Today I’ll be writing about some experimentation that I performed. For a while now, I’ve been wanting to experiment with the leaf shutter on my Fuji X100S. You’re probably asking what a leaf shutter is. A leaf shutter is different from the shutter on a DSLR. In a DSLR, the focal plane shutter that it used opens and closes vertically, like blinds covering a window. On a leaf shutter, the camera’s shutter opens and closes much like aperture blades. Cameras like the X100S use the leaf shutter, and these kinds of shutters can typically sync with a flash at a much higher speed. In non technical speech, the camera is able to shoot at higher shutter speeds when using strobes.
One of the main reasons that this excited me is that I really wanted to shoot fast moving people outdoors with my Einstein strobes. While these photos aren’t perfect, they were super fun to shoot, and I really enjoy shooting sports and fitness subjects who are moving quickly. A little back story on lighting with strobes. Aperture controls the exposure on the subject, and shutter speed controls the ambient exposure (any light not caused by the strobe).
For the light in this photo, I chose to use my studio strobe (Paul C Buff Einstein 640WS). I modified it with the PCB 22″ beauty dish with the diffusion fabric on it. The light was placed about 8 1/2 feet high, at about a 45 degree angle from the subject. For this first test photo, I shot at f11, 1/1000 second, 200 iso. I noticed that it was a little dark for my liking, but not far off.
I dropped the shutter speed for the next one, because my subject was standing still, in order to check the overall exposure of the scene. The overall exposure was pretty much what I was looking for here.
In this running photo, I adjusted the exposure to match the last exposure, but made some changes to it. I opened up the aperture one stop, to get a little more lighting on my subject, and doubled the shutter speed so I could stop her mid run, and remain very sharp. I thought it turned out well. For this last photo I kept the settings the same.
Strobes outdoors are a real science, as I’m learning. While sometimes it can be hard to learn, I feel that they give photos a very professional look that a photographer cannot otherwise achieve. Also, when it comes to shooting mid day, often thought of as the absolute worst time to shoot photos, you can really shine. If you’re shooting only natural light, shadows on the face will be terrible, and it is impossible to light your subject well, and darken the sky a little bit. The studio strobes allow me to do this outdoors. With strobes, you can make any time in the day be an ideal shooting time, and you’re much more in control of your environment.
Make sure to check out these studio strobes and modifiers at the Paul C Buff website.
Check out the Fuji X100S at B&H.