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Thread: having problems understanding flash.

  1. #1
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    Smile having problems understanding flash.

    i want to do a mod shoot under low key light. but i'm having Trouble with flash.
    I have a nikon SB-32 speed light(just bought it)and don't really know how to use it.
    i tryed a number of things but photo's come back to harhs of even washed out.
    any tips please.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: having problems understanding flash.

    Did u try using a diffusion dome and bouncing ur flash off the ceiling? It might help if u told us what are the things u tried

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    Default Re: having problems understanding flash.

    Hmmm ... Just checked our local nikon website. Seems like we don't have the SB-32 here. I found an SB-30 though. Does ur flash look like this?



    If so, then u can't bounce the flash ... Let's see ... Try reducing ur exposure? Or read the manual and find out how to diffuse or reduce flash intensity? ... I'm stumped
    Last edited by wiz23; 18th December 2005 at 02:32 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: having problems understanding flash.

    I tryed bounce flash and my unberlla.
    also tryed to reduce the intenstiy to somthing like 1/16 of the power.
    i read my manual and still don't really understand it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: having problems understanding flash.

    Well, I think we need a pro to help u

    Maybe u can post a couple of pictures taken with the flash so that the experts can help?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: having problems understanding flash.

    thank you for your time spent. this is a new thing for me anyway.
    I usally shoot with out a flash.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: having problems understanding flash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_bru
    thank you for your time spent. this is a new thing for me anyway.
    I usally shoot with out a flash.
    Bro, since you say you normally shoot without flash, let us go thru the motion of using a flash and check the steps to ensure you followed every one. Even me, because of the lack of use of a handheld flash, sometimes we forget a certain little detail which affects the end result.

    Let check:
    Did you adjust the iso setting on the flash so it gives the correct aperture reading?
    Is your aperture set to what is is supposed to be?
    Have you been using too slow a shutter speed? What is your camera's flash sync speed?

    I only hope your problem is due to one of the above, then the solution is easy.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: having problems understanding flash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_bru
    i want to do a mod shoot under low key light. but i'm having Trouble with flash.
    I'm not sure what a "mod shoot" is. If you mean "mood", the mood derives from the ambient lighting. Using another light source like a flashlight will alter and most likely kill it. A flashlight does not "amplify" the existing light. It is an additional light source, frequently completely overpowering whatever other light is there.

    i tryed a number of things but photo's come back to harhs of even washed out.
    Camera mounted flash units aiming directly at the subject give horrible light for most pictorial applications. They're useful if you have to get a shot at all costs, regardless of any aesthetics - that's why e.g. press photographers frequently use such a configuration. However, you'll rarely find a studio photographer using such a setup. They generally use flash units illuminating the scene from different directions than the camera, plus big reflectors/diffusers.

    There's some limited things one can try with camera mounted flashes - namely, use reflectors/diffusers, too.

    The effect of a diffusor is determined first and foremost by it's size: it's main purpose is to enlarge the size of the light source, which results in softer shadows (and also less light fall-off for close-ups, reducing the chance of burnt out patches). It's a simple matter of geometry, which also means that the popular small clip-on diffuser units are pretty much a waste of money.

    The purpose of a reflector is that it lets you effectively move the position of the light source away from the camera, resulting in less "flat" images. Again, anything attached directly to the camera-mounted flash unit isn't going to make a big difference since it cannot change the position of the light source by much.

    One common indoor trick is to use walls/ceilings as diffuse reflectors. However, this requires that the flash unit can be aimed at them. Many cheap units don't allow this, but there are accessories that enable flash units to be tilted. Another partial solution is to remove the flash unit from the camera using a remote sync cable (or nowadays also wireless remote trigger units). However, most cheap flash units are not very powerful, and you might easily end up with pleasing, but insufficient lighting - in which case you could use the ambient light in the first place.

    To summarize: a photograph depends first and foremost of the quality of the lighting. With a camera-mounted, direct-firing flash unit, there's nothing you can adjust at all about it, which makes it virtually impossible to create pleasant lighting. Add-ons like diffusors all obey he same laws of physics: many units have little effect, irrespective of brand name and how popular they may be.

    My personal recommendation: don't use camera mounted flashes (at least as the main light source) if there's any way you can avoid it, but rely on the available light instead.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: having problems understanding flash.

    Heartshape, I set iso and the aperture. its the blast of light i can't really control yet.

    Littlewolf, thanks for the advice i'm going to try though's things


    Thanks everone.

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