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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 05 Sep 2014 (Friday) 07:17
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Flash in Photojournalism

 
Paulstw
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Sep 05, 2014 07:17 |  #1

I have a flash. A manual Yongnuo 560-II. It's good for the slow portrait shoots, when you have time to set up, however, I feel that I'm missing out on decent lighting by not using it out on photojourno jobs.

A lot of my peers are using on camera flash and when you're starting out they tell you that direct flash is a no no. I know that it must be some sort of fill flash using TTL and I think it would be cool to have HSS too.

I'm looking to try and get a TTL/HSS flash, however, where to start is a nightmare. I don't want to sound like I know what I'm talking about so I'm open to suggestions.

My understanding of TTL is that based on the meter reading it fires the flash to raise the exposure. HSS seems to allow you to use higher shutter speeds, however, I'm more interested in a nice helping of artificial light on dull days or indoors.

Cheers for the advice in advance.

Paul




  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Sep 05, 2014 07:56 |  #2

Paulstw wrote in post #17136891 (external link)
A lot of my peers are using on camera flash and when you're starting out they tell you that direct flash is a no no.

This has got to be one of the biggest mistruths in photography.

Going back twenty years or more, I have told my non photog friends to use flash for outdoor portraits with their point and shoots. Will it always improve a picture? No, but unless you really understand light, and have worked to construct a shot that works in existing light, it will often go a long way to balancing exposure and filling shadows.

Best advice is to try ETTL and FEC and see what happens. If you are using Av or Tv, set the exposure comp to -1 or -2/3 and let the flash fill in the gaps. Start there and then figure out what setting work for the look you are trying to achieve.


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Paulstw
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Sep 05, 2014 08:13 |  #3

Cheers,

I just need to identify what flash to buy and what I can get away with.




  
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sirquack
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Sep 05, 2014 09:05 |  #4

Paul, it depends on what your budget is. If you are using it for PJ work, I would assume pro. So I would say go with pro gear. Canon makes a great number of high quality flashes that will work in PJ work as well as just plain Jane photography on your own time. I would say, figure out what amount of light you are going to need and find a comparable flash that can at least to ETTL/TTL. If you think you must have HSS as well, most of the newer offerings do that as well. While I am not a hotshoe is a no no guy, it might help if you went with a flash bracket that would allow you to have the flash at least off axis from the lens axis. It will make the most of the flash while still giving you better photos that don't have the "Look at the overused flash" look of some of the direct flash photos we have all seen.
If you can get by with something other than Canon, especially if it is coming out of your own budget and not your employers, there are many non Canon branded offerings. I personally have the Yongnuo 565ex which is ETTL capable. And has been a great work horse for me, but I don't do PJ work either. But have been through probably 5-6 sets of batteries and that is several thousand flasked on that flash. If you wanted to go ETTL/HSS, Yonguo has the 568EX for that capability. But I have only personally used the 565 and found it does great work even in a crown lighting a stage 75 feet away.
So there are definitely options out there. Just figure out your budget, your light requirements and you should be able to figure out what you need to go with from that.


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NewCreation
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Sep 05, 2014 09:09 |  #5

I use the yn568-ii on a bracket for weddings (except during posed shots). It works well. I use the 622c triggers to fire it as my ttl cord doesn't seem to do hss when needed.


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Paulstw
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Sep 05, 2014 09:57 |  #6

Thanks for the info folks. It makes sense to get gear that's going to last. I get bumped a hell of a lot doing the PJ work. Got elbowed in the jaw yesterday by another protog and I guess it was a show of authority than an accident lol

When you're competing with these guys your images need to be close if not better, so I did lack better light yesterday and that's what had me thinking. Didn't have time to footer about with manual flash even though I had it with me. Usually takes around 5-6 shots to balance it out. Would have been all over and I'd have looked a right tottie




  
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Sep 05, 2014 10:28 |  #7

Paulstw wrote in post #17137151 (external link)
Thanks for the info folks. It makes sense to get gear that's going to last. I get bumped a hell of a lot doing the PJ work. Got elbowed in the jaw yesterday by another protog and I guess it was a show of authority than an accident lol

When you're competing with these guys your images need to be close if not better, so I did lack better light yesterday and that's what had me thinking. Didn't have time to footer about with manual flash even though I had it with me. Usually takes around 5-6 shots to balance it out. Would have been all over and I'd have looked a right tottie

I'm not a fan of brackets and big heavy flashes on camera, especially in the kind of situation you're talking about. I just have never felt a good balance with any size flash hanging off the top of the camera. To the point I am considering one of canon's really small flashes for my 6D.

My Nikon flash has an automatic mode (NON-TTL) that I use sometimes, not that i am recommending anything like that for you. It is smaller and lighter than my 580EXII and pretty much as powerful. In tight situations that you seem to be shooting, power is not going to be a huge issue except for recycle times. But since you are balancing your flash with existing lighting, you will likely be shooting at a low enough power that recycle times won't matter much.

You definitely want a full ETTL flash, maybe something like canon's 430EXII or even a used 430EX.

Check out the Rogue Flash bender for sitting atop the flash to provide a more pleasing light source. It comes in a few different sizes.


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sirquack
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Sep 05, 2014 10:47 |  #8

I am with you he's gone. That is why I suggested looking at the power needs and finding something that will work. I have a friend with a 430ex and he loves it. The only reason I mentioned the flash bracket is it can get your light off axis enough to not be the obvious flash shot. Each tool is going to need to be evaluated based on the circumstances.
I was not suggesting the Yongnuo's specifically, only referencing what I have used and as you mentioned, they are HUGE compared to something like the 430. For PJ work, the 560 and higher is probably more light than you will need.
So I would think Paul has some thought to put into what he will need to get as good or better shot than the next PJ on the line. And Paul, learn how to throw your own elbow mate. You don't ever want them thinking they got over on you. PJ work is tough, I have a good friend who was the photo editor and photog for the local rag here, and he told me horror stories of how fellow photogs treated each other on high profile assignments. As a martial arts instructor myself, I think I would be OK, but I am not cut out to deliberately push others around and even hurt them.


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treck_dialect
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Sep 06, 2014 13:39 |  #9

Hi paul, im a PJ as well. Although i really dont like using flash (more because of my inadequacy than anything else really) there are times when i do need a flash. I use my 580exII and it can handle A LOT of bumps. Although id prefer to use it off camera, there are times when its impossible to do so. During those times i just put it on ETTL and find something to bounce it off of.

However, when im at an event where the lighting is more or less consistent, i set the flash manually and use the same setting all through out the event.


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Sep 21, 2014 10:21 as a reply to  @ treck_dialect's post |  #10

Hi paul, i USED TO BE a PJ as well. Although i really dont like using flash (more because of my inadequacy than anything else really) there are times when i do need a flash.

this fits my experiences too...

back when i was shooting for publication (pre-Air Force and during Air Force) i used my AE-1 and F1-n with a sunpak 442D...

i had an off-camera cord that replaced the hot-shoe mount on the flash and put it on the end of the cord. this was a VERY SOLID hookup and i never worried about a PC cord coming unplugged...

it was very convenient to drape the flash around my neck when not using it (for the times when i got it out) and then quickly hold it up overhead to get it away from lens axis...

i guess i was lucky because most all of my short career (10 years?) i was the only shooter at an event, but then again i never really covered too many high-profile events...




  
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Sep 22, 2014 11:25 |  #11

I'm not sure, but I think all of the 400 series Canon flashes are not water resistant where the 580ex II and some of their other ones are. This may be a consideration depending on if your camera is considered weather resistant and if you've ever been stuck shooting outside in the rain.


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gnome ­ chompski
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Sep 22, 2014 12:18 |  #12

the 600 ex-Rt is their flagship flash. Build quality is noticeable better than the 430 ex2 that I have and the 580ex2 that I handled.


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tongki
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Sep 23, 2014 06:58 as a reply to  @ gnome chompski's post |  #13

Canon flash ?


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Sibil
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Sep 23, 2014 07:04 |  #14

Paulstw wrote in post #17137151 (external link)
Got elbowed in the jaw yesterday by another protog and I guess it was a show of authority than an accident lol

Must be tough work.




  
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gonzogolf
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Sep 23, 2014 07:29 |  #15

Canon 430exIi is a good place to start. Solid build, ETTL, and HSS. if you can find a 580exII you get a stop more power for bouncing.




  
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