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Forum Discussion on Flash Set Ups
Here is the discussion thread on flash set ups as suggested in the forums. Thank you!

Looking forward to reading the discussions!

Barbara - Life is what you make of it!
Hi Barbara,

As I suggested a thread on the subject of flash usage a while back, I thought I'd better be the first one to post on the topic.

This shot was made in a park local to me. The stream is shaded by trees and the day itself was somewhat 'overcast'. However, undeterred by the prevailing conditions, and assisted by my brother-in-law, himself a keen photographer, we set about capturing this, 'and other' images.

Techie Stuff.
Nikon D300, F/5.6, 250sec, ISO800, 200mm, M/Mode-pattern, Manual exp.
One Nikon SB800 off camera to camera left, 30ft from subject, half power, 1/4 CTO gel. Voice activated light stand, 'brother-in-law'!! Smile If my memory serves me correctly the SB was zoomed to about 60m, but can't be sure on that one.


A more conventional use of flash is of course internally to a building.

In the following photograph of the interior of 'Painswick Church' in Gloucestershire, UK. I used two Nikon SB800's closest to me at the back of the church, controlled by Nikon's CLS. These were located either side of the isle on 12 foot lighting stands and were bounced off the interior walls and were set at approximately 1/4 power. Additionally there were two Nissin 340T units positioned further towards the front of the church sitting on the pews either side, cross lighting and pointing upwards at 45 degrees set at the 'green auto' setting which approximates to 'up to' half power, with 1/2 CTO gels and fired by two optical slaves. I also used an 'old but reliable' Voigtlander VC21B low powered flash unit, also fired optically, placed on the floor, flagged and looking up at the alter. This flash unit is usually OK for fill in, under these circumstances, up to about 15 - 20 feet but no more.

Altogether, the result I've found to be quite pleasing. All comments gratefully received.

(Dec 29, 2013, 18:27)Phil J Wrote: Altogether, the result I've found to be quite pleasing...

I agree - very attractive illumination in the church, Phil, and the composition is also pleasing.

One small point - if it were my image, I would rotate it anticlockwise slightly, to make the verticals of the pillars and windows run parallel to the sides of the frame.


P.S. The duck photo also has good lighting, and I like its composition.
Hi Philip,

Agreed completely. I must try harder with my verticals to actually be vertical. Now, who has a plumb bob they could lend me? Smile

Now before we go any further, the trees aren't perfectly vertical because they don't grow that way!!!! Smile. They are however some of the only examples of the mighty American Giant Redwood trees in Gt Britain and are located in a little park just down the road (300yds or so) from my place. As far as I know the other examples in the UK are to be found in official arboretums, such as can be found at Westonburt.

So, on to the picture.

Usual Techie stuff.

Nikon D300, F/5, 125sec, ISO200, 20mm, M/Mode-Pattern, Manual.

Flashes. 2 x SB800 on short stands used to illuminate the Redwoods and foreground set at 1/4 power and located either side of camera position. A further 2 x SB800's were positioned behind the Redwoods set to 1/16 power and widest zoom setting to lighten the darker points of the little church. All triggered by RadioPoppers. Flashes were only used to 'lift' the darkest areas of the image, the main light came from mother nature.


(Dec 30, 2013, 05:02)Phil J Wrote: Now before we go any further, the trees aren't perfectly vertical because they don't grow that way!!!! Smile.

Big Grin

That's an effective use of flash Phil (or fill-flash!). Did you set the white balance or use AWB? - you have captured the colours just as I would expect them to be for that scene. Also, did you have an assistant? - as I am usually out on my own, I would be afraid of some oik running off with my flashguns!

As for the photo - if you ever get the chance to shoot there again, it would be nice to include the top of the little tower of the church.

Hi Philip,

In answer to your question, yes I did have an assistant in this instance it was my daughter, who is a very good photographer in her own right, mainly rock concerts and such like. The white balance was set on auto. To be frank, I very rarely have need to use a manual white light setting, Nikon seem to have got the auto sensing on this feature spot on, at least in my experience about 95% of the time.

A couple of points which might be of interest to some readers of this topic are identified in the following two photographic 'still lifes'.

In this first example of the bowel of fruit, what I'm attempting to demonstrate is that by adjusting the white light balance, differing effects can be exploited. In this first example I used a tungsten white balance setting to achieve the Blue background whilst using strobe flashes without any colour correcting gels. This background is normally rendered as being Beige when auto white balance is used and indeed that is the 'normal' colour of the vertical blinds.


Another aspect of using flash is the Sync Speed of the camera. My Nikon D300's native sync speed is 250th/sec, this can be raised to 320th/sec by resetting it in the menu system. What is seemingly not mentioned anywhere is that it'll sync perfectly successfully at very much higher speeds. Check out the Techie details for the Bonbon dish in the following photograph.

Nikon D300, F/8 500th/sec ISO200, Bias 0, 300mm, Manual Exp, White Balance - Auto, Sharpness Hard.

Flash. 2 x SB800 one bounced into Westcott brolly at camera right front and one SB800 back lighting on stand snooted with 9 inch snoot made from a used cereal box. Lighting ratio 2:1 in favour of the back light.

Please note that subsequent experiments revealed that perfectly good exposures can be obtained up to 1250th/sec without having the need to go into HSS mode, by varying the power output of the SB's. In the example below the front strobe was set at 1/16th power and the rear strobe was set at 1/4 power both with 1/4 CTO gels fitted.


I hope that this is of some use to those of you who have an interest in 'Flash Photography'.

Best regards and Happy New Year.

By way of example this still life was also shot using a shutter speed way above that which is recommended by Nikon.

Techie Stuff.

Nikon D300, F/5.6, 1/1000sec, No Bias, M/Mode-Pattern, 120mm, Exposure - Manual, Sharpness - Hard, White Balance - Auto.

One SB800 in a Westcott 43" Umberella, to camera right 90 degrees at 7 feet with a 45 degree downward look.


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