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Thread: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

  1. #1

    Default Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    hi all,

    i would like to find out what kinda setting should i use for my flash unit when it comes to outdoor environment, where there's no ceiling or wall for the flash to bounce.

    is it still alright to use a bounce card or omni-bounce?

    please advise and thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    For fill-flash, you can just shoot with the flash pointing forward. The quality of light doesn't show since it's fill only. Bounce card is still a small area (hard) and you waste most of the output for nothing.

    If the flash is the main light source, you may consider using an umbrella for diffusion.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    Outdoors?

    shoot direct. Using any other forms of diffusers or bounce will just waste the power.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    will the flash be too harsh on the subject if ur flash unit is the main source of light?

  5. #5
    Member lennyl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Liangerism View Post
    will the flash be too harsh on the subject if ur flash unit is the main source of light?
    The answer, together with what setup you should use, depends a lot on the situation. "Outdoors" doesn't quite give enough details. Refer to grantyale's post.

  6. #6
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Liangerism View Post
    will the flash be too harsh on the subject if ur flash unit is the main source of light?
    grantyale has already answered you question, I would say the same thing too.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    Maybe it will help if you paint us a scenario that you would like to use the flash for. Are you taking it at dusk, night or daytime? What are the type of photo you are trying to achieve?

    I guess the clearer you are, the closer you are to realising the picture.

    Cheers

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    Emmhhh.. how about night potrait?
    Flash set to rear curtain sync to capture the background. Aperture set to F8, camera on tripod, shutter 2-5s.
    Should SB800 point direct? Or use bounce card to bounce flash? Or point direct with diffuser on?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    Quote Originally Posted by eugene_nyc View Post
    Emmhhh.. how about night potrait?
    Flash set to rear curtain sync to capture the background. Aperture set to F8, camera on tripod, shutter 2-5s.
    Should SB800 point direct? Or use bounce card to bounce flash? Or point direct with diffuser on?
    Rear curtain sync has nothing to do with capturing the background. Rear curtain sync simply means that the flash fires just prior to the shutter closing, as opposed to front curtain sync, where the flash fires just after the shutter first opens for the duration of the exposure.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    Quote Originally Posted by calebk View Post
    Rear curtain sync has nothing to do with capturing the background. Rear curtain sync simply means that the flash fires just prior to the shutter closing, as opposed to front curtain sync, where the flash fires just after the shutter first opens for the duration of the exposure.
    Hi Calebk, thanks for sharing.
    But, what would be your recommended setting for such scenario?
    I tried bounce flash with built-in bounce card, the person get overexposed.
    I put flash EVC -1/-2, then I get a decent pic.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    for example,

    i'm intending to shoot some pics with some friends at a lantern festival.
    i would like to capture my friends' faces as sharp as possible, as well as the back drop with lanterns. most probably would be shooting ard night time.

    guess i would have to shoot it before i realise the problems that i'll be facing.

    well, anyway thanks guys.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    Quote Originally Posted by eugene_nyc View Post
    Hi Calebk, thanks for sharing.
    But, what would be your recommended setting for such scenario?
    I tried bounce flash with built-in bounce card, the person get overexposed.
    I put flash EVC -1/-2, then I get a decent pic.
    is it because u meter the darker areas or is the person too close to u? built-in bounce card usually reflect a very small amount of flash forward.....
    G

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    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    Quote Originally Posted by Liangerism View Post
    for example,

    i'm intending to shoot some pics with some friends at a lantern festival.
    i would like to capture my friends' faces as sharp as possible, as well as the back drop with lanterns. most probably would be shooting ard night time.

    guess i would have to shoot it before i realise the problems that i'll be facing.

    well, anyway thanks guys.
    wow...that will prb need tripod or high iso (No?)

    maybe a LS?
    G

  14. #14
    Member lennyl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    To capture the background far away, you need to expose for the background *without flash*.

    Metering for dark situations (lantern at night, for example) is always tricky. Use spot metering, and take a few test shots. Our eyes are easily fooled (or, to put it another way, our brain does HDR very well). Use rear curtain sync so that your subject knows they can move when the flash fires the second time (depending on camera brand, flash metering mode, etc.) Since background exposure might take a couple of seconds, you'd need a tripod. Your subject should not be moving about too much.

    Experiment around and see.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Using flash unit in outdoor environment

    Quote Originally Posted by lennyl View Post
    To capture the background far away, you need to expose for the background *without flash*.

    Metering for dark situations (lantern at night, for example) is always tricky. Use spot metering, and take a few test shots. Our eyes are easily fooled (or, to put it another way, our brain does HDR very well). Use rear curtain sync so that your subject knows they can move when the flash fires the second time (depending on camera brand, flash metering mode, etc.) Since background exposure might take a couple of seconds, you'd need a tripod. Your subject should not be moving about too much.

    Experiment around and see.
    i'll take note. thanks!

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