Christmas round one is in the can. Jenny and I made our way over to her mother’s house with the twins for some dinner and some nice family time. The twins had a blast opening their first Christmas presents ever. Well, they had some help getting them unwrapped, but they did a lot of smiling on their own!
When I unpacked the camera, expecting to take some quick shots with on camera ETTL + bounce card at 45 degrees (no, I could not have planned to be more lazy!) My wife then informed me she wanted some nicer shots in front of the Christmas tree. I am slowly dreading shots in front of a Christmas tree. My hands are steady, but not that steady. Shutter drag to expose the lights on the tree is taking it’s toll!
I had left my radio triggers at home so I was somewhat dismayed at finding out she wanted something halfway presentable. I was just there for “the moment” and family goodness. Inspiration struck as I realized my LP-160′s make excellent optical slave flashes and happened to be stashed in my bag. How smart was that? (It wasn’t. It was just dumb luck they were in there.)
Why the expensive 580exII doesn’t have optical slave functionality will always mystify me. Anyhow, using the 580 as an on camera trigger into the ceiling, I strategically placed LP-160 flashes around the room also more or less aimed at the ceiling. There is still some direction to the light, but I admit it is very diffused and soft.
The result was an entire room of adequate lighting. No small feat as I’ve yet to see a living room with sufficient lighting. If I ever build a dream house, it is going to have an artificial sun in main gathering areas! Or wireless flash tubes embedded in the ceiling LOL!
I was able to roam around and collect snapshots for the family archives that were pretty good considering I shot on manual and never bothered to change my exposure throughout the night even as I moved around the room. Not very happy with the white balance, but I’m tired and don’t feel like getting that perfect. It’s just a family gathering for pete’s sake!