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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 11 Jan 2009 (Sunday) 16:45
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Fill Flash outdoors

 
britt777
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Jan 11, 2009 16:45 |  #1

I have been trying to play with my flash outdoors and using it for fill. Wasn't haven't good turn out. I have posted this photo to get some feed back on what the best way to meter for this picture would be. I shot this picture without the flash because I was very close and the flash seemed to keep blowing out the highlights. Back white wall for example. Any tips would be very helpful and thank you in advance.


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DDCSD
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Jan 11, 2009 16:47 |  #2

Looks pretty well exposed. I'd just set the flash for about -2 FEC to get a little bit of fill.


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charleyclarke16
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Jan 11, 2009 16:49 |  #3

hey Brittany are you using your flash on manual or TTL?


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TMR ­ Design
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Jan 11, 2009 16:56 as a reply to  @ charleyclarke16's post |  #4

Hi Brittany,

The image is clearly underexposed. The dogs left eye is in shadow and can barely be seen.

TTL is not working for you're and is blowing highlights because you're letting the camera and flash do the thinking.

If you want to use the flash in TTL mode then try applying 2 to 3 stops of negative FEC. If the shot is still underexposed then slowly bring up the level until the shot is exposed as you would like.

If you use the flash in manual mode then a similar procedure is used. Select a power setting, perhaps 1/8 or 1/16 power and then make the appropriate adjustment as needed.


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Curtis ­ N
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Jan 11, 2009 17:08 |  #5

Robert, read the OP again. It was taken without flash.

Brittany - For outdoor fill, we need to start with the basic realization that if something is properly exposed with ambient light and then we add flash to it, we will make it overexposed.

Fill flash is mostly about striking a balance between ambient exposure and flash exposure. Sometimes we need to reduce the ambient exposure a little and then add flash to complete the picture. This allows the flash to brighten the shadow areas without blowing out the highlights.

I generally use M mode on the camera whenever I'm using flash. The allows me to be very deliberate about the ambient exposure.


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Jan 11, 2009 17:09 as a reply to  @ Curtis N's post |  #6

I did read it Curtis, and I responded accordingly. My first statement about the shot being underexposed was in response to the reply indicating the shot was properly exposed. Then I went on to describe how to use flash to correctly expose the shot.


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bohdank
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Jan 11, 2009 17:18 |  #7

If the dog was moving towards you and was quite close, I can't see any way that the flash would properly expose for fill.


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britt777
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Jan 11, 2009 17:29 as a reply to  @ TMR Design's post |  #8

Thank you all for the tips and suggestions. I am using TTL and camera in M. I wanted to use flash to open up the shadow areas around the dogs eyes. I was just looking for tips on how others would go about setting up for this shot.

Here is another example from about an hour earlier.

First photo with Flash
Second without Flash


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GSansoucie
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Jan 11, 2009 17:35 |  #9

Do you have your flash set to Fill (the "H" symbol?)

Your Exif shows the properly exposed shot at 1/1250 and the over exposed at 1/250 which is the standard max synch speed unless you change the setting.

Also, you might want to get the flash off the camera for this particular shot. With the cap on, the brim will create a shadow from the flash which will be shooting down.

On the 40D, there is a custom function for setting the Flash Sync speed in Av mode (the mode you were shooting in) C.Fn I.7. It defaults to 1/250 which is way to long for that shot. Set it to Auto.


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dpds68
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Jan 11, 2009 17:38 |  #10

Your Flash photo above looks overexposed you could of increased your shutter speed and then used flash as fill .

I use flash fill when shooting birds and I sometimes shoot with the internal exposure level meter showing -2 and the Flash in ETTL , and get a good exposed shot .


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britt777
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Jan 11, 2009 17:45 |  #11

Hi Glen, No I didn't have the flash set to "H"
My Flash Sync speed is set to Auto.


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GSansoucie
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Jan 11, 2009 17:52 |  #12

britt777 wrote in post #7054767 (external link)
Hi Glen, No I didn't have the flash set to "H"
My Flash Sync speed is set to Auto.

OK, I just tried this out. I normally shoot with the flash off camera so this was a good exercise for me.

In Av mode, with the flash on, the max you can go is 1/250. In fact, the shutter speed will blink to warn you. You have to press the funky 'H' button on the flash (High Speed) to get the Fill to Work. Once you press it, you will get the proper shutter speed, and ultimately the proper exposure.


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GSansoucie
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Jan 11, 2009 17:55 |  #13

Just want to add that my point about the flash and the baseball cap is still valid. You will create more of a shadow over the subject's face with fill flash above the camera. For caps & such, either shoot upside down (yeah, that is a bit odd) or go off camera & off to one side or the other to add a little more dimension.


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Curtis ­ N
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Jan 11, 2009 17:56 |  #14

Brittany,

I'm with Glen. Most likely the shot with flash is overexposed because you attemped to exceed the camera's X-sync speed without activating high speed sync (FP flash) on the flash unit.

Two easy solutions:
1) Set the shutter speed at 1/250 and stop down the aperture to meter the ambient.
2) Activate high speed sync on the flash.


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Jan 11, 2009 18:21 as a reply to  @ GSansoucie's post |  #15

Not sure if it's luck or technique, but it can't be equipment. The flash used in this image is a 12-year-old 380ex. The camera is a simple XTi, set according to EXIF, at 1/200, f/8 and ISO 200.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


In this outdoor costuming situation, fill flash came in handy because of the shadows from the late morning sun. This image was chosen as an example because it shows the shadow in front of the costumers, a shadow that the fill flash handled quite well.

Another example that shows how the XTi can save the operator from himself when fill flash is used:

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


Same camera and same flash, except with a lower evening sun directly behind the costumer, and an irrational shutter speed of 1/1000. Somehow, the XTi set an aperture of f/4 at ISO 200 and the exposure worked in this very heavily backlit situation. High-speed sync was used, of course.



  
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Fill Flash outdoors
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