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Thread: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

  1. #1

    Default Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    hi guys,

    i hope you can help me out. i am using a sunpak digital flash adapter and "unomat" flash for my indoor shots with my fz5. the built-in flash is triggers the external flash through the slave trigger in the flash adapter.
    i'm quite happy with the set up except for one point, when i try to take close up pictures of my 1 month baby, i have to underexpose to compensate for the external flash. otherwise, i'll have blownout pics. the problem is the LCD/EVF is too dark for me to see the subject/baby to know if it is correct focused or to compose properly while waiting for the right moment to take the picture. my baby smiles for only a second and it takes longer than that to compose and focus with the fz5. any suggestions???

    thanks!

    nat
    p.s. the external flash makes a million difference for indoor shots!

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    Congrats to you for the new born baby.

    How about try bringing your baby near a window, the bigger the better, no direct sun light shine on her. The window light should come from her top right or left, side also fine.

    In this way, you can do some available light shots of her, of course you need the shutter speed fast enough to stop the movement, and also enough depth of field.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    i read before not to use direct flast towards the baby..

    bounce the flash...

    Stress Man @ work... :bigeyes:

  4. #4

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Unfortunately, our bedroom doesn't have much available light from the window and secondly, i usually take pictures of my baby at night when i get home from work.

    Actually I do bounce the flash (sorry forgot to mention earlier)....

    Any other suggestions? Please keep them coming....

    nat

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    Congrats on the birth of your newborn! My baby is 1.5mths old, and I usually try not to take pictures at night. Just like you, I work in the day, so most pics have to be taken on weekends. At night, just like what the rest suggested, move your baby to a better-lid area. For me I've taken at most 5 shots of him with flash, all bounced.

    Since your problem is the EVF/LCD being too dark due to the settings, I suggest you can peep through your left eye. Use the EVF, and right eye to look through it. Open you left eye, which is free to watch the baby to capture the exact moment. I could do that after some practice.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    huggable,

    hmm... it sounds interesting. i'll try it tomorrow nite. i'm done with my baby shoot for tonite. i hope it doesn't give me eye problems.

    it is really bad to use flash directly to my baby? i don't have much choice because my external flash uses a slave trigger in the adapter. i do set the built in flash at the lowest level and rely mostly from the bounced light from the external flash. as much as possible, i take pictures from an angle but he tends to follow me.

    my baby turns 1.5 months this sat too. let's share some tips! what cam are u using?

    regards,

  7. #7

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    Quote Originally Posted by natosan
    hi guys,

    i hope you can help me out. i am using a sunpak digital flash adapter and "unomat" flash for my indoor shots with my fz5. the built-in flash is triggers the external flash through the slave trigger in the flash adapter.
    i'm quite happy with the set up except for one point, when i try to take close up pictures of my 1 month baby, i have to underexpose to compensate for the external flash. otherwise, i'll have blownout pics. the problem is the LCD/EVF is too dark for me to see the subject/baby to know if it is correct focused or to compose properly while waiting for the right moment to take the picture. my baby smiles for only a second and it takes longer than that to compose and focus with the fz5. any suggestions???

    thanks!

    nat
    p.s. the external flash makes a million difference for indoor shots!
    my advice is not to flash directly at the eyes of your 1 month old baby. don't take my word--go check with your pediatrician.
    Last edited by bluz; 16th September 2005 at 01:04 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    how about setting higher ISO?
    i know you ll introduce noise into the pic, but you can always use neat image...
    better than no shot rite...
    too many shots...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    To trigger your slave flash using the in built flash w/o flashing direct at your child's eyes, you can use a cardboard to block it and redirect in the direction of the slave flash...i.e. e,g, put the cardboard at 45 deg so no direct path to child, but the reflected flash will still trigger the slave flash....see here for e.g. courtesy from Megaweb's gallery


  10. #10

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    Quote Originally Posted by tchuanye
    To trigger your slave flash using the in built flash w/o flashing direct at your child's eyes, you can use a cardboard to block it and redirect in the direction of the slave flash...i.e. e,g, put the cardboard at 45 deg so no direct path to child, but the reflected flash will still trigger the slave flash....see here for e.g. courtesy from Megaweb's gallery

    WOW....

    din know that flash PNS also can "bounce"...
    Stress Man @ work... :bigeyes:

  11. #11

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    Quote Originally Posted by k3nn3th03
    WOW....

    din know that flash PNS also can "bounce"...
    This set up is NOT to bounce, but to trigger the external slave flash, which does the bouncing.....

  12. #12

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    Quote Originally Posted by tchuanye
    This set up is NOT to bounce, but to trigger the external slave flash, which does the bouncing.....
    Actually with the fz5 you can try. I used this method on my fz20 inbuilt flash & it could do a decent bounce.

    But I used a bigger piece of paper lah.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    Quote Originally Posted by natnivek
    Actually with the fz5 you can try. I used this method on my fz20 inbuilt flash & it could do a decent bounce.

    But I used a bigger piece of paper lah.
    Oh!...thats new to me. Very interesting.....can use it if I run out of battery for my ext flash....

  14. #14

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    Quote Originally Posted by tchuanye
    This set up is NOT to bounce, but to trigger the external slave flash, which does the bouncing.....
    yah, me still waiting to get my hands on my hot shoe attachment for my fz5 before go try try some macro!!!

    fz20 got a stronger built in flash rite???

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    I'll ask my PD about the camera flash during the next appointment. Just trying to play safe. I'm using a FZ5 too! My baby is more spontaneous these few days, guess he's learnt to react to human interaction. I should be able to get more interesting photos. Try taking out the baby's mittens, he/she will play around with the fingers, to the face etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by natosan
    huggable,

    hmm... it sounds interesting. i'll try it tomorrow nite. i'm done with my baby shoot for tonite. i hope it doesn't give me eye problems.

    it is really bad to use flash directly to my baby? i don't have much choice because my external flash uses a slave trigger in the adapter. i do set the built in flash at the lowest level and rely mostly from the bounced light from the external flash. as much as possible, i take pictures from an angle but he tends to follow me.

    my baby turns 1.5 months this sat too. let's share some tips! what cam are u using?

    regards,

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    Congrats to all those with your newborn babies. I am sure now you have a good reason to tell your wives that you need to stock up on accessories for your camera in order to take good pics of your babies (I did, and it worked!).

    While there has been no documentation on this, I was informed by my PD that their eyes are still in the process of developing, and flash from cameras (especially at close range) can be quite damaging.

    I did as what has been suggested by our brothers here who gave good advise on using the bounce techniques, or using the deflection method to trigger a slave flash position elsewhere.

    For most of my shots, I try to take them in the daytime, and placing them near a light source eg the windows. But shutter speeds usually would be slow, and I set up a tripod for this purpose. However, it is still tricky as sometimes the baby moves rather fast, and this may result in a blurred picture as a result of the movement.

    Hope this helps.
    "....it is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness...."

  17. #17

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    Quote Originally Posted by fuse
    yah, me still waiting to get my hands on my hot shoe attachment for my fz5 before go try try some macro!!!

    fz20 got a stronger built in flash rite???
    hot shoe attachment? is it a flash bracket... or something else?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    hmmm i used to stick a small piece of postit pad paper in front of my FZ5 flash. works wonders..
    anyway don't use F2.8, use F4.5 or F5.0 for your flash.. it'll be much better..

  19. #19

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    tks for the additional suggestions.

    1) tried the "eyes both open" technique but the handle of my flash adapter covers the other eye my set up looks like this.. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=15030458
    2) haven't tried placing a bounce card/paper though i tried using an undeveloped film strip. i read about it in the dpreview forums but it doesn't fire the slave trigger in the adapter.
    3) raising to iso sensitivity would partially solve the problem but the noise level wouldn't be acceptable. what to do with my adapter and external flash?????
    4) i haven't been able to take pics of my baby since your warning on using flash directly to my baby. i will try the bounce card but if it fails... what else do i need to do????
    5) i also use F4.5 or F.50 for the flash portrait shots.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Taking baby pics with FZ5 and external flash

    A 1 month old baby smile less than a 3 month's. You will get more smiling shots in months to come.

    I think using bounce flash, though weaker than direct, is still stressful for the baby. I would even go for the extreme like using iso400 w/o flash for nite shots, later convert to sepia tone or B&W, since colors are blend. The shots will still show smiles, crys, emotions, although not tech perfect. It may be more worthwhile keeping than a technically good one. This way, I will be more agile to move around and faster in capturing the expression.

    I find that many good baby fotos are the point and shoots. Speed in capturing expression is crucial. Even a 2 sec start up time may seem slow at times.

    Of course, day is still the best time to capture, without using higher iso.

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