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Unread 01-23-2007, 01:57 AM   #1
Av4rice
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External flash question

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!
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Unread 01-24-2007, 01:00 PM   #2
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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


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

Here is an example shot with two flashes

Last edited by shiroin : 01-24-2007 at 01:04 PM.
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Unread 01-24-2007, 01:09 PM   #3
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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
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Unread 01-24-2007, 03:41 PM   #4
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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*
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Unread 01-24-2007, 06:17 PM   #5
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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.
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Unread 01-24-2007, 07:48 PM   #6
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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...
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Unread 01-24-2007, 08:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sipo View Post
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)
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Unread 01-24-2007, 10:36 PM   #8
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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!
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Unread 01-24-2007, 11:13 PM   #9
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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?
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Unread 01-25-2007, 12:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiroin View Post
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.
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Unread 01-25-2007, 12:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
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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?

personally I learned all my flash techniques by myself. alot of it is theory work.
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Unread 01-25-2007, 12:24 AM   #12
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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)
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Unread 01-25-2007, 01:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiroin
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by Av4rice
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. )
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Unread 01-25-2007, 01:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
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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
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Unread 01-25-2007, 06:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
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lemme guess, you the film you use is Ilford HP5, and you are graded by exposure and focus?

personally I learned all my flash techniques by myself. alot of it is theory work.
Yep ya nailed it! Lets just say I am bored out of my mind right now in there. 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.
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