Jumpin’ in Jordan

Photo © Bob Krist

Cold, fog, and rain greeted us in Jordan, but the atmosphere was warm and welcoming at dinner the first evening. These musicians did a lot to warm up the reception when they broke into a traditional dance, complete with flourishing cutlasses (I’m glad they liked us).

The next day, though, was clear and sunny and most of our group headed off to the magnificent Petra. Having seen it before, I opted to go out to Wadi Rum.

Wadi Rum looks for all the world like the Cathedral Valley in Capitol Reef National Park in southern Utah…..except that it has camels and bedouins. like these guys below, serenading us with music and song in their tent while we took a break from the midday sun.

Photo © Bob Krist
Photo © Bob Krist

For a couple more pix and a quick discussion of the flash technique for the top picture, hit the jump.

When you have subjects that are varying distances from your flash, like the four dancers, you have to try to feather the flash away from the foreground people and more towards the background.

This makes up for the extreme falloff of the flash and evens up the light. In this case, I had the SB 800 off camera and feathered toward the furthest guy.

Using the popup flash on the D90 as controller only, with no visible light output, I panned back and forth with the dancers and fired away.

The final exposure was something like 1/20th @f/ 4, ISO 800, rear curtain sync.

It took quite a few exposures to get one that had the guys lined up so nicely.

At left is the Treasury in Petra (from a previous trip) made famous by Spielberg in one of the Indiana Jones flicks.

It’s one of those times you wish you carried a 24mm PC lens.

Finally, below, is a camel on the road to Wadi Rum who found a very original way to scratch his neck.

Camels may be mean and ornery, but nobody said they were stupid!  Onto India from here. I’ll keep you posted.

Photo © Bob Krist

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Hi Bob,

    I’m a total Noob when it comes to flash. What do you mean by “feathered”?



    1. Hi Mark: Due to my extremely limited internet access on this trip, I’m not going to be able to do a lot of Q&A followup on posts. Briefly, feathering a flash means aiming away from your subject so only a portion of it hits directly.

      For more detail, I can suggest Googling “feathering a flash”, or going to David Hobby’s excellent Strobist blog and digging into his archives with those keywords…there’s a whole lifetime of flash experience and how-to there. BK

  2. Bob,

    Thanks for your explanation on the feathering flash – rear curtain technique. I was going to ask if you used an off camera cable or the commander mode of your D90. Great image!

  3. Ohhhh, your are soo Lucky to be there, best wishes and good shootin.

  4. Hi Bob,
    I marvel at how you always find just that right angle and perspective AND at just the right moment in time.

    I had mentioned before that I’ve read and reread some of you books, notably the “Spirit of Place” and “Secrets of Lighting and Techniques” (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO ANY PHOTOGRAPHER). I’ve noticed many, if not most of your photos were taken with the Nikon 8008s — a dandy camera, plastic, small, light in weight, etc.

    Thought you might like to know that B&H is selling a quality rated “9” for $90.00 🙂

    In the hands of a master…

    You continue to be an inspiration.
    Thanks Bob,

    1. Bob: You are too kind. I do miss the 8008s, but I think the D90s are the 21st century digital version of them! Bob

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