderful...
    Could Q do another workshop in the Land of OZ???...I make a mean batch of brownies and would pitch in on the liquid refreshments!! Just sayin LOL

    1. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I love brownies, and I think it's a fair trade.


Thank you for taking the time to look at our blog, we appreciate your comments!