Welcome to my Instructional Blog-Workshop at the Ranch for February. This month’s article features more Nikon D5 images and data –plus- Behind the Scenes pictures and detailed explanation of how I arrange my SB-5000 Speedlights on location to make the shot.
My 2016 Workshops Calendar:
But before we jump into this month’s article, just a reminder that my 2016 Workshops Calendar is posted: http://www.daveblackphotography.com/upcoming-workshops/
Workshops I will be teaching at in 2016 include the Summit Series of SPORTS, Nature, Adventure, and Lighting workshops: http://www.photographyatthesummit.com/
My own Dave Black LIGHTPAINTING Workshop held in Colorado Spring and Fall 2016:
Spring: May 19-21, 2016: http://www.daveblackphotography.com/dave-black-lightpainting-workshop-spring-2016/
Fall: October 6-8, 2016: http://www.daveblackphotography.com/dave-black-lightpainting-workshop-fall-2016/
Okay…Let’s dive into some of the NEW features of the Nikon D5 camera. The D5 camera’s offers a larger file size of 20.8 MP, Touch Screen control, improved High ISO up to ISO 102,400 (and beyond), improved AF in extremely dark situations with 153 AF points, 12fps, optional CF or XQD card slots, and the In-Camera Commander ability to operate the NEW SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control.
Image #1 and #2. Autumn Rythmic … NEW Nikon D5, ISO4000, 1/1000 at f6.3, NEW Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 VR zoom lens, WB 3030K, 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control (each has the Nikon CTO orange warming gel), SanDisk Extreme Pro 32G Flash Card.
For image #1, a predawn-fog shoot with an Olympic Rythmic Gymnast, the NEW Nikon D5 with its advancements in super clean High ISO make this image with ISO4000 perfectly clean. And its new AF algorithm and activation mechanism (note: 153 Active AF points-99 are cross sensor-55 points are selectable) made tracking my athlete in this low light situation easier than ever.
I used 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights in 4 Groups (note: there are now 6 Groups available). All 4 Speedlights have the Nikon full CTO orange warming gel to counter balance my chosen WB of a very cool-blue of 3030K. Each Speedlight was easily controlled by the NEW D5 and WR-R10, giving the D5 an in-camera Commander for Radio Control of each SB-5000 Speedlight.
There are also 2 Speedlights about 60 feet off-camera to my left and 1 Speedlight about 20 feet off-camera to my right behind a tree and out of line of sight from my D5 with in-camera Commander. These 3 SB-5000 Speedlights are aimed at the trees in the background.
All SB-5000 Speedlights fired 100% each time throughout each location shoot in Japan.
With the scene manually underexposed by -1.7 to create some “dark forest” mood I began with all 4 Speedlights at FULL Power and made a TEST shot without my subject. I then adjusted the Power Output manually via the D5 in-camera Commander … 1/2 Power Output on the trees and 1/4 Power Output on my subject.
NOTE: bts image #2 by: Soichi Hayashi @soichihayashi D5 and SB-5000
Image #3 and #4. Wake Jumper Twilight … NEW Nikon D5, ISO6400, 1/2000 at f4.5, Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR zoom lens, WB 5000K, 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32G Flash Card.
Illuminating Wake Boarding with Speedlights and High Speed Sync is a blast and creates some amazingly unique images. I used 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control. Each SB-5000 Speedlight has the Nikon full CTO orange warming gel to counter-balance my chosen WB of a very cool-blue of 3030K.
This time I have simply placed all 4 Speedlight on a FourSquare bracket in order to provide 1 source of light that is located Off-Camera to the left side of the image. This Off-Camera “Triangle” lighting configuration between the Camera (me) …the Athlete …and the Speedlights is easily made possible by the NEW Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control range of 100 feet.
I am photographing my athlete from the Towboat, while my 4 SB-5000 Speedlights are in a second boat as illustrated in image #4 … thus, an Off-Camera lighting scenario is achieved. As is my usual for my “Off-Camera Lighting Formula” I have purposely underexposed the scene, … for this image by -2.0 …and then illuminated my subject with the 4 Speedlights.
Adjusting the Power Output of the 4 Speedlights was easy using the in-camera Commander of the D5. The Radio Control was 100% perfect from my D5 camera/boat-to-Speedlight distance of 100 feet. With my athlete in the water waiting for the tow I simply made 3 TEST frames starting at Full Power, then 1/2 Power and finally settling on 1/4 Power Output for each SB-5000 to illuminate my athlete from the difficult near twilight-overcast-rainy-windy conditions.
But I must add that this image would not have been possible without the amazingly clean High ISO (6400) and the improved Auto Focus ability of the NEW Nikon D5.
The NEW D5 reaches new heights with advancements in clean files at extreme settings of ISO 5,000 to 20,000 … but even ISO 102,400 is very usable. Couple these High ISO settings with the D5 camera’s advancement in sensor technology …153 Active AF points with 99 cross sensor and 55 points are selectable. This provides the photographer with the ability to Auto Focus and Track their action subject in extremely dark situations.
For this Wake Boarding image keep in mind that I am bouncing around in a Towboat at 35mph on very rough water, …and all the AF modes of the D5 easily locked onto my erratic-fast moving subject. I settled on the 3D tracking for this image as both my boat movement and my athlete’s movement were challenging.
NOTE: bts image #4 by: Soichi Hayashi @soichihayashi D5 and SB-5000
Image #5 and #6. Dye Master Artist Sachio Yoshioka “Old School” … NEW Nikon D5, ISO800, 1/200 at f10, Nikon 14-24mm lens, WB 6250K, 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32G Flash Card.
My multiple location shooting experience in Japan with the NEW Nikon D5 and SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control involved much more than just High Speed Sync sports action.
A day long documentary shoot with Japan’s national treasure, Sachio Yoshioka took us to Kyoto, Japan. It was a great privilege for me to photograph Sachio for the Nikon international campaign.
Sachio Yoshioka is a legendary Dye Master who continues the old world method of dying silks, clothing, Kimonos, etc. His dye methods are an ancient art process which are written in the 4th Century manuscripts that he reads each day in his home study.
The 20.8mp file of the NEW Nikon D5 camera captures all the textures within this scene with beautiful clarity and edge detail. The Nikon 14-24mm lens (at 14mm) takes in the small study room without any distortion.
Image #5 involved using 4 SB-5000 Speedlights and 4 Groups. As bts image #6 illustrates, I used 3 SB-5000 Speedlights to illuminate the Dye Master’s study and 1 SB-5000 in the work studio, which is a separate room seen in the background.
For this documentary/lifestyle image I wanted the light to be natural as if sunshine was filtering in through a large window. It is in fact overcast skies outside.
By simply bouncing light from 2 SB-5000 Speedlights off the ceiling and also Spotlighting the Dye Master with 1 Speedlight that has a grid, the Dye Master’s study is “gently” illuminated for a natural look.
I used a 4th SB-5000 Speedlight to illuminate the work studio. It is about 30 feet away from my shooting location and placed around the corner of the work studio doorway. Thanks to the WR-10R the D5 camera becomes the in-camera Speedlight Commander. This system easily allowed me to adjust the Power Output of each SB-5000 independently using 4 Groups (note: there are now 6 Groups available with the NEW SB-5000 Speedlights).
I hope that you have enjoyed and learned how easy lighting can be using the NEW Nikon D5 and NEW SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control.
A BIG THANKS to everyone at the K&L agency in Tokyo (Gen, Tsutomu, Takahiro, Shusuk) for making these photo shoots possible. And to Soichi Hayashi @soichihayashi for making bts images of me working with the NEW Nikon D5 and SB-5000 Speedlights. Soichi’s bts images were made with the New D5 and SB-5000 Speedlights… same camera data applies for each image.
There’s always more to learn on WATR and on Instagram @daveblackphoto. Until next time…Adios. Dave