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Thread: how to reduce/eliminate harsh shadow even with stofen OB?

  1. #1

    Question how to reduce/eliminate harsh shadow even with stofen OB?

    I find that, most of the time, with my external flash (420ex - last time), (SB-600 current system) did cast deep shadow of the subject, although I'd tilted the flash head 60 degree up with stofen OB on.

    One of the reason might due to the subject quite near to the wall (< 3 meters) ... however, is there solution to this situation?

    All input welcome

    Thanks in advance.
    Canon 40D|17-55 f/2.8 IS|100 f/2.8 Macro|135 f/2L|300 f/4L IS|430ex|BG-E2

  2. #2
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    if you are shooting indoors with a low white ceiling, just chuck the OB and point the flash head up. Bounce from the ceiling. Try it out.

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    Personally, for indoor with low white ceiling (typical hdb flat), I'll point the flash up without even a bounce card (or may be with a very small one).

    The shadow, especially below chin, will be very natural.

  4. #4

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    I've found the stofen almost useless. It's hardly any better than shooting straight flash. When shooting indoors, I bounce the flash off the walls or ceiling. The difference is huge compared to direct flash or omnibounce.

  5. #5

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    I see... will try again next time without the stofen OB

    Thanks man
    Canon 40D|17-55 f/2.8 IS|100 f/2.8 Macro|135 f/2L|300 f/4L IS|430ex|BG-E2

  6. #6

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    some bit of shadow wont die.

    i shoot with omnibounce straight on

  7. #7

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    OB help make the flash coverage wider and not so harsh only lo...really wanna reduce shadow near wall i tink best is juz point up and use bounce card... together with OB..

    still waiting for lightsphere...
    haiz...

    cheers..

  8. #8

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    The thing is if u use the stofen omnibounce, there will still be some direct light (even when u set to an angle) to the subject as the 'omnibounce' literally shoots light in all directions.
    Another way to really eliminate shadows is using slave flashes.

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    i think his problem is on the background... like he said the subject is near a wall, unless the wall is made of material that can reflect/diffuse light, like canvas or polyester (depends on the light source as well), otherwise shadow will still be there... esp concrete wall with paint / wallpaper...

    anyway to counter this, if using straight on, think its best to use a softbox... can make your own using tracing paper, or buy the lumiquest ones..

    another point to say is... omnibouce is not really a miracle, it only reduce, not eliminate... any flash/ diffuser watever, if u place the flash just before the subject & lying on the background... imho impossible not to get shadows (unless there is an equal amount of light from behind... but thats when you need a super fast shutter, else u will see nothing)
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  10. #10

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    ya... mainly shooting my kids in house.. sometime the shadow is quite bad cast on the wall..

    I was also thinking putting another SB-600 as slave flash to fill the background might help...

    btw, is there any place sells those backdrop, normal room height (probably I only need plain color eg. Striky Yellow, Full white, Full black)? .. hehehe... a mini studio like setup

    (My PS skill not good in removing backgroud)

    Thanks.
    Canon 40D|17-55 f/2.8 IS|100 f/2.8 Macro|135 f/2L|300 f/4L IS|430ex|BG-E2

  11. #11

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    The hashness of the shadow also got to do with the distance of the subject to the wall. Like the rest have mentioned, just tilt your flash up towards the ceiling w/o OB. The ceiling is the best softbox, no need OB. Another point to note is try not to place your subject too near the wall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ST_sg
    ya... mainly shooting my kids in house.. sometime the shadow is quite bad cast on the wall..

    I was also thinking putting another SB-600 as slave flash to fill the background might help...

    btw, is there any place sells those backdrop, normal room height (probably I only need plain color eg. Striky Yellow, Full white, Full black)? .. hehehe... a mini studio like setup

    (My PS skill not good in removing backgroud)

    Thanks.
    Omnibounce give you a bare bulb effect, so the subject still will cast a light shadow on the wall if the subject is close enough, if you want a very soft shadow, better off with a ceiling bounce, some people complaint about ceiling bounce with give the subject a raccoon eye effect is because the camera and flash to close to the subject, the light come down just like noon day sun.

    If you not sure about lighting, to set up another light is to create another set of shadow, and mostly is unwanted shadow.

    Btw, are you talking about shooting vertical orientation with omnibouce?

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    b4 you start buying more stuff, give the ceiling bounce a try first.

    the distance of the subject to the wall can be rearranged what?
    Don't need to buy special material bg.

    you can try coloured cloth or king sized bedsheet (flat not fitted)
    ikea is having a sale you know?

  14. #14

    Default Other variables

    After bounce ceiling, and everything still have harsh shadow, then I think try play around with setting :

    1) Higher ISO with acceptable noise. Less flash power from flash to get proper exposure---> less shadow from flash.

    2) Slower shutter speed without shake----> more ambient light---> less flash shadow

    3) bigger aperture just nice for your subject --> as in 2.

    Me newbie also... Don't complaint lah. At least u have a ext flash. I don't .

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    bigmouse... sometimes aperture/shutter/iso can't replace flash... likewise flash can't replace either 1 of them... they all give different effects to the picture... (btw, no matter how slow shutter or open aperture, i think when you use flash at minimum, shadow will still be the same if the person stand near the wall)
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    ask subject to take 2 step to the front, why stand against the wall?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    ask subject to take 2 step to the front, why stand against the wall?
    this should be labeled as post number 2...

    let me guess... room too small, no wide angle lens, wide angle make subject look fat...
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    room too small? not that bad until must stand against the wall what?
    Using the storeroom as a studio?

    Photographer can still stand outside of the room and shoot through the door or window. Flash can still be placed in the room and triggered remotely.

    ha ha you live up to your nick, Del Ctr, no alt.

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    actually thinking back, I even shoot inside a HDB lift without strong shadows, 4 people in the lift somemore. The room cannot be smaller that the lift! Even the smallest room the toilet, is begger that the lift.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    room too small? not that bad until must stand against the wall what?
    Using the storeroom as a studio?

    Photographer can still stand outside of the room and shoot through the door or window. Flash can still be placed in the room and triggered remotely.

    ha ha you live up to your nick, Del Ctr, no alt.
    hehe... but den again... no shadows ar? think 1/2 body shots ok, full body shots, take from small room abit hard... maybe like i said b4... my skills still very bad compared to yours... still no time to meet you to impart me the no see shoot skill...

    Delete = Shoot not nice... Delete
    Control = Must adjust all modes to the perfect... even subject details...
    NO ALTERNATIVES!
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