Vancouver B.C. Pics

Photography wise, Vancouver B.C. ended up being the trip where we practiced a lot of bouncing on camera flash off whatever was available (mostly the ceiling) to get the much needed fill light for the pictures we shot. We got an awesome downtown hotel room thanks to Amy's great find at the brand spank'n new Coast Coal Harbor Hotel near Stanley Park. The hotel is modern, clean and simplistic in both it's interior and exterior design. We got a corner unit facing the bay with both corner walls wrapped in floor to ceiling windows. It had semi white transparent track curtains covering the entire two glass walls essentially giving it a very modern lounge like ambiance, which I totally dig. Because I really liked this room and its offering of a crisp white ceiling, I went a bit crazy practicing the bounce flash technique. Surprisingly, the four Costco Kirkland Signature brand AA batteries in the speed light held up all weekend. I'm impressed.

So here's what I learned from reading and then by doing. On camera flash isn't very flattering. First because the light hits the subject straight on, making it look flat. Secondly, the perceived light source to my subject in this case was very small which is the area of the speed light head the light was emitting out of. As a result, the quality of the light hitting Linda and especially the lamp post and glass were all somewhat harsh. The white drapes didn't look too bad probably because it absorbed and diffused reflected the flash well. Here's a picture of what that looked like.

Now when I bounced it off the wall at a reasonable angle, I essentially changed the small light source to become a much bigger one (the ceiling) causing the light to both become diffused and thus much softer and flattering. This also caused the reflection of the metal lamp post to become more of a diffused instead of specular reflection.

Here's one showing more of the room with bounce flash off the ceiling. The wider angle focal length made this room look much bigger than it is. No wonder why they go wide for room shots in real estate pics!

And finally my favorite pictures taken in the room with bounce flash was of Carl and Amy, who I asked to role play like they were really pissed off at each other while going to bed. It took couple of tries before they could keep a straight face but we got one on the fourth try! I really enjoyed capturing this sequence of them because I think it captured how cute these two are as a couple. Gotta love Carl in bed with his red net book...priceless! He was probably surfing slickdeals like I usually do =)

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