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What have i done wrong here?

FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Kids & Family Talk
Thread started 28 Jan 2012 (Saturday) 13:27   
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Kikz
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Hi guys,ok i was in friends small party this late afternoon,a bit rainy so it was held indoors,low ceiling and small room with about 20 peoples inside,i am new to flash photography and this is part of my learning experience..

I have 60D with 35mm F2 and 430EX II and i want to try my newly bought Cactus V4 trigger,fire random shots and i put the flash off camera,bounce it on the ceiling and fire away,all i got was harsh big shadows that is really annoying...

Can you guys enlighten me what happened on these shots?is it the position of the flash?the low ceiling?or i could've done better if i use the pop up flash to trigger the 430 EX?thanks a bunch....

IMAGE: http://i1149.photobucket.com/albums/o582/SixtyDee/IMG_4690.jpg

IMAGE: http://i1149.photobucket.com/albums/o582/SixtyDee/IMG_4689.jpg

Post #1, Jan 28, 2012 13:27:06


Canon 60D gripped,35mm F2,Tamron 17-50mm,430 EX II,Canon 55-250..

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Kikz
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Looks like i'm in a wrong forum to place this thread,46 views,not a single reply.

Post #2, Jan 29, 2012 02:10:52


Canon 60D gripped,35mm F2,Tamron 17-50mm,430 EX II,Canon 55-250..

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FlyingPhotog
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Looks like you either didn't have your flash high enough or far enough off to one side to drive the shadows out of the frame.

Looks pretty much like direct flash but it's about two feet to your left.

Post #3, Jan 29, 2012 02:19:17


Jay
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skygod44
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Hahahahahahaha!
Relax....many members (like me!) are spread around the world, so it takes a while to find you!
:-)

So, that looks like you should have angled the flash for the walls. Not the ceiling.
Though those shadows look like coming from the built-in flash, fired upwards...?

Regards,
Simon

Post #4, Jan 29, 2012 02:19:17 as a reply to Kikz's post 8 minutes earlier.


"Whatever you do, enjoy yourself...otherwise, what's the point."
6D/7D, EF-S10-22, EF100 macro/24-105/70-200/100-400. Siggy 35/17-50/85. Olympus PEN EP-5 & 9mm fisheye, 14-42, 17mm prime, 40-150, + ext. tubes! Some 'pods, Intuos 4, LR4. Iā™„GIMP! Semi-pro opera/concert/PR photographer. ~Simon~

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samsonrodriguez
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Kikz wrote in post #13786947external link
Looks like i'm in a wrong forum to place this thread,46 views,not a single reply.

i wish i could offer advice, but i'm a novice with flash as well. what was the aperture set too? usually its recommended at 5.6, and 200-250 for shutter speed i believe? ISO is usually 100 or so in doors, and the flash should be powered to about 1/2 power maybe if bouncing off ceiling? try strobist.com or their flickr http://www.flickr.com/​groups/strobist/external link

Post #5, Jan 29, 2012 02:20:32




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Kikz
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skygod44 wrote in post #13786953external link
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Hahahahahahaha!
Relax....many members (like me!) are spread around the world, so it takes a while to find you!
:-)

So, that looks like you should have angled the flash for the walls. Not the ceiling.
Though those shadows look like coming from the built-in flash, fired upwards...?

Regards,
Simon

Hi Simon did i wake u up?haha,thanks man,it was my 430 EX off camera and bounced off the ceiling,walls got a lot of weird corners and people are roaming around so i thought i should just fired it up the ceiling..

Post #6, Jan 29, 2012 02:35:49


Canon 60D gripped,35mm F2,Tamron 17-50mm,430 EX II,Canon 55-250..

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Kikz
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FlyingPhotog wrote in post #13786952external link
Looks like you either didn't have your flash high enough or far enough off to one side to drive the shadows out of the frame.

Looks pretty much like direct flash but it's about two feet to your left.


This is pretty much what happened,the flash is placed like 4 feet high and 3-4 meters away from the subject,i was using my 35mm lens so it's kinda tight indoors so i have to back up a little bit..

Post #7, Jan 29, 2012 02:39:28


Canon 60D gripped,35mm F2,Tamron 17-50mm,430 EX II,Canon 55-250..

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_Ronni_
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There's a few things that springs to mind.

First of all, the shadows behind them are very visible. This is because the flash was placed too low, hence putting the shadows high on the wall. That's why you either want to put the flash up high, or bounce it from the ceiling (which is high).

Second, the shadows are very harsh. This is because you did not use a light modifier such as an umbrella. The rule is: the smaller the light source, the harder the shadows. Compare the surface of an umbrella to the size of your flash head. The umbrella is much bigger, giving softer shadows.

Third, your subjects are pretty under-exposed. I can see the ambient lights behind them, which tells me that you used the flash on a low power setting (or the flash is a low power flash), either way - you would normally shoot in manual mode, on the camera as well as on the flash (i.e. not in TTL mode). This takes a few tries to get your exposure right.

Go read up on flash photography, it's an entire different animal from ambient light. There's a few rules you need to know and understand, but one rule above all: Aperture controls your flash exposure, shutter speed controls your ambient light. This is always true. Once you understand why, flash photography makes a whole lot more sense.

Post #8, Feb 06, 2012 14:07:33 as a reply to Kikz's post 8 days earlier.




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chokeslamcena
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When you say you bounced it off the ceiling, what do you mean exactly?

Not to be smart or anything, but that flash is certainly not aimed at the ceiling. The ceiling in that room is ideal for bouncing off (low and white). When you bounce off the ceiling, essentially what's happening is that the ceiling is becoming your light source.

What that means is, your light leaves the small head of the flash and it hits the ceiling, when it hits the ceiling (a large, bright surface) it spreads out and comes back down. A ricochet effect, really.

Essentially, the ceiling is then turned into a huge flashgun, powering a soft, wide light down on people, pushing the shadows down to the floor and making them softer and more gradual.


If you're bouncing off the roof, you're almost better keeping the flash mounted on the camera (if the ceiling is very high you can always hold the flashgun up over your head, though this makes taking the photograph/holding the camera with one hand a little tricky).


It looks to me like you fired the flash directly at them, and the flash was sitting out of the frame to the left (or you were holding it in your hand, and you reached your arm out, more likely).


Another issue you have is that the people are all over the place. You don't have to make them get into pyramid shapes or such (as is often recommended in photography books) but if you're gonna start photographing people then you'll soon be sick to the teeth of saying "can everyone get in a little closer together... closer... closer... perfect!".


The problem with photographing people is that the distance between their heads, though it looks grand in reality, looks huge in a photograph. Getting people as tight together as you can is always very beneficial.


As you say, this is part of your overall learning experience, so you've nowhere to go but up. You will get better and you'll look back at these photos in a year or two and cringe, when you're easily putting out much better photographs and understand flash better.

My advice for you for now, is to put away the wireless trigger and learn as much about flash as you can without taking it off the top of the camera. Yes, this sounds counter-productive because people always say "get the flash off-camera", but honestly speaking, i think you really need to have a good idea how to use flash on-camera before it's worthwhile taking it off (crawl before running and all that).


Next time you're shooting in a similar room to that, but your flashgun on TTL with a +/- 0 compensation, and face it upwards, so that it's at 60 degrees (these numbers are on the back of the flash, where the head moves up and down). Stick the camera onto f/5.6, ISO400 and 1/60th and you should have some nice shots that have no shadows anywhere to be seen.


Also, pick up one of these;

http://www.ebay.co.uk ...ts_JN&hash=item3a70​5de0d5external link


Buy the cheapest one you can find (don't pay over the odds for a branded one). This will help throw some fill light forward onto the faces and create catchlights in the eyes (neither the 430EX or 430EXII have built-in bounce cards, so that cheapo diffuser helps an awful lot with throwing extra light forward).


Do that, and in a room like the one in your pictures, you should be fine.

Quick examples;

1. In this photograph i fired the flash directly, but the camera was held sideways (to shoot in portrait orientation). The flash was pointed up towards the (darkish) roof, but because it was still coming from the left of the camera, the shadows got pushed over to the right.

Even though the shadows are visible, you'll notices they're not as harsh as yours. This is because, although the flash did come from the side, it also had some light coming from the roof to help soften the shadows. The shadow is particularly harsh behind the fathers head, though, due to the wall behind him being angled (and coming towards me, like an arch).

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2. In this shot, I had a nice white ceiling to work with. Because I had a white ceiling, and because I was shooting in landscape orientation (I didnt have to hold the camera sideways) the flash was sitting on top of the camera and point directly upwards at the roof. The flash hit the roof and the light came raining down on my group.

You'll notice that because the flash is atop the lens, it's not pushing shadows to either side, only downwards. Also, because the roof is such a large light source now (rather than the tiny flash head), the shadows that you can see underneath the chairs, have slow, gradual edges to them and appear much softer and don't take attention.

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A handy way to figure out how flash/shadows work is to grab an item around the house, a cup, box, etc. and turn all the lights off and shine a torch at it. You'll see that when you shine the torch at it at the same height as it, the shadows appear directly behind it on the wall. If you raise the torch a litthe higher than your object, the shadows go down lower than the object, and if you lower the torch, the shadows begin to raise and climb up the wall behind the object. This is the exact same principle that your flashgun works on, so it can be handy having a visual/practical guide if you're struggling with it.

Hopefully that's been somewhat useful.

Post #9, Feb 11, 2012 02:32:16




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