View Full Version : Karate Poster in the Making

04-02-2012, 09:12 PM
I debated putting these up only because I know it's far from the best I could have done but then I figured some tips might help for the re-shoot when I can be more focused.

The back story for those who might be interested: This past weekend I spent about 12 hours over three days doing karate at one of our semi-annual karate clinics. At the end of the third day I stopped in Victoria Park in Truro to get some karate poses for a possible poster I want to create for our club.

However, after three days of heavy exertion on the dojo floor I was really tired and not completely into it so I don't think I did a very good job. The space was tight, I used my kit lens to get the wider angle which gave me the worst quality. I forget, sometimes, how crappy that lens is until I do some shots like this. Plus I didn't have a coherent plan so it was just off the top of my head.

Anyway, that's my long winded for story. Now for the pics. Please advise...

1/400, f5.6, ISO 200
33" white translucent umbrella with full flash to subject left to fill in the shadows on her face.

1/500, f5.6, ISO 200
The umbrella and flash was held by my friend and I think my arm is in the way so the shadow was a little heavier. I dodged in post a bit.

04-02-2012, 11:06 PM
wonder what would happen if you used a reflector insted of the strobe.

04-03-2012, 08:30 AM
wonder what would happen if you used a reflector insted of the strobe.

I suspect a much better result than playing with the flash in these conditions. I actually had one in the car I could have used. Thanks for the suggestion.

04-03-2012, 10:19 AM
How did you get your remote flashes to sync at those shutter speeds?

04-03-2012, 10:32 AM
How did you get your remote flashes to sync at those shutter speeds?

D'oh! I don't think the flash did much in these shots and was probably the wrong tool... did I mention I was tired from karate all weekend :headslap:

I suspect the flash had very little impact on the image and, in fact, now that you mention it, aren't in sync. The part that did work brightened up her face but the part that was not had no effect an so her uniform which is why the bottom half is still kind of dark. Changing the shutter on second shot had the effect of moving the lit "slice" which is why my arm is not lit up. D'oh! Good thing I'm planning a re-shoot.

04-03-2012, 10:45 AM
For me, the lighting and placement of models in that light was far from ideal.

To me it looks like your flashes are competing with the sun here and losing the battle.

I would reshoot this in shade. Do a test shot without flash to get nice even light. Then add flash (or even a reflector) to highlight the subject - That's what i would likely do in this case.

04-03-2012, 11:05 AM
Can you do a reshoot or are these the images you wish to work with?

04-03-2012, 12:11 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, Marko. My first time doing a location shoot with a flash outdoors. I'll do better next time as I'll be more focused.

I'm totally doing a re-shoot, kat. Maybe a different location though.

04-03-2012, 12:39 PM
I like the location. I think the water and nature does well with karate. A balance thing (lol..corny I know). I would personally wait for a better light (overcast for me) if you are going to shoot outdoors. I could be wrong with that but for me it just makes things that little bit easier. No harsh shadows.

I want to be able to see the student and the background setting. For me, the shadows are just to harsh.

Reflector is my way to go. I don't have a flash sufficient to use in long distances (not too sure how far away you were from your model) but that may be a reason it wasn't effective in the first shots.

I'd start a photo hunt online for those karate images that appeal to you and start a collection. I'm still developing my posing skills and I usually have a bunch printed and details I need written beside them so I can just go from shot to shot without wasting time thinking. I'm sure that that all comes more and more as you do it.

Look forward to seeing what you come up with!


04-03-2012, 12:53 PM
Thanks for the tips, kat. Maybe there's a use for Pinterest after all ;)

It might take a little while. I don't think I'll go back to the same location but I definitely want a nature shot. The big problem with that location was that I had about 5 feet between the subject and a wall so I had to go wide with my kit lens... I'd rather back up some more and use my 50mm prime next time.

04-03-2012, 12:59 PM
Then time to scout out places! First and foremost you want to be comfy with where you are and how you can shoot. Unless you have a nice variety of lenses that will accommodate you..nothing I have.

The one think I wish I could take in the future is courses on flash use. I too would of had a hard time with using it and in those conditions. But I guess practice does help ;)

04-04-2012, 03:28 AM
Good to see you getting out shooting some cool stuff, I really need to dust off my camera and start a new project.

Best things to do if you want to use remote flashes that can't high speed sync:

1. Wait for a dull cloudy day.
2. Find the shade.
3. Shoot at dusk or dawn. (With the sun back lighting)
4. Use a ND filter.
5. Practice, Practice & Practice

04-04-2012, 07:20 AM
Thanks, kat and Richard.

Yes, Sunday really came down to practice... hadn't really done that kind of shooting before so it was a good first step. At least it's a personal project that has no deadline on it and not someone's wedding, not that I'm interested in doing someone's wedding, but you know what I mean :)

05-23-2012, 12:13 AM
A reflector could have done more to illuminate the subject than strobe and flash specially when the natural light is strong.

05-24-2012, 09:56 PM
Thanks, Bucket. Yes, lesson learned... it was pretty dense of me since I had a 43" reflector in the car that I didn't use! :( I just had it in my head that I was using flash that day.