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Av4rice
01-23-2007, 02:57 AM
So up until now I've been shooting natural light where I can and using my DRebel's built-in flash where I had to (sometimes trying the film canister trick to diffuse it)

Now I finally have an external flash (430EX) and plan on angling it up 45 degrees with an Omnibounce on the end. Am I supposed to adjust the power or something (like set exposure up a stop on my camera or flash) to compensate for the diffuser? I'm sure I can figure it out with experimentation at the next con, but it'd be a lot fewer wasted shots if you guys already know how that works out. Thanks!

shiroin
01-24-2007, 02:00 PM
the 430EX has TTL function with your DRebel. It will automatically adjust itself to compensate the loss of power from the diffuser.

btw, congrats on getting a external flash. it is likely the most important equipment for indoor shooting. I personally carry atleast two flash units on me all the time when i go out to shoot. Sometimes I would borrow a third one from a friend :p

http://pics22.webs-tv.net/6/userfile/s/shiroin/album/1458695e38ca93.jpg
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/46601674/

Here is an example shot with two flashes :D

Av4rice
01-24-2007, 02:09 PM
Yeah, I'm really looking forward to having strong-but-soft lighting that the built-in flash would never give me. Thanks for the tip.

Two at once looks sweet! I wish I was rich enough to pull it off :P

Sipo
01-24-2007, 04:41 PM
Wow shiroin! That photo looks so nice, and soft. o.o I wish I had the experience to be able to use flash appropriately, but I have never had the training!! (I love what I see though.)

Maybe next year when I am in college. Heehee! *graduating high school this June*

bob1968m
01-24-2007, 07:17 PM
Keep in mind the reasons why you point the flash up. The sto-fen cap technique bounces most of the light off the ceiling (or a wall if u are bouncing to the side) and sends a small amount straight ahead to fill in the eye sockets and such. How much you angle depends on how high the ceiling is and how far you are from subject. If there is no ceiling (or it's too high), you are just sending light up into the ether.

Also keep in mind the color of ceiling will affect the color of the light hitting the subject.

Another thing to watch for is if you are too close to subject, the lower half of person might be underexposed since most of the light is being directed up.

You'll definitley want to practice. Most of time I leave cap on, but I point straight at subject since the ceilings at cons are too high. I've actually been experimenting with a DIY bounce card attached to flash as an alternative when there are no ceilings, trying to get more of the light going forward but having it appear from a larger source, hence diffused.

Have fun.

Av4rice
01-24-2007, 08:48 PM
Wow, thanks bob!

I knew it's supposed to bounce off the ceiling but I never thought of adjusting the angle according to ceiling height.

I've considered bounce cards but they seem so big and ridiculous looking. Though really it might be the time to stop worrying about that kind of thing...

shiroin
01-24-2007, 09:18 PM
Wow shiroin! That photo looks so nice, and soft. o.o I wish I had the experience to be able to use flash appropriately, but I have never had the training!! (I love what I see though.)

Maybe next year when I am in college. Heehee! *graduating high school this June*

college photography will not teach you about how to use flashes :x
where are you applying? if you come to northwestern university or around here i can teach you in person ^^

(im actually starting a club on campus, for people interested in photography to gather and learn together)

tfcreate
01-24-2007, 11:36 PM
It's pretty easy to improvise one, but if you have about 10 bucks laying around
http://cgi.ebay.com/Flash-Diffuser-Dome-CANON-430EX-420EX-380EX-y14_W0QQitemZ160076795889QQihZ006QQcategoryZ64354Q QrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item160076795889
Keeping an extra flash around as a slave/back-up is a pretty good idea. Many Flashes have dual heads to provide both key and fill lighting.
Your camera and flash were engineered to work together, so you should do well no matter the choice.

Waiting until the con to roll around is a bad idea, though. Since you're using a digital, head out and get some practice. It's almost free!
TFC

Av4rice
01-25-2007, 12:13 AM
I'll test it out as much as I can on my girlfriend the day before the con. Guess I'll have to try it in a variety of places because the con's venue is new to me and I have no clue how to recreate the lighting conditions there

What do you do with a second flash anyway? Just hold it somewhere below with your left hand?

Oklahoma
01-25-2007, 01:01 AM
college photography will not teach you about how to use flashes :x
where are you applying? if you come to northwestern university or around here i can teach you in person ^^

(im actually starting a club on campus, for people interested in photography to gather and learn together)

So true! I am taking a course now and it is rather boring right now. Next week we get into the darkroom so it should improve some. Right now I am restricted to using 400 speed black and white, manual settings are recommended just cannot use auto, NO flash, and lenses must be used in manual focus. Guess it gets the basics out of the way even if you already know it. Later on I get to play around with flashes and such in later classes but I have to take this before I can take those so...

Experience is really all that can teach you how to work with flashes and such. Even after looking at diagrams and how to do what if you don't try it out you never really know what to do. Also, you can learn how to do things they don't show in diagrams and books by playing around.

One thing you can do is try and look up the location online. Many times convention locations have pictures of the interior online. While it won't let you try things out you at least know somewhat what you are in for when you do get there. I do this with all cons that I haven't been to yet or cannot look at the location personally before the con.

shiroin
01-25-2007, 01:10 AM
So true! I am taking a course now and it is rather boring right now. Next week we get into the darkroom so it should improve some. Right now I am restricted to using 400 speed black and white, manual settings are recommended just cannot use auto, NO flash, and lenses must be used in manual focus. Guess it gets the basics out of the way even if you already know it. Later on I get to play around with flashes and such in later classes but I have to take this before I can take those so...

Experience is really all that can teach you how to work with flashes and such. Even after looking at diagrams and how to do what if you don't try it out you never really know what to do. Also, you can learn how to do things they don't show in diagrams and books by playing around.

One thing you can do is try and look up the location online. Many times convention locations have pictures of the interior online. While it won't let you try things out you at least know somewhat what you are in for when you do get there. I do this with all cons that I haven't been to yet or cannot look at the location personally before the con.

lemme guess, you the film you use is Ilford HP5, and you are graded by exposure and focus? :p

personally I learned all my flash techniques by myself. alot of it is theory work.

Av4rice
01-25-2007, 01:24 AM
My starter film back in the day was Kodak T-MAX 400

Non-flash photography is good stuff. I mean, it forces you to be outside a lot of the time but I loooooove natural lighting. I actually like manual focus too. My non-USM EOS lenses overshoot focus all the time and end up being not that fast (especially when I don't have a good contrast area to point it at)

Sipo
01-25-2007, 02:00 AM
personally I learned all my flash techniques by myself. alot of it is theory work.

Most of what I have learned is what I have taught myself. By reading and trying, I have learned TONS! It's the studio experience that is really kind of impossible for me to get to know without having access. As for using the flash, I have a friend who want to try and explain it some to me. She learned through college though. My friend's father also has years experience, and he has taught me a considerable bit. There is a school where I live known for one of the best photography programs in Southern California: Cypress College (believe it or not)! xp

Hopefully, with some practice and experience, I'll learn how to use an external flash and other lighting techniques.

I found a lot of interesting things here on Cosplay.com photograpy forums. I really adore these forums and all of you great photographers! <3

Non-flash photography is good stuff. I mean, it forces you to be outside a lot of the time but I loooooove natural lighting.

I really agree with you there: there is nothing more nice than natural!! (Though it is useful to know lots of things. :) )

shiroin
01-25-2007, 02:15 AM
My starter film back in the day was Kodak T-MAX 400

Non-flash photography is good stuff. I mean, it forces you to be outside a lot of the time but I loooooove natural lighting. I actually like manual focus too. My non-USM EOS lenses overshoot focus all the time and end up being not that fast (especially when I don't have a good contrast area to point it at)

I will have to agree that natural lighting is indeed the best type of lighting. But it took me a while to figure that out.

I have decided to write on a story tutorial on this: http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=102193

Oklahoma
01-25-2007, 07:08 AM
lemme guess, you the film you use is Ilford HP5, and you are graded by exposure and focus? :p

personally I learned all my flash techniques by myself. alot of it is theory work.

Yep ya nailed it!:skidude2: Lets just say I am bored out of my mind right now in there.:snoring: I have pretty much improvised how I use my flash by seeing different techniques and trying and seeing what works and what doesn't, once you know the theory how you apply it just varies on the situation.

Love the tutorial.

tfcreate
01-27-2007, 02:38 AM
What do you do with a second flash anyway? Just hold it somewhere below with your left hand?

Back to the question at hand.

You can opt to hold the flash, but more often than not, you won't be able to.
Again, this is one of the things that you can either improvise (like taping your extra flash to a tripod,) enlist the aid of a willing assistant (Ask someone to hold it for you) or you can purchase and assemble a light stand with a flash mount.

To synchronize the flash, you can either use a long flash cable or use a wireless synchronization system (I'll cover this one more in depth later.)

There are adapters that can either plug into your sync cable plug or attach to the hotshoe mount on the camera that will allow you to use a second flash on your shoot. Some of these adapers even allow for a third to plug into the hot shoe. These are relatively inexpensive and very easy to use.

The wireless option can get abit elaborate and can get pretty expensive depending on how you want to go.

There are wireless sets specifically designed for each camera line as well as generic ones that will work on almost any cameras.

The down side with the generic ones is that nearly all require manual operation, so you have to be pretty intamate with your camera, it's settings and how they operate. With enough practice, your flash settings will become second nature, so this won't be much of a factor. But, if you're so inclined, you can get the ones that are designed for your camera that will take advantage of your camera's automatic abilities. These can get pretty pricey, so be aware of the expense.

There are also passive or sympathetic slave systems that detect when your main flash fires and fires at almost the same instant. The problem with these is that if there are 50 other cameras in the area with flash units also firing, your slave will fire each time the others fire, so you effectively loose control of your slave flash. In a one on one shoot these will do fine, but if there is another flash firing within 50 feet, it's all but useless. Also, in manual mode you will need to set the flash delay or offset to control the amount of lighting provided by both flash units.

In either case, you need to establish the areas where "fill" lighting will be needed. A test shot can give you this initially, but with practice, you will be able to tell at a glance. You then place the flash facing the area it is needed. An extra Tripod or your able assistant can hold the flash at the proper level.

Also, the Depth of field becomes more of a concern as well. Many cameras now provide multiple points of focus, allwoing a more flexible depth, some however, only one. You need to compensate by going with a wider appature or slower shutter speed. Often choosing a mid point of focus will work. This is especially important for multiple subjects. Again, this too will come with practice. It may seem complicated and somewhat daunting, but believe it or not, with practice, you're going to be able to do this in your sleep.

Below is what I use every so often. It's an old flash I've had for 20 years, tied to a wireless slave system. The Flash is mounted to an adaptor that allows it to sit on a tripod.
I found a small desk top tripod in the discount bin at a camera shop. It's all but useless for photo work, but it's great for setting my slave on the roof of a car or a shelf. The smaller is one of those that sense the light from another flash unit. It's inexpensive, reliable, and frankly if gets stepped on it only cost 5 bucks.
http://www.tfcreations.com/album2/albums/userpics/10001/quikndirty.JPG


TFC

Rosieal
01-27-2007, 07:04 AM
the 430EX has TTL function with your DRebel. It will automatically adjust itself to compensate the loss of power from the diffuser.

btw, congrats on getting a external flash. it is likely the most important equipment for indoor shooting. I personally carry atleast two flash units on me all the time when i go out to shoot. Sometimes I would borrow a third one from a friend :p

http://pics22.webs-tv.net/6/userfile/s/shiroin/album/1458695e38ca93.jpg

http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/46601674/

Here is an example shot with two flashes :D


WOW! I am amazed! How did you do this? What did you use? I always thought flash photography looks too strong, but this one doesn't at all.

Av4rice
01-29-2007, 03:07 AM
I always thought flash photography looks too strong
"normally" (like with most built-in flashes) it is too strong; this is because it's mostly a single light source going in one direction, creating one hard-edged shadow. With multiple light sources, lights start covering each other's shadows and the work is split so each individual light doesn't have to be as bright. With diffusion, light is scattered to soften up shadow edges.

Holland
02-16-2007, 01:19 PM
Does the camera "know" that you have two flashes or more attached? How does it compansate? I have a D-reb XT, what is a good GP flash unit? Thanks!

Drngd Kreationz
03-04-2007, 07:28 AM
Not always, I know that I fire a strobe kit off of my built in flash and the camera has no idea that they're there. so it doesn't compensate I have to shoot manual when I'm working in this mode (but I shoot Manual 90% of the time, so Its not a problem)

I know that when it comes to flash photography, it's all about experimentation. There is no problem with finding out what people already know. but you need to go out and test stuff to see how it fits with your style of shooting. I've red tons of tips and tricks on flash photo only to dismiss about 25% of them because they don't "Feel right" to me or don't fit the results I want. Best advice I feel I'm qualified to give (which isn't much :P) , "read the manuals until you know your flash/camera inside and out, then take that knowledge and see how it plays out in your situations"

staereo
03-04-2007, 09:13 AM
...and buy a meter. :D

Drngd Kreationz
03-04-2007, 09:15 AM
That too

(although I've yet to follow that advice yet lol)