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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 14 Mar 2014 (Friday) 21:33
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Reception Flash

 
natewarden777
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Mar 14, 2014 21:33 |  #1

Have the opportunity to shoot at a reception tomorrow nite with the 430ex ii and a 6D. I'm thinking the 85 and 28 will be the lenses of choice. Any tips or settings that'd be a good starting point. This is my first outing with the speedlite and it's basically going to be experimental. I've hard a hard time properly metering and exposing with the speedlite added.

Do most of you shoot in AV or Manual?
Where do you begin in terms of Flash power.

Any quick resources on how to effectively meter and expose with a flash?

Thanks!


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gonzogolf
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Mar 14, 2014 21:40 |  #2

Manual camera. Av mode results in very slow shutter speeds as it tries to limit the flash contribution to fill. The flash, subject to FEC rwaeking, will bridge the gap between your shutterspeed and aperture. its a bit late to start your learning curve but look at the syl arena videos on youtube and Neil VanNiekirks tangsnt blog




  
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Mar 15, 2014 01:06 |  #3

^^^^ Stay away from AV as you can get into trouble with indoor lighting if you are not prepared. Use M mode on the camera. I second ETTL for flash and FEC as needed.

Like gonzogolf said you don't have much time so it is easy to put too much on your plate. The key to good flash photography is not to overwork the flash. People look less nuked. With a 6D you can shoot pretty high ISO. This way the flash does not have to work as hard.

Darker lighting I assume since you said nite so I'm gong to suggest. ISO 1600 - 3200, shutter speed between 1/125 and 1/160 (not any higher) and select the aperture you want - between 2.8 and 5.6 depending on the look you want. Just make sure the cameras light meter does not go to the right of centre a lot but I doubt that will happen if the venue is dark. It will more than likely be to the left which is normal in M mode.

Very important. You cameras light meter has nothing to do with the flash so ignore it even if it is not at centre. It will more than likely show underexposed if the venue is dark. That is the general light all around. Your flash will look after the exposure of the people you are shooting.

There is no way to predict flash exposure unless you have a flash meter. I suggest to start at -1 FEC. You take the shot, look at the LCD and the people. Not the ones in the background but your main subjects. Adjust the flashes FEC if necessary and shoot again.

If you are not comfortable with those high ISO's then shoot between 400 - 800. Don't be afraid to try some higher ISO shots if things are going well.

If you get into trouble there is nothing wrong with setting your camera to P mode. You will still need to adjust FEC on your flash after you view the subject exposure.

Good luck.


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natewarden777
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Mar 15, 2014 07:27 |  #4

Thank you! Both very helpful!

When would you suggest using a diffuser or small soft box with the flash? Also, I don't have the capability to use off camera flash, so am limited to it just over my camera.
What do you suggest if there is no ceiling to bounce the flash off of, other than walls I suppose? (since the subjects may not be near one all the time, or people may be in the way)

And lastly are you using FEC instead of reducing the power of the flash manually. I assume ETTL is supposed to predict the amount of power needed for the subject, but I wasn't sure if you had it set a certain way then just FEC to get it correct.

Thanks again!


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Oldschool1948
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Mar 15, 2014 07:51 |  #5

natewarden777 wrote in post #16760108 (external link)
And lastly are you using FEC instead of reducing the power of the flash manually. I assume ETTL is supposed to predict the amount of power needed for the subject, but I wasn't sure if you had it set a certain way then just FEC to get it correct.

Correct on ETTL predicting the amount of power. Using FEC is an easy way to adjust flash output, and ETTL allows the camera to adjust for different lighting situations as you move around the room.

I use a Sto-Fen omni-bounce when shooting on camera flash with the flash head normally pointed upwards to bounce the flash off the ceiling.

http://www.stofen.com/​store/omni.asp (external link)

I also use a Rouge Flash Bender, especially when the ceiling is too high or too dark. It also allows you to direct the light. I use the small one with on camera flash, and the large one with diffuser at times. The large one doesn't work as well on camera because the combined weight of the bender and diffuser can be too much weight for the flash head to hold, depending on the angle of the head.

http://www.expoimaging​.com …p?cat_id=13&pro​duct_id=21 (external link)


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scorpio_e
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Mar 15, 2014 07:58 |  #6

I use the flash bender. Here is something you can make EASILY today.

http://www.digitalcame​raworld.com …user-to-soften-portraits/ (external link)


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
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scorpio_e
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Mar 15, 2014 07:59 |  #7

OR

http://www.digitalcame​raworld.com …user-to-soften-portraits/ (external link)


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
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Seamus69
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Mar 15, 2014 08:59 |  #8

Don't forget to use the walls and ceiling to bounce your flash if they are available to you. Practice at home before you go.


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Mar 15, 2014 09:00 |  #9

Since you are talking about bouncing you seem to have a pretty good handle on things. More info then. The histogram is another tool you can use for your flash exposures. Whites are you friend. Any whites - sweaters, shirts, collars, cuffs, purses. I've even used table cloths as a guide. Basically you try to keep the whites as close to the right wall without touching it. Good idea to activate the blinkies as well because sometimes bright lights in the background can throw you off.

Being a little short of the wall is better than hitting it hard. Easier to fix in PP.

http://neilvn.com …am-to-determine-exposure/ (external link)

White towel method. You can always use a sheet of white paper however that may be a little awkward at a reception. Something you can use later. It is a long read for now. Scroll down and look at the gent holding the white towel.

http://super.nova.org/​DPR/Histogram/ (external link)

I don't use diffusers. If I can't bounce I just shoot direct but I do use a bracket. I just crank up the ISO to 6,400 and slow the shutter down a bit to let in as much ambient as possible. If you are going to use one most people here back the larger bounce card style. Scorpio's had a couple of suggestions. Chuck Garner has a DIY as well but it takes a bit of running around to buy the material.

I made one of these. Less than $10.

http://super.nova.org/​DPR/DIY01/ (external link)


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Shooting
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Mar 16, 2014 19:46 |  #10

Experiment with the diffusers. I have always found the flashbenders to be too much like direct flash plus just my opinion, they look awful. If you can't bounce in P mode then use abetterbouncecard.




  
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echelonphoto
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Mar 17, 2014 14:25 |  #11

Bouncing flash is a technique often misunderstood by the novice...it is not always a good thing...esp if you have colored walls (nightmare!)....high ceilings (raccoon eyes). A simple bounce card attached to the flash head will redirect some of the light forward and generally give you better lighting. I use an attachment made by Joe Demb (he has a website) which includes a hinged bounce card and a removable
diffuser...using this and tilting the flash head gives many interesting lighting choices and it often can look like off camera flash




  
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Mar 17, 2014 14:58 |  #12

An instructor at my favourite mom and pop camera store where I took lighting told us something interesting during one of the classes. They could always tell someone had advanced flash when they checked to see how much a flash head rotates first instead of asking which diffuser to get.

You are right. You need to be prepared for all situations. If you can't bounce then you go to plan B which has multiple methods. You just need to pick the one that works best for you.

Neil van Nierkerk mentioned coloured walls like dark blues and greens at a B&H lighting seminar. He said convert it to B&W and call it art. I got a chuckle out of that one.


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Mar 17, 2014 14:59 |  #13

By the way how did the reception go?


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natewarden777
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Mar 18, 2014 08:00 |  #14

Thanks for all the advice! Even though I didn't get to read it all before the reception, I have a lot to research and experiment with and the reception was a good learning experience. Overall it went pretty well, I did run in to a few issues with the flash, but here are some photos I thought turned out ok. I played with using rear curtain sync (last image), that was fun, they didn't all come out so great though. These images also appear slightly more dull and flat when I uploaded them (through tiny pic) than they look on my editing software…I know you can lose image quality with web size files, maybe that's what happened here??


IMAGE: http://i59.tinypic.com/w1fr0l.jpg

IMAGE: http://i61.tinypic.com/316288o.jpg

IMAGE: http://i57.tinypic.com/2vx37sz.jpg

IMAGE: http://i58.tinypic.com/ztvhic.jpg

IMAGE: http://i61.tinypic.com/2enxabt.jpg

6D (x3) l 35A l 50L l 50 1.4 EX Sigma l 85A l 70-200VC l 580EX II (x2)
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Mar 18, 2014 08:09 |  #15

Not bad for the first attempt. Subject exposures look OK. I'm not too sure about image quality loss when resizing. It may be your host site or what you use to resize.


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