I seem to be attracted to water and strobe. I photograph a lot of water sports, so I am always looking for a different way to shoot familiar subjects. I was in the Tetons recently and had a chance to produce some ‘glowing sea kayak’ images. Here is how it works.
For this image I placed 4 Nikon SB900s in plastic ziploc bags and attached universal Elinchrom Skyport radio slaves to the flashes. I use hotshoe cords from Flash Zebra to attach the speedlights to the transmitters. The flashes were set at 1/4 power in manual mode, zoomed out to 14mm with the wide angle adapter. I put a flash in each hatch and two in the cockpit with the paddler. The paddler left her spray skirt off so the flash in front of her would spill onto her face.
I set up a tripod on the lake shore, tested the flashes (hoping no one got a shock!) and waited for twilight. I had the paddler be very still since the shutter speed was set to 13 seconds for this shot.
To enhance the blue and still keep the warm skin tones on the model I combined two images in CS4 created from one raw image. The first shot had the white balance set at 3200 to get the blue skies, the second image had the white balance set to 5500 to get warm skin tones.
Anytime you use flash around water you have to be careful. I’m planning on using my 1100 watt Elinchrom Rangers for a similar shot, but can’t find any models to volunteer at the moment.
Tech: Nikon D300s, 14-24mm lens, 13 seconds at F13, ISO200. Four SB 900s used with Elinchrom Skyport universal transmitters, attached with Flash Zebra cords.