Australian King Parrot captured with Z 9 / Z400f4.5 w/Profoto A10

Color is so important to us humans. It is to critters as well, especially to the birds of Australia’s rain forest. How do we capture “true” color? In this case, the before image has an overall green tint because of the light coming through the rain forest canopy. How can we set the stage for our subject and make it the star? This is a very important question to ask when the stage is almost as important as the star! I want to tell you about this unique rain forest in my photo as well as its resident. That makes the subject, the star, smaller in the frame yet it still smacks you between the eyes. This is style of photography. Telling a visual story!

The answer is real simple, the execution can be nearly as much. A kiss of light, that’s all it takes! It’s obvious though, right? Photography – write with light. If you read the caption, you can see that along with the Z 9 / Z400f4.5 (a combo I really love!) is the Profoto A10. You’re probably saying though, “I don’t see the flash.” You’re not supposed to and the reason you don’t “see” it is two fold. One is, the Profoto A10 creates a gorgeous, gorgeous light! I just love the light from the A10. The second reason you don’t see the flash is because it’s not being used for exposure, it’s being used for color! The A10 was set to 3.8 power, shooting in Manual Flash Exposure. Its light just kissing the parrot removing the green color cast so the true color comes through. The Z 9 was in Aperture Priority set to +.03. The Z 9 took care of the ambient light exposure, the stage, and the A10 “kissed” the star, the subject, so just its color came to life. Move the slider back and forth over the young male Australian King Parrot and look at the subtle yet dramatic difference that kiss of light makes. I have one of my Fn Buttons on the Z 9 set to disengage the flash so I can have a before and after photo in a split second of each other. I do this so I can constantly help myself learn to see and use the kiss of light for color.

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