On November 14, 2018, my wife mentioned that our neighbors were interested in me taking some family photos that they could use for their Christmas cards. The Fall colors were quickly fading, and the upcoming weekend weather was uncertain, but this would be worth a try.
The plan was to take these shots down at the creek that runs behind the houses on our street. So, I used the Sun Surveyor iPad app the night before to figure out when the sun would be in the best position relative to backlight my subjects if I posed them on one of the wooden bridges that cross the creek. My scheme was to use the sun to back-light the best remaining patch of leaves to serve as a background, and also as a hair light, and then use a speedlight to light the faces of my subjects.
So that morning I went down to the creek to figure out where I would need to position both myself (the camera) and the speedlight. I figured the best place to shoot from would be from a short ladder standing in the creek bed. If figured that since I had a lot of variables to deal with, some of which would change from shot to shot, I would need to be flexible with the speedlight. So, I asked Patty to be my light stand, and I would trigger the flash wirelessly. I mounted the SB-5000 to an Impact QuickStik Telescopic Handle using the plastic stand that comes with the SB-5000. Then I installed a MagMod MagGrip on the speedlight to attach light modifiers. The modifier I chose was the MagBeam with the standard bezel. This would allow the light to stand off some distance and still put light on my subjects. I set the MagBeam to one setting from fully extended. This would make the positioning of the speedlight less sensitive than if the MagBeam was fully deployed.
I set the flash control mode to TTL, so that the camera would use a pre-flash to determine the flash power that would provide good exposure.
When I photographed a family with two young and active kids the weekend before, I knew that my opportunities for posing them would be few. But the kids in the family I would be shooting this weekend would