The last nightsurfing photo session was lots of fun and yielded some great, unique shots. The lessons learned were:
- Glowsticks aren't bright enough for reliable focusing.
- Coordinating a camera and flash is difficult in the darkness and tumult.
- Surfing in the dark is hard.
- Getting around while holding a camera is not easy.
- Film cameras are limited (36 shots, no instant image review, no video).
I'm stoked about the next session where all of these issues can be resolved. First, the remote flash will be the SB-800. I've ordered a waterproof hard case for it. This will allow and more power
, and - most importantly - slave capability
. The flasher will also have a small flashlight for illuminating the subject to aid in aiming and focusing.
And since the ad hoc ziploc housing worked so well for my cheapo flash, why not let the flasher roll John Woo style?
We'll have Connie
on shore with her sweet 300mm tele
. We've already tested its ability to trigger the slave flash from a distance. She'll have the option of triggering the slave at the beginning or end of an exposure from on-camera, and/or anytime during the exposure using a handheld flash. Finally, she'll be able to choose between a still shot and panning.
I've picked up a ten megapixel point and shoot with a hard underwater housing
. This will take the N80's place as it is digital, has a usable flash, and is much easier to manage in the water.
will even come down with a D200 and bell housing. Hah! Not bloody likely.
We'll go out near a full moon
(April 2) and the subjects will be given headlamps. This will aid their vision and provide the cameras a clear signal for focus.
Potential hazards are:
- The headlamps may simply look lame on the surfers' heads. Alternative placement (chest, arm, board) will work for focusing, but be less effective for their vision.
- Communication. Using digital allows us to make adjustments on the fly. Relaying messages between Connie on shore, myself inside, the flasher at the break, and the surfers outside could be challenging.
- Tide. A lower tide will mean Connie can get much closer to the action.
- Synchronizing the elements. Moon, tide, and wave height. Luck.