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“Your Favorite Thing” Well there’s a wide open theme for you. My favorite thing? Well there’s thousands of them, it all depends on the time of day, year,week, my mood, my health, my schedule, location etc… Really how do you shoot your favorite thing when my favorite thing right now will not be my favorite thing in 10 minutes?

Ok I’m not schizo or anything I’m just saying that trying to nail down one thing was a tough call for me this week, as from my previous rant you see I have many favorite things, so I looked at what might be obvious and since this is a challenge I wanted to avoid those and go for something I haven’t tried before, so after thinking about it and listing some ideas I thought of an off camera flash with a macro subject that’s moving. That’s challenging! One of my many favorite things happens to fit that bill pretty well.

Milk and Cookies - Yum!!

I set up in the kitchen as it faces south so I could get good sunlight (not much though as it’s been cloudy/stormy all week) I placed a glass of milk near the edge of the table on top of a white poster board to give a clean base and a plate of cookies in the background. My first shots were using the 18-200mm set around 100mm and I composed the scene as straight on level with the cups rim, I had my son dunk a couple cookies as I shot away. I was using one off camera bare YN560 flash at 1/4 power about 12 inches away from the glass triggered with my Cactus V5 triggers.

The shots are OK, but the composition wasn’t! So I switched to my 50mm f/1.8 and used a 12mm extension tube so I could get in close, I recomposed to the right and a little higher and shot down into the milk so I could hopefully get some droplet action. I can see why this type of shooting becomes addicting to so many people but also why you have to take so many shots, I have a ton of early and late shots as far as capturing the “action” goes. By now my son was full of eating the “subjects” – They get soggy after repeated dunking’s – so I took over since I was now close enough that I could dunk the cookies myself while triggering the camera with my shutter release cable. I ended up moving the flash over to camera right and zoomed it to about 75mm at 1/4 power to stop the droplets.

The challenge of this simple looking shot was that I had to arrange background elements to ensure a clean image, I had to use flash and I shot in manual adjusting the aperture and flash to get the proper exposure while freezing the droplets and staying within my flash’s sync speed. Not to mention I had to keep the camera and lens dry (not getting too excited while dunking was the key) and eating all those cookies was tough as well!

I had a few other shots in mind as backups, but I’ve only processed one and I’ll share that here for the “Aahh sweet” factor 😉

I love holding my wife's hand!

She hates the look of her fingers, and resisted mightily, but just as I talked her into marrying me over 16 years ago I also talked her into posing for the shot! One of my truly favorite things is holding her hand, it has a great comforting feel to it and when we do all is right in the world.

We shot that resting on my 5 in 1 reflectors silver side, natural light with a white board reflector to fill in the shadows, and my son tripped the shutter. I converted it using Silver Effex Pro 2.

This weeks up coming challenge is “Self Portrait” – Oh No!!

Happy Shooting!