Flash is a rainforest photographer’s best friend, particularly for action photography. We’re often dealing with very low light levels, meaning that shutter speeds, even when using higher ISOs, will be quite slow. And when we have bright sun, the light is usually too harsh to make for pleasing photos. For some subjects, such as hummingbirds, the action is so fast that using flash as the main source of light is our best option for obtaining consistently sharp and well-lit photos. But there’s a caveat — we don’t want our hummingbird photos to look like they’ve been taken with flash.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to place my flashes for my multiple-flash hummingbird setups so that they look like they were taken with natural light. Even though those photos are in effect a little studio setup outside (all the light is from flash; no ambient light enters the picture at all), the goal is to capture images that don’t look like they were taken in a Sears portrait studio (not that there’s anything wrong with Sears portraits for people, mind you!).
So, I’ve decided to post a few images here to see how I’m doing. Check them out, and write a comment with your thoughts as to which you think were taken with natural light and which were taken at a multi-flash setup. If you look carefully, you’ll notice some technical cues as to which is which but my hope is that, in terms of the overall look of the photos, it won’t be too easy to tell the natural light shots from the multiple-flash pictures.
Good luck, and I hope you enjoy the challenge!
As always, thanks for visiting!