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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 20 Feb 2013 (Wednesday) 07:42
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Couples Shoot - flash advice

 
ExplicitSnow
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Feb 20, 2013 07:42 |  #1

alright, so ill be doing my 1st official couples photo shoot this coming Sunday...did a search , but couldnt find much...so here i am asking for some advice

im interested in knowing whats the easiest way to setup flash settings both on camera and speedlites, in order to get the best results in the quickest amount of time...i dont want to be that guy that takes 10 "test" shots to get the right flash exposure

here's the gear im working with:
canon t4i (choice of 85f1.8, 50f1.8, 18-55IS, 55-250IS, 75-300)
580ex2
(2) 430ex2
impact umbrella kit (2 stands, 2 umbrellas)
5n1 reflector

the majority of this shoot will be held outside during the hours of 8-10am...but we may venture indoors at some point

im hoping to make this shoot spectacular as it may be my jump off point to launching my photography career

thanks in advance




  
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kfreels
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Feb 20, 2013 23:09 |  #2

Without knowing distance, complexion, and ambient light information it is tough to tell you this. You'll either need to shoot test shots, or you'll need to use a light meter.

To make things easier, I'm going to recommend that you use your flashes in manual mode instead of TTL. This will simplify things for you.

Here's a cheat for you for this setup. Before you shoot this, setup with your lights on two stands with a test subject. Use one light on a stand as your main and get the exposure the way you want with test shots. Shoot at full power at 1/125 at f5.6 to start and then adjust aperture and/or the flash power to get the exposure where you need it. When you get the exposure how you want it, at a distance similat to the distance you will be working with your subjects, tie a string to the light stand and stretch it to the center of the subject right where you are focusing and cut the string there. Now you have a fast and dirty distance jig. Anytime you set that light at that distance and that power you will get the same result. Use this as a base to work from. You can move that light any direction you want and it will provide the same exposure level as long as the distance stays the same. Move it closer to increase exposure. Move it back to decrease. Or adjust power output.

Now cut a second string of the same length and tie it to your other light. That is your fill light. Adjust the power on that light to fill as you want it to fill. 1/2 and 1/4 are good starting points.

This should make you appear as if you know what you are doing but it is no substitute for knowledge. Take some time to read up on flash photography and then spend some time experimenting on test subjects in your home. Really learn it and get a feel for it. The Speedlighter's handbook is a great book to start with and you can get it from Amazon.com at a great price used. Digital is virtually free so there is no reason not to experiment and become an expert before you launch your career.


I am serious....and don't call me Shirley.
Canon 7D and a bunch of other stuff

  
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ExplicitSnow
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Feb 21, 2013 00:32 |  #3

@kfreels
thanks alot, this is a great set of tips...i really appreciate the pointers...ill be searching around for more tomorrow..also, taking a flash and exposure 3hr class tomorrow evening held by Precision Camera of Austin, TX

I will definitely let you know how things go




  
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Richiep23
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Feb 23, 2013 11:29 |  #4

yes please update how that goes for you




  
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Richiep23
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Feb 23, 2013 11:30 |  #5

i am just now starting to want to use flashes now and wouldnt mind getting some feed back from someone else experimenting




  
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kfreels
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Feb 23, 2013 17:16 as a reply to  @ Richiep23's post |  #6

Just wanted to expand on this a bit. If you are a bit more experimental you can take it a bit further. You can take your string and make it longer and put distance marks on it. You can color code each position for each aperture setting. Then you will be able to move lights closer and further accurately. For example, say you want to move the light closer to soften the shadows a bit more. You could move up to the next mark and then you know you need to reduce the flash power by a stop or stop down one stop on your lens. Or if you moved up two marks, then you have moved two stops, etc.


I am serious....and don't call me Shirley.
Canon 7D and a bunch of other stuff

  
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Digital_zen
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Feb 24, 2013 18:31 |  #7

Yeah, its pretty much a test/chimp/adjust/test​/chimp thing...
I've done couples shoots outdoors with a single flash unit and I love it! How are you positioned as far as your knowledge of light placement etc.?
In my flickr stream there are some couples images which were shot outdoors with a single flash, most of the time.
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/56512880@N08/ (external link)
With the sun low, as it will be during your shoot (unless its overcast) you can get some great results by using the sun as a kicker, or hair light... plus then your subjects don't have to stare into the sun and won't be all squinty!
If you'd like more in depth discussion about light placement etc. just let us know, I'm sure folks are more than happy to help out.


You will find no more zen at the top of a mountain, than the zen that you bring there with you.

~zen proverb~

  
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Couples Shoot - flash advice
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