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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 22 May 2013 (Wednesday) 00:51
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Wedding pro shooting with flash backwards

 
flashpoint99
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May 22, 2013 00:51 |  #1

I attended a wedding last weekend and during the reception the professional photog was walking around taking shots of the wedding party ,bride ect with the flash turned 180 degree facing towards her head. The flash was not bouncing it was literally lighting up her head and hair as she fired away. when she turned the camera 90 degrees it got worse..the flash would then light behind her nailing the people standing behind her in the face. There is no way she didnt know this was happening.What gives? Is this some new technique to fire the camera in low light without actually lighting the subjects ect. Or was she just incompetent? It was actually kind of funny and I wasn't the only person to comment on it.




  
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tim
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May 22, 2013 04:13 |  #2

If it was indoors she was choosing her bounce surface to create the type of light she wanted. Read the tangents blog by Neil VN for info on that - read his "black foamie thing" article.

Ourdoors it makes little sense, unless she just needed an AF assist beam and doesn't know how to get it without the flash firing. With Nikon you can't have an AF assist beam without the flash firing, so I point the flash somewhere random and set it to 1/128th power.


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banquetbear
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May 22, 2013 04:21 |  #3

flashpoint99 wrote in post #15955466 (external link)
I attended a wedding last weekend and during the reception the professional photog was walking around taking shots of the wedding party ,bride ect with the flash turned 180 degree facing towards her head. The flash was not bouncing it was literally lighting up her head and hair as she fired away. when she turned the camera 90 degrees it got worse..the flash would then light behind her nailing the people standing behind her in the face. There is no way she didnt know this was happening.What gives? Is this some new technique to fire the camera in low light without actually lighting the subjects ect. Or was she just incompetent? It was actually kind of funny and I wasn't the only person to comment on it.

...don't knock it until you've tried it.

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Its a technique that I first read about on the tangents blog. (external link) The sample photo I've posted was the first time I tried it and was pretty blown away at how good it look it looks. (Of course, thinking about it later, it should have been obvious.)

I don't have the guts to use this often because as you've noted: it looks silly and it takes big b**ls and absolute confidence to pull it off. But when I've needed to I've bounced light behind me, to the side, off poles and off other people. I once lit up a stage fifteen rows back by putting a flash on the floor next to me and remotely firing it, bouncing it off a wall. Light is light. At high ISO's a bit of light bouncing off the wall behind you or even off other people can be all the light you need to get what you need. So the photographer you were watching is either a lighting genius or a beginner without a clue.

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Peacefield
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May 22, 2013 06:05 |  #4

I do that often. Though I try not to do it at 180 degrees unless their's no other option. A little of axis is certainly nicer.


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May 22, 2013 08:23 |  #5

its also a good deterrent for any guest-shooters that want to stand behind you and take some shots


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nicksan
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May 22, 2013 08:26 |  #6

I'll sometimes have my flash head pointed in strange directions too. Perhaps a GWC at a wedding would look at that and think WTF? But then again why would I care about what a GWC would think about where my flash head is pointed to?




  
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joshuaphoto
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May 22, 2013 08:56 |  #7

SMP_Homer wrote in post #15956110 (external link)
its also a good deterrent for any guest-shooters that want to stand behind you and take some shots

Priceless! bw!

I have been growing in my use of flash bounce technique, but one issue I have run across is the sense of it ongoingly messing the white balance (depending on the variation of bounce surface color), adding a light source with an odd color temperature to the mix. I've often been pleased with the lighting, only to opt for making them BW or sepia because of irreparable white balance mixtures.

Any thoughts?




  
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D ­ Thompson
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May 22, 2013 09:01 |  #8

I had someone ask if I knew my flash was pointing backwards once. Laughed and explained but could see how I may have looked incompetent to some. It's a great technique when you can use it.


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flashpoint99
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May 22, 2013 10:19 |  #9

Learn something new everyday! It certainly looked odd. It appeared the flash was doing nothing but hitting her straight in the face and top of her head. Ive seen numerous photographers bounce off a wall or ceiling but never off their head. I guess it still created fill light although it was quite annoying to the guests at the reception. Wouldnt a proper defuser have created the same effect without blinding the guests behind her?




  
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nathancarter
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May 22, 2013 11:17 |  #10

hah. I made a similar thread about a year ago, wondering why the professional photographer WASN'T bouncing the flash.

flashpoint99 wrote in post #15956516 (external link)
Wouldnt a proper defuser have created the same effect without blinding the guests behind her?

In a word, no.

If there's a large light-colored wall behind the photographer, then by pointing the flash directly backwards, she can light up the whole wall - for the purposes of the photo, effectively turning it into a giant light source. Similar concept to a huge reflective umbrella.

The little plastic flash diffusers don't intrinsically make the flash head bigger or "softer." Instead, they attempt to redirect the flash's light in every direction, hoping there's another surface somewhere to bounce off of, to give the appearance of a softer light. In a best-case scenario, the diffuser causes the light to bounce off the ceiling and the walls and onto the subject. In a worst-case scenario (e.g. outdoors) they just waste light and batteries.

In a lucky break, the little plastic diffuser can create a soft light, but it's nowhere near as directional or controlled as pointing the flash at a white wall. Both techniques certainly have their place. But if you're just sticking the little bit of plastic on your flash head, not paying attention to what the diffuser is actually doing to the light, and hoping for some magic to happen ... well, you're rarely going to achieve your desired results.


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awad
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May 22, 2013 11:38 |  #11

as a brown man, i bounce flash off my face quite often to get a warmer fill light. it's like a built in CTO.


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flashpoint99
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May 22, 2013 11:43 |  #12

I get the concept of using a wall behind you and the ceiling ect. However she was standing at the edge of the dance floor.It was a very large reception hall in a hotel. The wall behind her had to be 100 ft away and the flash was literally hitting the top of her head ( black hair) I wouldnt think there would be much bounced light that way. I remember thinking why doest she have the flash at least pointed up and back at a 45 degree angle. I guess it was working for her and thats all that counts.




  
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scorpio_e
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May 22, 2013 12:42 |  #13

SMP_Homer wrote in post #15956110 (external link)
its also a good deterrent for any guest-shooters that want to stand behind you and take some shots

I wish there was a like button *LOL*


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cpam.pix
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May 22, 2013 16:12 |  #14

Flash:

Will you be able to give us a link to the results at some time in the future?
If so, I'll subscribe to the thread to see the results.

While I've seen great outcomes (and we've seen examples here), it sure sounds like most of the flash would be flagged by her head and hair.


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May 22, 2013 19:02 |  #15

Was her on-camera flash the only flash she was using, or was she using some off-camera lighting as well? If she was, it's possible she was only using her on-camera flash as a trigger and didn't know she could prevent that one from firing and still have it work as a trigger. That's the only rationale I can come up with, based on what you said (wall at least 100' away, flash literally hitting her in the head).


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Wedding pro shooting with flash backwards
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