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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 04 Nov 2009 (Wednesday) 04:38
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Oudoors family shoot w/ flash Qs.

 
Livinthalife
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Nov 04, 2009 04:38 |  #1

I just picked up a 580 with shoot thru/reflective umbrella. I have seen tons of amazing images using this basic combo. Just curious, what are some general tips. I will be shooting in the evening as the sun setting, maybe a little earlier than that. Should the flash be on half power? I know it's all subjective till the moment. But have yet to use this combo. Any advice? Appreciate it!


-Andy-

  
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jeromego
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Nov 04, 2009 08:14 |  #2

expose for the sunset then use the flash as fill for your subject(s). I think 1/2 power would be a bit too much, try 1/4 or 1/8 and just adjust accordingly.


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gonzogolf
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Nov 04, 2009 09:40 |  #3

Andy,

The power of your flash depends greatly on your ISO, distance from the subject, and your chosen aperture so its impossible to advise on that. Set your camera to m, start with your shutter speed at the max sync speed you can get out of your camera/trigger combo and then adjust the aperture til you get the sunset you want. Then add the flash and adjust til it lights up the subject in the way that you want. The reason I suggest starting at max sync (usually 1/250) is that as the sun goes down you can adjust your shutter speed downward to keep the balance between ambient and flash as you lose light.




  
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jwilson
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Nov 04, 2009 10:12 |  #4

Since you're using the 580, why not just use it in E-TTL mode rather than manual? Takes the guess work out of it and you can adjust up/down via FEC....




  
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gonzogolf
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Nov 04, 2009 10:17 |  #5

jwilson wrote in post #8953085 (external link)
Since you're using the 580, why not just use it in E-TTL mode rather than manual? Takes the guess work out of it and you can adjust up/down via FEC....


You assume his method of triggering the off camera flash allow ettl.




  
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sdipirro
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Nov 04, 2009 12:50 |  #6

OK, I've always been mixed ambient-flash challenged. Some sort of mental block in understanding this. Let's say we're doing this manually (no ETTL). Using the camera to meter the background, let's say you get camera settings of f4, 1/200, and ISO 400 for the background to be exposed the way you like. Now you're going to introduce the flash off-camera to illuminate the subjects "the way you want." Supposed I wanted to meter the subjects and trigger the flash to take the guesswork out of it. What am I looking for in terms of meter readings to properly expose the subjects in front of this background? Thanks.


Cameras: 1DX, 1D4, 20D, 10D, S90, G2
Lenses: Canon 10-22mm, 16-35mm f2.8L II, 24-70mm f2.8L, 70-200mm f2.8L IS, 300mm f2.8L IS, 200mm f2L IS, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L, 1.4x TC, 2x TC, 500D macro, Zeiss 21mm
Lighting: 580EX, Elinchrom 600 RX's, D-Lite 4's, ABR800, 74" Eli Octa, 100cm/70cm DOs, Photoflex Medium Octa and reflectors, PW's, Lastolite Hilite, Newton Di400CR bracket

  
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gonzogolf
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Nov 04, 2009 13:46 |  #7

Keep in mind that you are metering two different exposures, the ambient and the flash. In a broad generalization you are most often using the shutter speed to control the ambient, and the aperture to control the flash exposure. Meaning the flash is delivered in a short burst of light, you control it by selecting the desired aperture.

Assuming you have a flashmeter its pretty simple. You would just adjust the flash power so that its giving you f/4 assuming the effect you want is straight up flash ambient balance with the flash only serving to fill the shadows. Personally I like to underexpose the background a little to improve saturation and let the flash carry a little more of my exposure and serve to highlight the subject (some people have called this the OCF effect, not sure if thats an accepted term or not). You have to be careful that you dont end up with a shot that looks flashy though.




  
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sdipirro
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Nov 04, 2009 13:54 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #8

So in this particular example, you might then meter the subjects for f5.6 and set the camera aperture to f5.6 to make them 1 stop brighter than the slightly underexposed background?


Cameras: 1DX, 1D4, 20D, 10D, S90, G2
Lenses: Canon 10-22mm, 16-35mm f2.8L II, 24-70mm f2.8L, 70-200mm f2.8L IS, 300mm f2.8L IS, 200mm f2L IS, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L, 1.4x TC, 2x TC, 500D macro, Zeiss 21mm
Lighting: 580EX, Elinchrom 600 RX's, D-Lite 4's, ABR800, 74" Eli Octa, 100cm/70cm DOs, Photoflex Medium Octa and reflectors, PW's, Lastolite Hilite, Newton Di400CR bracket

  
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gonzogolf
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Nov 04, 2009 14:07 |  #9

I'd probably increase my shutter speed by a stop, in your example that might mean adjusting the ISO to get me down under max sync. I would do that because I want to slightly darken the background and that would allow me to do that without adjusting my aperture which controls the amount of flash coming in.

Does that make sense? I pick the aperture I want based on two things, the first being the desired depth of field and the second to accommodate the power of the flash I have.. In your example its small enough that flash power shouldnt be much of a concern, but if you wanted to hit f16 thats another matter. Also, the method I am suggesting has problems if you try to overpower the sun at midday.




  
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sapearl
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Nov 04, 2009 14:09 |  #10

Here's what I use for my outdoor wedding work.

If I'm using the camera's own internal meter, I'll point it at a gray card or some sort of "middle tone" value of illumination that is in the scene. This should get me an average meter reading that is in the ballpark. Let's say this is your f/4 at 1/200 using ISO 400. I'd put the camera in MANUAL mode, and dial in these settings (which will be locked since it's in manual).

I would then turn my 580 on in AUTO-ETTL MODE, and dial in something like FEC 1- stop, or 1/3-stop...... something less than " 0 ".

Why? Once I get my correct ambient meter reading, I like to just throw out a splash of light that is sufficient to open up shadows in the eye sockets and elsewhere. I don't want a NUKE in the face white blast. It is not flattering.

But - if you have a hand held meter, that is even better yet IMO.

At the position of the subject, I take an INCIDENT meter reading. With the dome covering the hand held meter's sensor, I point it back at the camera. This gives an extremely accurate reading since it is measuring the light FALLING on the subject, not being reflected off a white shirt, black pair of pants, plaid blouse.... you get the idea; all of those reflected readings will give you different readings which can give you very inconsistent readings.

Once I get my hand-held meter reading, I use the flash in the same manner as described above. I dial in "FEC - " to taste, which will give me a pleasant amount of modelling. Hope this helps. - Stu

sdipirro wrote in post #8953915 (external link)
OK, I've always been mixed ambient-flash challenged. Some sort of mental block in understanding this. Let's say we're doing this manually (no ETTL). Using the camera to meter the background, let's say you get camera settings of f4, 1/200, and ISO 400 for the background to be exposed the way you like. Now you're going to introduce the flash off-camera to illuminate the subjects "the way you want." Supposed I wanted to meter the subjects and trigger the flash to take the guesswork out of it. What am I looking for in terms of meter readings to properly expose the subjects in front of this background? Thanks.


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sdipirro
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Nov 04, 2009 15:24 as a reply to  @ sapearl's post |  #11

I'm hoping this is all still relevant to the original questions and helping the original poster too. Yes, that makes more sense to manipulate shutter speed and ISO and leave the aperture alone since you might want the DOF you've selected. ISO might be the best choice there. And .-1 explained it well for the situation when using ETTL with the flash. In my case, I wouldn't be using ETTL and am using PWs to trigger the off-camera flash. So I want to adjust the flash power manually. Thanks for the explanations!


Cameras: 1DX, 1D4, 20D, 10D, S90, G2
Lenses: Canon 10-22mm, 16-35mm f2.8L II, 24-70mm f2.8L, 70-200mm f2.8L IS, 300mm f2.8L IS, 200mm f2L IS, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L, 1.4x TC, 2x TC, 500D macro, Zeiss 21mm
Lighting: 580EX, Elinchrom 600 RX's, D-Lite 4's, ABR800, 74" Eli Octa, 100cm/70cm DOs, Photoflex Medium Octa and reflectors, PW's, Lastolite Hilite, Newton Di400CR bracket

  
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Livinthalife
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Nov 05, 2009 04:41 |  #12

Thanks for adding on SDIpirro.
I feel a bit more comfortable now, but looks like we will be rolling FULL MANUAL. Should make for some great shots, I wil try to post the results when they some in. Thanks for the tips everyone.

BTW, my setup will obviously be off camera flash as I will be using a shut thruumbrella.

I guess the other question would be, shoot thru, or reflective umbrella? i plan on having the umbrella located near the camera, not too far off from it.


-Andy-

  
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gonzogolf
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Nov 05, 2009 05:48 |  #13

Livinthalife wrote in post #8958255 (external link)
Thanks for adding on SDIpirro.
I feel a bit more comfortable now, but looks like we will be rolling FULL MANUAL. Should make for some great shots, I wil try to post the results when they some in. Thanks for the tips everyone.

BTW, my setup will obviously be off camera flash as I will be using a shut thruumbrella.

I guess the other question would be, shoot thru, or reflective umbrella? i plan on having the umbrella located near the camera, not too far off from it.

Shoot through is easier I think for that type of shot. If you are investing in one though go ahead and get the convertible type with a black cover that can be removed for shoot through, or added to make it reflective.




  
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Livinthalife
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Nov 05, 2009 05:51 |  #14

I got that wescott with the cover, that's why I ask :) Shoot thru it is then! Appreciate the quick Feedback!


-Andy-

  
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Oudoors family shoot w/ flash Qs.
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