Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday's Photolife--to flash or not to flash

Wednesday's answer and winner: Erinn guessed a beach in South Carolina. That's as close as it got without being wrong. So congrats to Erinn. The full answer is Hilton Head Island, SC. The greens in the hint was for all the golf courses. The 2nd picture highlights the tidal wetland, and the 3rd picture is for the spanish moss that you see everywhere there. Savannah, GA, from Samantha Bennett, was actually a very good guess. It's not very far from Hilton Head and has some significant similarities.

While I was taking pictures there one night, I had a bit of a dilemma. It was almost dark and the building with the indoor pool was beautifully reflected in the small pond encircling it. To flash or not to flash? I tried both. You may be surprised to find out that the first picture is the one
with flash
and the 2nd is without. The light wasn't able to reach the building before the shutter closed so the only thing that caught the light from the flash is the grass. For the second I leaned against a pole to hold the camera steady. With a flash on you lose most of the natural light in your shot.

Sometimes that's what you really want to show. Here's an example from Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
With the flash you see all the details of the railing and the golds and grays of the stage, but there's no way that you would know that
the archway was lit up with blue light. Without the flash you see that but can't make out the same level of details. As a photographer you have to decide which one you prefer or take both (which is what I usually do) and use both later for something like this. You know I'm always thinking of you.
With--you show the bellhop directing people to the elevator in the Tower of Terror,
or--without--you create a ghostly vision of the same scene.
With--you show the exact material of the ball at Epcot,
or--without--you emphasize how the ball glows.
With--you show how the path at Epcot is made with some paving stones that seem to sparkle,
or--without--you show how they light the path in the darkness.

When we take pictures, we are always faced with this choice (whether we realize it or not).

Application to writing? When setting a scene, we should decide what we want our description to do: give specific details of the surroundings or set a mood.


Susan R. Mills said...

Your ability to tie photography in with writing is amazing. I'm also surprised at what a difference a flash makes. I think dark and I think a flash is necessary. I guess not. Sometimes, without is better.

Kasie West said...

I love it. I was really surprised about that first picture. The one without flash is gorgeous.

I just got back from disneyland myself. Loved the tower of terror. :)

Jenn Johansson said...

That is very cool. You make me wish I was more talented at photography. *sigh* ;)

lotusgirl said...

Susan, Thanks. I'm glad they work for you.

Kasie, My youngest and I are huge fans of ToT.

Jenn, You can do it. You just have to play around with your camera some.

Patti Lacy said...

I LOVE your blend of Humanities genres here and have MISSED IT while in the writing cave.

chose a good time to peek out!

Blessings, dear one.

Jude said...

Savannah, GA...different dimension...I was close, right?!

The mansion in the first pic is beyond gorgeous. One day, eh? After we write/represent a #1 international bestseller.

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

This post was so helpful!! I never know whether to use a flash or not. Now I think I could make an educated guess. :)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I love this! I love flash and it's hard to get it just right. I love that you show how it's a choice and one isn't better than the other. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Love your writing/photography comparisons. And of course I love your photos. :)