I recently brought out my trusty SB-800 speedlight but could not get it to work. To be honest it has been sitting in my camera bag for a while unfortunately so with the batteries in, a definitive no-no when it comes to camera gear – always remove batteries when you put the stuff away for more than a day or two.
So I replaced the old dead batteries and found one connector that had corroded a little. Not good, but with some rubbing alcohol and patience it cleaned up nicely and I got a good electrical connection. Unfortunately that did not help much the flash refused to start anyway.
So I started looking around, not noticing anything in particular and I was prepared to ask Nikon for an RMA when I did a quick google on the problem. Turns out that several people have had problems with SB-800 and SB-600 when they have been sitting collecting dust for a while and then they don’t want to start up.
The solution was simple. Hold down the power on button while twisting the top back and forth as well as shaking the whole thing. I could not believe it, it started right up and now it is working fine.
I have no idea what was going on there but the twisting-shaking motion definitely brought it back to life.
One of the more difficult things to light are glassware and bottles containing liquids. I experimented quite some time before I got something that was reasonable here. I am using a cheap light tent to get an even spread of the lights here and it still took some doing.
I am using two tungsten lights of 50 W each and my SB-600 flash aimed at the background. Camera WB is set for tungsten so the flash becomes very blu-ish in color which was the idea, this masks the creases and wrinkles in the white backdrop for some reason. Fortsätt läsa Glass Bottle : Tullamore Dew→
I shot this recently using SB-600 and silver umbrella on stand to the right of Jeanette. The main light is therefore the flash and the fill is natural light coming from the window she is looking out. It was a great test of my umbrella and the shot turned out very much like I wanted it to on the first try.
It is easy to start wanting more gadgets but in reality you do not need so many different things in order to get going with proper lighting. And the key is to keep experimenting because that is how you learn what happens and how you can go at it.
I was surprised how well the texture and bit of shadow came out of the white walls that is the background for this shot.
I want to redo this again but this time use the flash as a fill rather than the main light, getting the main light from the window, perhaps in the evening when the light temperature is a little lower and the light is more redshifted than in the broad daylight.
The background here is just the white wall behind Jeanette and I think it turned out great even though the lens gave a sligt vignetting here.