Sharon’s love of photography started while documenting her family and friends lives. She made the leap to a DSLR shortly after her grandchildren were born when her current equipment couldn’t keep up with their fast movements. The DSLR gave her the ability to capture those candid shots, often in low light, where fast movements and expressions of joy and fun abound. Sharon believes that learning never stops and her work continues to evolve through her commitment to multiple learning outlets.
Sharon says, “A lot of people are afraid of flash…but sometimes, the light is just not there.” It is in those cases that you need a flash. She admits that she is not an expert, but has learned a lot on her own through both books and YouTube videos, as well as from other Photography club members. She plays it safe, using what she has found to work after much experimentation. (She even bought a mannequin head to practice on after her husband got tired of being her subject!) Sharon says you just have to practice!
Sharon advises when out shooting with a flash, especially if shooting a wedding or other special event where you won’t have the chance for a “re-do,” one of the most important things to do is to make sure that you have extra batteries, and that they work! Sharon uses a battery pack. It is also important, especially when shooting events where people are moving around, to have a flash that recycles quickly. For portraits, to get the right lighting you must often have multiple flashes, and that is where off-camera flash comes in. She has several flashes she uses but recommends Yongnuo Speedlite which are good flashes but are a fraction of the cost of either a Nikon or Canon flash. For portraits, she also uses diffuser umbrellas, and a remote control called a Wireless Cactus Flash Trigger.
Sharon shoots her flash images in manual mode because you have more control. When using fill-flash, you can either increase or decrease the flash exposure depending on the available light. She recommends bouncing the flash off of the wall behind or beside you as opposed to the ceiling which tends to give the subject “raccoon eyes.”
Sharon is a Canon user and recommends the book “Speedliters Handbook” by Syl Avena. She says “If I can do it, anybody can do it!” After some practice, it all comes together!
The April photo assignment was “Fairytale Moments”. The winners were: 1st place – Tammi Gorsak, 2nd place – Melissa Chin, 3rd place – Brenda Schillaci. For May the photo assignment is “Can You See Me?” A slide show entitled “April and Shane’s Wedding” was presented by Sharon Shifflett.