I wanted to call this post “When your fill-flash fails you” until I realized how boring and non-descriptive that title would be for this image, however true it may be. But let me explain why I originally wanted to use that name. I took this photo of my dad and my baby boy walking hand in hand at the Assateague Beach yesterday. I meant to simply capture this moment that a grandfather and grandson shared and not create anything artistic out of it. I wanted to test the power of Canon 550 ex flash and use it as a fill to pull more detail out of the sky while keeping my dad and baby still reasonably light.That was my intention, but it turns out that my camera does not allow me to use a shutter speed higher than 200 when the flash is connected on the hotshoe. I had set the shutter speed at about 2000 at the time and as soon as I connected the flash, my camera pulled it down to 200 even though I used the flash in manual mode. Now there ought to be a way to override it somewhere, but I did not have time to figure it out then and there.
Anyway, my fill flash failed me, but the resulting image, vastly over-exposed, is still one of my favorites from that day. You can’t really see the ocean, and you can barely make out that they are walking on sand, but that may be exactly why I like the image. Without any distractions the eyes are drawn right to them – the beauty of the little and the big, together, going toward their own little secret adventure.
(50mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/200 sec + on-camera speedlight)