Thursday, October 29, 2009

what is wrong with my Nikon?

Awww, exposure is looking okay in Photo 1
Photo 2. Why did the background just go dark?
Photo 3. What? Background and subject just went black!

Speed light mystery problem:

I have never had problems with gear until recently. There is nothing worse than your client thinking you are clueless when you are in the middle of a photo shoot. The last thing you want is your client to lose faith in you. I have had all sort of technical problems in the last two weeks. I was shooting a client and both speed lights decided they did not want to work. We literally had to stop shooting because the lights would not fire. I trouble-shooted everything...batteries, cables, connections, radio triggers...they still would not fire. The next day I plugged them in and they worked! I even bought new batteries and new cables; I had the same problem when I went to Santa Fe de Antioquia for a shoot last weekend. A famous photographer in the area told me, "there are physical problems and there are meta-physical problems; I think you are experiencing the meta-physical." So, today I borrowed three speed lights as back-up because I have an important shoot next week.

Another strange problem! See photos above.

Yesterday I was taking head shots for a girl interested in getting into modeling. The lights are firing and everything seems to be working okay. But every photograph has a different shutter speed. What is wrong with my camera? I know I am not changing the shutter speed dial. How can I go from 1/250 to 1/125 to 1/60 shutter speed? What? I was ready to send me camera to Nikon. My friend looked at the camera while we drinking beers later that night. "You dumb ass! You have the bracketing mode on!"

I was able to figure out the problem with different exposures. But, the speed lights..both of them working sometimes. I can figure this out. I switching speed lights, cables and possibly radio triggers. (by the way I tried out four different sets of cyber sync triggers. I have never had a problem. It does not make any sense that they would stop working now)

That being said. Yesterday I was interviewed by Victor Cajiao for his famous podcast: We went over in-depth my use of speed lights.

note: I later discovered that the PC port does not work that well on the Nikon SB's. Solution: gaffer tape the connection to make sure it's good and tight


Anonymous said... are they working or have they stopped working completely...?

fotografia said...

everything is working fine now. I realized that the PC input to the Nikon SB's is not very secure. Solution: gaffer tape the connection.

Graham r said...

i know you have it figured out, but just as an fyi figure 3 is the shutter blacking out her face because of your bracketing.

One trick i love to use is to throw the camera upside down and let the curtain shadow fall along the lower portion of the frame as it will draw the eye up to the (in my case) brides face.

(awesome blog/website/videos btw.)