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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 18 Sep 2013 (Wednesday) 16:50
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To flash or not to flash - that is the question.

 
Flashbangwallop
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Sep 18, 2013 16:50 |  #1

Hi all

Well the trip to Costa Rica is well in the planning and I now have to start thinking of my equipment.
I have never experienced rain forest/jungle but I realise that the light conditions may well be variable.
I heard of people using flash to enhance their images under these conditions. Now I'm not a flash user and it will be a steep learning curve.

So the question is, do I need to take one and if so what are the recommendation for a speedlite? I am not prepared to pay Canon prices as the purchase would have a limited use after the holiday.

Oh just to add this is a "holiday" to CR with some birding as and when it evolves as against a full-on birding holiday.

My equipment will be my Canon 550D and a 100-400mm IS lens plus my Sony RX100.

Thanks in advance




  
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windpig
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Sep 18, 2013 21:59 |  #2

I go nowhere without a flash.


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Sep 18, 2013 22:36 as a reply to  @ windpig's post |  #3

I use flash for nearly all my wedding images, whether it's just a little fill or a complete blast, but I can't imagine taking one to Costa Rica for wildlife. I'm headed to Argentina and Chile this November and my flashes are staying home. They're great for lighting up people so their faces are visible even with heavy backlighting but I don't imagine the birds you'll be shooting will stay still long enough for you to set up any OCF anyway :)


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digital ­ paradise
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Sep 18, 2013 23:09 |  #4

Unlike windpig unless I am shooting photos my flash stays home. A bare flash is pretty hard light source and the jungle can be pretty big. It may help in shorter distances but will won't do much for a wide angle scenic shot.


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windpig
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Sep 19, 2013 08:20 |  #5

Bounced flash onto, well, anything light colored and kinda neutral for close ups of flora.


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Scrumhalf
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Sep 19, 2013 08:37 |  #6

I have become a believer of using fill flash for photographing birds with darker plumages against abrighter sky or water background. At reasonable distances, the flash is pretty effective at pulling up the shadows. A better beamer will make it even better (it is definitely next on my list of accessories to obtain).


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digital ­ paradise
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Sep 19, 2013 09:24 |  #7

That is different. I have used a BB many times for birding. As for the OP's question it kind of reminds me of being in row 50 at concert and taking flash shots. Will light up the the back of peoples heads in the next several rows very nicely but won't do much for the band.


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gonzogolf
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Sep 19, 2013 09:32 |  #8

A flash is an essential part of my kit, and probably should be for yours. Whether you would use it in the rainforest is totally up in the air, but I personally wouldnt go without one. Most people who say they wouldnt use a flash only do so because they really arent comfortable using one. Once you go flash you see lots of opportunities for improving photos that you never imagined. Good use of flash isnt about just adding more light, but getting good light where you want it.




  
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digital ­ paradise
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Sep 19, 2013 09:46 |  #9

digital paradise wrote in post #16308193 (external link)
Unlike windpig unless I am shooting photos my flash stays home. A bare flash is pretty hard light source and the jungle can be pretty big. It may help in shorter distances but will won't do much for a wide angle scenic shot.

Correction: It was late last night when I wrote this. Should have said "unless I am specifically going to do portraits my flash stays home when I travel". I have too much other gear with me. At least 3 lenses and 2 bodies and I have toned down.


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airfrogusmc
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Sep 19, 2013 09:48 |  #10

For travel and personal work I never use flash. In fact all I have been using for almost the last year for both is my Leica MM and a 35 lux and I have never been happier and I am creating the best work of my life.




  
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scorpio_e
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Sep 19, 2013 11:55 |  #11

Take a powerful LED flash light. Works in a pinch and if you get lost *L*


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Color_blind
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Sep 19, 2013 16:12 |  #12

im a flash addict ... if my flash isnt being diffused then its in my Orbis Ring flash attachment thing


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Flashbangwallop
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Sep 22, 2013 16:14 |  #13

Thanks guys for all these useful comments. I think I will spend a little money and a lot of time with a flash just in case it's needed, nothing too expensive thought!!




  
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Savethemoment
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Sep 22, 2013 17:17 |  #14

When I started out with a DSLR I thought I didn't like flash and would only use natural light.

Now I have two flashes and will one day own more.. I'm truly blown away by how fantastic they can be, including outdoors in daylight. Once you learn how to use them you can avoid that awful direct flash look with harsh shadows, and make really beautiful pictures. Also (for me anyway) flash really adds to the fun of photography because it's a whole new challenge.

I think you'll find you keep using it long after your trip!


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riffster
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Sep 23, 2013 13:45 |  #15

I wouldn't use a flash. But really how much weight does it take up stuffed in your backpack. Stuff one in there.


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To flash or not to flash - that is the question.
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