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Flash...
#1
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...


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#2
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.


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To each his own!
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#3
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.
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#4
Was the flash bare?  You can use a shoot through umbrella, and omni bounce or a grid to reduce the effect of the flash or to stop it spilling onto the background, that way you could shoot with the lens wider open, F18 can cause problems in itself.

Your doing the right thing, get the equipment and experiment, make notes on settings and positions of the flashes, change one thing at once, try again.

The following picture was shot in a normally lit room with a blue tie dyed background.  There are two flashes, each with a 15mm grid on them which blocks some of the light and stop it spilling onto the back ground.  Canon 7DII, f/6.3, 1/250, ISO 100.  The flashes were set at 1/32nd and 1/16th power roughly 4-5 feet off to each side.  A 3rd flash was on 1/64th power behind me pointed at the camera though in this situation it wasn't needed and didn't change the image.
[Image: 17857965569_7252c770a9_b.jpg]

And my set-up
[Image: attachment.php?aid=4675]

The grids I use to make the light more directional are cheap and are like these: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B004...UTF8&psc=1

Original thread about my flash experiments: http://www.shuttertalk.com/forums/showth...?tid=16373
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#5
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.

Cheers
Derek
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#6
Craig. Your images are a nice size. Hopefully the sizing software has been set up for a better image.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
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#7
Craig? Sorry, Bob... I mean Craig. Have I been calling you by the wrong name?!
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#8
Hi Derek,

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.

Best regards.

Phil.
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#9
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.
Cheers
Derek
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#10
(Jun 30, 2016, 12:28)delb0y Wrote: Craig? Sorry, Bob... I mean Craig. Have I been calling you by the wrong name?!

My online Moniker has been EnglishBob (Stolen from the Clint Eastwood movie) for over 15 years and I'm used to people calling me Bob on these forums and others, wasn't until a few years ago I even started adding my real name (Craig) to my profiles.
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#11
(Jun 30, 2016, 13:58)delb0y Wrote: 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.
Cheers
Derek

Another useful "tool" for varying flash power when you have the room is distance, if 1/32nd is too dark and 1/16th is too bright, I'll set it to 1/16th and move the flash head back 2'-3'.
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#12
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.
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#13
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.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
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#14
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.
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#15
Thanks guys! All grist to the mill :-)
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#16
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


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We Photographers deal in things which are continually Vanishing and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again. We cannot develope and print a memory.
                 Henri Cartier Bresson
Doug


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#17
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.


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#18
Hi Derek
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.


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We Photographers deal in things which are continually Vanishing and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again. We cannot develope and print a memory.
                 Henri Cartier Bresson
Doug


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#19
(Jul 4, 2016, 00:47)Dougson Wrote: 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.

Hi Dougson. Yes, I agree re. those highlights. The set-up I'm experimenting with at the mo' is to use the flash on-camera but pointing away from the subject and reflecting off a wall or a ceiling. This means I can't use the in-camera flash to add in any highlights, and I don't want to complicate things with more than one light at the moment (one step at a time and all that!).

I realised that with the shot above the light was coming almost from behind me (that's me as the model) and hence no highlights in the eye. I've done a bit more experimenting today and with the right angle of reflection of flash I can get highlights in the eyes using the single on camera flash. It is a bit hit and miss, but I'm only doing five minutes here and there. It's all a question aiming the flash in the right direction and rotating the model accordingly. All good learning though.

Keep the advice coming!
Cheers
Derek
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#20
I just artificially add highlights if there are none present.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
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#21
The I's have it. Ed,

Trying this via Photobucket?#
#
[Image: imagea_zpsupdcj2lw.jpg]
To each his own!
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#22
(Jul 4, 2016, 09:24)EdMak Wrote: The I's have it. Ed,

Trying this via Photobucket?#
#
[Image: imagea_zpsupdcj2lw.jpg]

Here are a few I took, with 'on camera' flash, flagged and bounced off the white ceiling / walls of a large tent. It is perfectly possible to get 'catchlights' in the eyes when bouncing at the appropriate angle.

See what you think.

Regards.

Phil.


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#23
Excellent photographs, Phil. And lovely ladies.
Ask yourself, "What's most important for the final image?".
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#24
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.

Best regards.

Phil.

Here is another one which was taken outside the main area, but still uses flash for 'fill light'. What's the verdict?


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#25
They do have a Model look, eyes again. Cheers Phil. Ed.

[Image: DSC_8791pps_ppwr%201_zps6tevag8c.jpg]
To each his own!
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