So it was my niece's birthday party, and my gift was to go over and take some portraits. I brought over my backdrop system as it's been rather convenient in the past.
As my luck always seems go on any assignment that I invest, heavily, my resources, disaster struck. Despite packing my equipment thoroughly, my kids got a hold of my elinchrom skyport wireless case since I left my bag open when I left to answer the phone. This fact dawned on me after I had set up my entire portable studio in their home. So there I was with everything setup, but no way to trigger my lights remotely. It's then that it hit me that the 7D had a built in wireless trigger. So I dove into my manuals as fast as I could and learned as best as I could how to enable this feature. With my niece waiting patiently, I scrambled through a few test shots, tweaking along the way, trying to get the best exposure this system gave me.
I know that the pop-up is supposed to generate a dim flash to initially trigger the speedlite. It seemed like now matter how I tweaked my settings, the pop-up was overpowering my speedlite.
Here was my setup which ultimately spoiled these pictures.
(1) 7D - manual mode, manual focus, custom white balance, 1/160 sec, f/4, ISO 400, wireless flash enabled with pop-up.
(2) 580EXii - manual output (full power) and set as slave.
The speedlite was firing but despite being full power it never seemed to produce full power in the resulting photo. It's as if it wasn't syncing with my shutter setting. This is evident by the picture I've provided below.
Picture 1: 139 pictures that I shot produced this underexposed image with a lot of red-eye.
Picture 2: corrected exposure in Lightroom by +1.5
Picture 3: two of the 141 pictures actually absorbed the full power from speedlite. The shutter speed was the same 1/160th that I used for all of them. Why it went off properly for these two random pictures and not the other 139 I just don't know...
|IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!|
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE
I really didn't expect to learn the infra-red wireless option under such strict timing the way I did last night. Not to mention, I wasn't very thrilled at the prospect of shooting with a single strobe. Now I've got a pile of photoshop work to correct these photos and I'm not too keen on having to un-mangle this whole mess. Just so that I can avoid this in the future, would someone be able to to shed some light on what may have happened?
(by the way, on the in-camera settings in the wireless flash option, I chose the top icon with the [pop-up + flash] opion.)