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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 29 May 2017 (Monday) 21:29
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Tips for using flash (with v high ceilings & non-white walls)

 
Amadauss
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Jun 06, 2017 15:08 |  #16

A lot of suggestion and good stuff here. It seems you really wanted input just going with the flash and the best way to do it in certain circumstances. Bottom line, with the flash over 10 to 12 feet, it's hit or miss on what you will get often with someone. Those podium shots, either we sneak up and get a quick shot as close as we can get or just use a long lens (has to be 2.8 or better), turn up the iso and hope for the best just using the light available. A lot of post processing helps after the fact.

With the photo you posted, it seems like that one was a lets take a photo of this group type situation and nothing to force taking it in that spot. When ever I can, will have them move to a location that affords the best light if possible. People will move anywhere to have their photo taken. :) If they have to stay there, we use a larger type white reflector then the little pop up card on the flash. Velcros to the flash and gives us a good amount of light.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Jun 06, 2017 15:50 |  #17

Wilt wrote in post #18371667 (external link)
I'm not finding the same conclusion as you about zoom head setting.

  • The first link did not seem to have pertinent discussion about zoom head setting; it was mostly about automated vs. manual flash practical considerations. I do see some differences in facial modelling, but the bounce angle also was considerably different as the bride was close to camera, vs. the group shot farther away!
  • The second link had Neil state, "Ed Verosky's comparison is obviously for direct flash. With bounce flash, this pretty much disappears. You have a much larger light source. A massive softbox behind you, whether you have your flash zoomed tight or wide."
    and Chris later said a wideangle setting did not work so well while the normal lens setting worked well (and no statement about tele setting)
  • The comments link didn't seem to touch on zoom head setting either.

link one:

I tend to fix my flash’s zoom head to the longest focal length. Two reasons:
– I hate the flash going whizz-whizz-whizz as I zoom my lens. It’s annoying.
– Also, I work my speedlights hard. Most of them show the little fresnel lens has started to melt a little at some point. At the wider zoom settings, the discharge lamp moves much closer to the fresnel lens, and it can melt the fresnel more easily.

As for specific control of the flash’s zoom setting – I am sure there are situations where it is an advantage to zoom to either the widest or the longest zoom setting on the flash – but I don’t have examples that I can off-hand remember.

link two:

irose ... I usually zoom to the tightest setting my flash allows. Doing so gives more reach to the flash. The range actually improves.

I would have to do some testing though to see if this really does affect the image brightness in a really large venue vs working in a smaller room.

link three:

Dendy .. I do zoom my flashhead out to maximum when I bounce flash. It gives a little more efficiency, which is becomes important in the way that I bounce my flash .. which is usually ‘away’ from my subject, instead of towards my subject.

with the last sentence being the most important ... to me.

I rarely prefer shooting with the flash pointed straight up. That is a great starting point for folks new to bouncing flash but I quickly grew tired of the same old flat look with anything other than a group of people. It has been my experience that is is very hard, if not impossible. to get any real directionality from the bounced light when it is set to a wide setting.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Wilt. (2 edits in all)
     
Jun 06, 2017 16:17 |  #18

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #18372542 (external link)
link one:

link two:

link three:

with the last sentence being the most important ... to me.

Link one rationale for zoom is stated as putting lens farther from tube, so it might have lower tendency to melt.
Link two rational for zoom is questioned as to whether or not it makes much difference...inconclus​ive and not necessarily an endorsement to zoom to long FL for more brightness/range
Link three rationale for zoom...what exactly is meant by 'more efficiency'?!...it might mean that wider spread means less care exactly where 'behind you' the flash is pointed, for it to even reach your subject, it does not implicitly refer to brightness/range of light. And it is certain not a validation of 'why zoom to tele'...it is 'zoom to wide'

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #18372542 (external link)
I rarely prefer shooting with the flash pointed straight up. That is a great starting point for folks new to bouncing flash but I quickly grew tired of the same old flat look with anything other than a group of people. It has been my experience that is is very hard, if not impossible. to get any real directionality from the bounced light when it is set to a wide setting.

Your last point is the only one in your post 17 that seems a truly valid reason, not any of the ones in Neil's links! By zooming to tele coverabe, you are effectively changing the size of the virtual source of light and reducing it so that its coverage in some areas is less, leading to improved modelling of the face.


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Jun 06, 2017 16:45 |  #19

Wilt wrote in post #18372572 (external link)
Your last point is the only one in your post 17 that seems a truly valid reason, not any of the ones in Neil's links! By zooming to tele coverabe, you are effectively changing the size of the virtual source of light and reducing it so that its coverage in some areas is less, leading to improved modelling of the face.

And this really is a good reason ... It can work especially well if there is a clear white wall reasonably close by to give soft but directional light.

I don't really go with that 'point it up at the ceiling' approach. It's safe and won't let you down so you will get the shot. But it may be rather flat.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Wilt. (2 edits in all)
     
Jun 06, 2017 17:02 |  #20

DaviSto wrote in post #18372593 (external link)
And this really is a good reason ... It can work especially well if there is a clear white wall reasonably close by to give soft but directional light.

I don't really go with that 'point it up at the ceiling' approach. It's safe and won't let you down so you will get the shot. But it may be rather flat.

Yet it was a comment, "i found three pages where Neil v mentions flash head zoom, all suggest zooming to the max tight setting" that triggered the most recent debate about zooming the flash to the longest FL setting.
I said earlier that, "Curtis N did a test and showed that zooming the flashhead to narrowest area did little to increase the intensity of the bounce flash" and the last comment, by Left Handed Brisket justifed the WIDE setting! Links to Neil V seemed inconclusive about any value to zoom tele setting for shooting (it justified it only to keep the lens from melting).


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Post edited over 1 year ago by Left Handed Brisket.
     
Jun 07, 2017 03:02 |  #21

I addressed intensity in my first reply on the subject/tangent.

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #18371585 (external link)
whether it matters much regarding the actual amount of light on the subject, I do not know.

Further, I'm not sure I care either because the intensity has always been sufficient for my needs when blending ambient with flash.


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Jun 07, 2017 21:17 |  #22

There are a few modifiers out there that can help.

One is the Sto-Fen Omnibounce: https://www.amazon.com …eywords=omni-bounce+480ex (external link)

The other is a Gary Fong Light Sphere: https://www.amazon.com …sr=1-1&keywords=gary+fong (external link)

You'll see people on here laughing about using a pencil holder, tupperware, and other stupid comments, but try it for yourself and you will see that in the circumstances you mentioned, both of these products will give you better results.

Again...ignore the people on here and try it for yourself. If you can't set up lights, and can't bounce, then these are good options.


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Jun 08, 2017 02:52 |  #23

In similar situations to yours I've used a large bounce reflector mounted on top of a rotating flash bracket. The specific brand/model doesn't really matter, what matters is using as large a reflector as possible up as high as possible. But for reference I use a Lumiquest ProMax reflector with the white insert and diffuser on a Custom Brackets Pro M rotating flash bracket.

Then there's also the guy who managed to mount an umbrella on a stand in a backpack: https://petapixel.com …PetaPixel+%28Pe​taPixel%29 (external link)


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Tips for using flash (with v high ceilings & non-white walls)
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