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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 19 Dec 2012 (Wednesday) 14:27
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Post your best flash/ambient balance pics...

 
BTNorris
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Dec 20, 2012 20:04 as a reply to  @ post 15391506 |  #31

Too bad it's out of focus...


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Dec 20, 2012 20:24 |  #32

Ah, another Smart Alec:lol:


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Dec 20, 2012 23:25 |  #33

cbknight wrote in post #15391506 (external link)
My attempt. It was dark, think I matched the ambient perfectly.
Sorry, I am just learning. :D
Great thread...my weird way of subscribing.

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Dec 21, 2012 00:07 |  #34

Here is one of mine from a while back. There is a photoshop blunder in here. There is also one aspect of balance that I did not address which is now evident, especially in the context of this thread.

The balance in the image is a bit different as I have adjusted the ambient to match the strobes vs. adjusting the strobes to match the ambient. It's actually the same thing regardless of how you do it, but I find that thinking of things in different ways can often lead me to multiple solutions.

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8224/8293601036_daed301e23_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/27883438@N07/8​293601036/  (external link)
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I don't believe this is the type of balance you were originally reffering too, I do think it is a good example of balance. I let my flickr account laps and currently don't have easy access to my older images, otherwise I would have posted a better example.

Looking back, I really have moved away from using lights and towards just using reflectors to achieve more "balanced" looking shots. It's just so much quicker and easier all around and the results looks so much more balanced.

Here is a shot I did with just a white reflector. It's towards the high end of what I believe you mean by "balanced"; any more added light would be too much.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7084/7184317097_b80b395626_b.jpg
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Here is one more done with what appears to be a zebra reflector. A bit more light and potentially pushing the boundaries of "balanced".

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Dec 21, 2012 05:22 as a reply to  @ post 15392285 |  #35

Great idea for a thread. I will contribute soon.

I hope it stays on topic though...


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Katalyst
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Dec 21, 2012 06:50 |  #36

I have a quick question...

I currently have 3 speedlites, two of which are Yongnuo 560´s and one Canon 580EX II. Are they powerfull enough indivudually (or perhaps combined, as in a triflash) to give me this sort of balance on a sunny day?




  
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Dec 21, 2012 08:05 |  #37

Katalyst wrote in post #15392809 (external link)
I have a quick question...

I currently have 3 speedlites, two of which are Yongnuo 560´s and one Canon 580EX II. Are they powerfull enough indivudually (or perhaps combined, as in a triflash) to give me this sort of balance on a sunny day?

The short answer, without shooting HSS in full sun with modifier....no. On overcast, or during the golden hours, it will work well. I have a foursquare with 4 speedlights and it will not overpower full sun when modified. Bare bulb, yes.


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Dec 21, 2012 08:05 |  #38

Katalyst wrote in post #15392809 (external link)
I have a quick question...

I currently have 3 speedlites, two of which are Yongnuo 560´s and one Canon 580EX II. Are they powerfull enough indivudually (or perhaps combined, as in a triflash) to give me this sort of balance on a sunny day?

A few variables need to be thought about.
Camera x-sync
Distance to subject
Modifier used

Your looking at needing at approx F13 at ISO100 and 1/125 on a sunny day.
I can get F8 at ISO200 shooting a 580EXII into a white reflective 60" umbrella from 5'
2 580EXII gets you F8 at ISO200
Bare flash would do it, but do you want bare flash?
HSS kills your flash output by about 2.5 stops once you go over your max sync


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jackerin
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Dec 21, 2012 09:00 |  #39

Katalyst wrote in post #15392809 (external link)
(or perhaps combined, as in a triflash) to give me this sort of balance on a sunny day?

I used a tri-flash setup for my earlier picture, bare flash though, no modifier. IIRC I was at around 1/4 or 1/2 power on all of them.


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Dec 21, 2012 09:17 |  #40

Katalyst wrote in post #15392809 (external link)
I have a quick question...

I currently have 3 speedlites, two of which are Yongnuo 560´s and one Canon 580EX II. Are they powerfull enough indivudually (or perhaps combined, as in a triflash) to give me this sort of balance on a sunny day?

It takes some planning and paying attention to where the sunlight is coming from etc. But yes you can get it done.

Rarely have time to bother with umbrellas etc. when shooting on the run with a bride and groom. They seem to be more interested in interesting shots around the city than perfect lighting. So that means I am using the flash for fill, which may be the intent of this thread's title. Here's an example;


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Katalyst
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Dec 21, 2012 09:39 |  #41

Thank you guys for the information and the example, much appreciated!

I'll just give it a try pretty soon. Something tells me I'll have to see for myself whether or not I can do it ;)




  
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doidinho
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Dec 21, 2012 10:41 |  #42

Katalyst wrote in post #15392809 (external link)
I have a quick question...

I currently have 3 speedlites, two of which are Yongnuo 560´s and one Canon 580EX II. Are they powerfull enough indivudually (or perhaps combined, as in a triflash) to give me this sort of balance on a sunny day?

A speedlight will be strong enough to allow you to achieve balance light for a lot of situtations in the context of how the op is defining balanced. It would not be powerfull unough for you to do whatever you want with the ambient exposure and then just add in flash to get the proper exposure.

In order to get the balanced type of picture that whoty is asking about, the ambient light has to be working with the rest of the picture. You pretty much need to choose a location that has pleasing ambient light to start with as you will be working with really small ratios and the quality of the ambient light is going to show through in the pictures.

The key is to look for a location that would would work for an ambient only shot and then add in just a bit of flash to shape the light, perhaps give it a little more dimension.

A photo balanced like the shot whoty's post #18 could totally be done with a speedlight and may have been shot on a sunny day with the model in partial shade.

Look at Phil's pics above in post #17; that would likely be diffacult to achieve whith just speedlights. It's worth noting that while they are great pics and the balance is deffinately pleasing, they are not balanced in the context that Whoty is asking about.

If Phil wanted his photo balanced in the context of the op's question he would have first set the ambient exposure so that the models face was properly exposed just by the ambient exposure. In doing this, the background is going to get a lot more exposed (and perhaps have some blown out areas, no big deal). The light falling on the models face would likely be really flat now, but it will be lit just by the ambient.

The last thing Phil would do would be to add just a touch of flash in order to give the flat ambient light some more directionality. Since it's a backlit shot and he is exposing so her face is close to being properly exposed with just the ambient, he will likey have no problem keeping his apeture on the more open side of things and his shutter speed below the sync speed. In other words he would likely be able to get the "balanced" shot using a low powered speedlight on a sunny day.


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Dec 21, 2012 11:46 |  #43

dmward wrote in post #15393139 (external link)
It takes some planning and paying attention to where the sunlight is coming from etc. But yes you can get it done.

Rarely have time to bother with umbrellas etc. when shooting on the run with a bride and groom. They seem to be more interested in interesting shots around the city than perfect lighting. So that means I am using the flash for fill, which may be the intent of this thread's title. Here's an example;

Nice shot, and really nice looking city in the background too:). It's deffinately balanced nicely, but I question whether your flash is really acting as fill or whether it is the key. I see some fairly deep shadows, created by the flash, on the subjects.

It's fill in the context of the entire image in the sense that its filling in the shadow that the models are standing in, but it looks like a key light from the perspective of the light on the subject.

Just an observation, nice image regardless of how the light is described.


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Dec 21, 2012 12:05 |  #44

Taken with a Canon Ixus 960IS, no control over exposure or flash... Could tweak the metering though... ;)

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Dec 21, 2012 12:28 |  #45

dmward wrote in post #15388098 (external link)
The three you linked are way different to me.
First two the kid is being hammered by the flash. Third one the little boy is being kissed with subtle fill light.

I think the one that Bobby objected to is also properly balanced flash to ambient, just different modeling from highlight to shadow, while many of the other images the flash seems to be on axis fill.

The difficulty, when discussing photography is defining illusive concepts.

In one way or another every image in this thread illustrates a balance between ambient and flash.

I looked at the EXIF data. The beach baby shots were only underexposed by 2/3 of a stop. So, not exactly "hammered" ;)


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