Flash... I know nothing about it, really. We've had a couple of sessions at the photography class, but all the lights and triggers and everything have always been already set up, and we've even been advised what settings in camera to use. So, I figured it was time to start some experimenting. My flash unit is a manual one, so I have to take lots of shots to get the levels right, but here's the result of my first effort. I was intentionally trying to get a black background (it's actually a white door!) by setting the camera settings so fast 1/250th f/18 ISO 100 that without a flash everything just comes out black. Then I set up the flash off to one side on low enough power just to light my face but not the background. Ended up with exactly what I intended ending up with. It's a start...
Good start, well done, difficult task. If you got what you wanted, even better.
This is as I see it, just a different tack. Ed.
Jun 30, 2016, 10:45
(This post was last modified: Jun 30, 2016, 10:46 by delb0y.)
Cheers Ed. For sure it needed brightening just a tad. It wasn't so much to get a finished photograph, just to get the process correct and end up with the results in the ball park. The flash was still illuminating the cupboard door. Given a bit more time and space I'd have prevented that either through putting something around the flash so it was more directional (maybe that's what the zoom function does on the flash?? Narrows the beam?? I will experiment!) or between the flash and the background. But well pleased with the first effort.
Cheers Bob, some useful info there and in the linked thread. I think I have the same non TTL flash unit as yourself. I bought the two wireless transmitters, too, so I can trigger the flash from the camera without cables. I will be practicing triggering it using the on-camera flash, too.
It'll be one slow step at a time for me, too. But I have a couple of books and YouTube is, as you said on the other thread, full of info. I shall probably buy one extra item at a time as I learn to use what I've got.
Craig. Your images are a nice size. Hopefully the sizing software has been set up for a better image.
Craig? Sorry, Bob... I mean Craig. Have I been calling you by the wrong name?!
A very quick tip on using 'Manual Flash' mate. When doing this, the shutter speed (up to the maximum sync speed) determines the amount of ambient light and the aperture determines the amount of 'flash'. ISO is as always the ultimate arbiter of (film sensitivity) or sensor amplification. As the sensor doesn't get anymore sensitive, but, the way in which the image is 'amplified by the rest of the camera circuitry' works in much the same way that your stereo reacts when you 'turn the volume control up'.
I do hope this helps.
Very useful, Phil. I will experiment with changing the aperture to see how the flash light changes - for now I'll leave the shutter speed at 1/250 to keep the ambient light down to a minimum.
Only a quick experiment today - fooling with the settings on the flash. Close up, with the flash just a foot or so away from me, the zoom (on the flash) has no effect whatsoever. I'm guessing (further experimentation will confirm) that it's "kicking" the light further out rather than making it stronger. We shall see.
Also fooled with the lens F/ stops to see how they affect the ambient light, and having the aperture wide open does indeed let in a lot more ambient light for the same shutter speed - so to get the effect of a black background I had to keep it in the high teens.
Also also found how to set the interim power options on the flash - the in-between values for want of a technical term, and have figured out how to trigger the flash either by the radio unit or by the flash on the camera. So a good twenty minutes experimentation.
Now resisting the urge to buy brollies and reflectors and grids and another flash. Will learn how to make the most of this little set-up first. Next stop is some non-black ground shots - using the flash for what it was designed for :-) Not sure of what yet, though.
Close up, the flash coverage probably covers the subject whether set for wide or tele, but I found that for distant shots, setting the flash on tele, causes a distinctive fall off around the edges.
The "zoom" in he flash head just moves the light in and out of the head, so zoomed in it makes for a tighter light beam, zoomed out it is closer to the opening and the light spread out more. It can be used to help stop light spill when zoomed in. as well as lighting a larger group when zoomed out.
Thanks guys! All grist to the mill :-)
Try making a Snoot out of cardboard to fit around your flash head that will narrow the beam of light on your subject and it's cheaper as you can make it yourself.
As a rule the inverse square law applies,
The light from a point source is inversely proportional to the square of its distance. I other words you double the distance you quarter the amount of light hitting the subject. Personally I just brought a light meter on E-Bay
So today's 20 minutes of experimentation...
Here we have a picture with no flash (just window lighting), and then a picture with on-camera flash, but the flash is actually directed away from me, up into the corner of the room, from where it reflects and looks a lot more natural than normal on-camera flash-light. As Dougson suggested, I used a black cardboard tube around the flash to ensure no spillage directly onto myself as that would defeat the purpose.
Still early days, and it would be a whole lot easier with a model - but I want to get a few of these techniques honed before daring attempt them on others.
I always buy a lot of my kit from e-bay, I brought a pair of Jessops studio flash heads with stands,Softbox,brolly in a case with radio trigger for £99.00 .
I also got over the last couple of years I-shoot radio triggers for flash guns so I can use the older guns with digital cameras without the worry of frying the camera circuitry with the bonus of being able to stick them on stands.
If you look at old photos of press photographers they have an L-Bracket attached to the camera with the flash attached
That moves the light to one side and stops the lighting being quite so flat in the image it also has the advantage that should you drop your Camera like I did years ago it won't rip off the prism and flash mount on your Camera.
You could do with a small flash head on or near the camera with tissue over to reduce the amount of light as that will put a highlight into the iris and bring your subject to life, when you look at a portrait the first thing you look at is the eyes.
I just artificially add highlights if there are none present.
Excellent photographs, Phil. And lovely ladies.
Thank you John.
I took them at a function I was a guest at, and you're right the ladies are very attractive. That being the case my task was relatively easy. However, I'm sure that at least some of them are, or have been involved in 'modeling' recently, because as soon as they caught sight of my camera, they 'went into a pose' and it has to be said, 'they were very good at it'. That of course made my task a great deal simpler than it might have otherwise been!!
Thanks for your generous comment.
Here is another one which was taken outside the main area, but still uses flash for 'fill light'. What's the verdict?