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Thread: Flash photography

  1. #1
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    Default Flash photography

    Hihi!

    I wanna learn the ropes for indoor event photography (which require the use of flash). So i guess I will need

    1. A flash (duh!) [i'm using canon]
    2. Lightsphere (is this needed? or any cheaper alternatives?)

    Any good sites to suggest? Google gave me 1001 sites, but no idea which are good and which are better. Shifus, having been in the field for a nong, nong time, any 'favourites' which you'd like to recommend to this start-up noob here?

    Thanks in advance!

    (pardon me if this thread was started in the past. did a simple search but found nothing recent.)
    Tousand Word - A thousand words not read but seen, not seen but felt, not felt but experienced

  2. #2

    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by aHxi-o View Post
    Hihi!

    I wanna learn the ropes for indoor event photography (which require the use of flash). So i guess I will need

    1. A flash (duh!) [i'm using canon]
    2. Lightsphere (is this needed? or any cheaper alternatives?)

    Any good sites to suggest? Google gave me 1001 sites, but no idea which are good and which are better. Shifus, having been in the field for a nong, nong time, any 'favourites' which you'd like to recommend to this start-up noob here?

    Thanks in advance!

    (pardon me if this thread was started in the past. did a simple search but found nothing recent.)
    Outdoor requires flash at times too
    There are quite a couple of ways to diffuse flash light namely from the simple diffusion cap that is found in some flash, your own bounce card, lightsphere, flip it, soft box and some even says bounce of the ceiling will do(provided it's white) and so forth. Each has it's own supporter and reason for it to exist. As for me, bouncing of the wall, diffusion cap, lightsphere, reflector all works for me. As long as it can achieve the effect it hope for, which is soft lighting with soft shadow, I'm happy
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok View Post
    Outdoor requires flash at times too
    There are quite a couple of ways to diffuse flash light namely from the simple diffusion cap that is found in some flash, your own bounce card, lightsphere, flip it, soft box and some even says bounce of the ceiling will do(provided it's white) and so forth. Each has it's own supporter and reason for it to exist. As for me, bouncing of the wall, diffusion cap, lightsphere, reflector all works for me. As long as it can achieve the effect it hope for, which is soft lighting with soft shadow, I'm happy
    thanks for your input.
    which method/add-on will produce the best result?
    Last edited by aHxi-o; 18th November 2008 at 02:02 PM.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Flash photography

    It's sort of like a tool box. Each tool serves different purposes. Each effect is different as well.

    Personally I don't own any diffuser and have gotten by with white wall boucing, dialing down flash power manually and other methods like bouncing on friends with white t-shirts. But recently got a off-camera cord to select my bouncing direction better. The diffusers are quite expensive, like pieces of plastic costing 50-100 bucks. And tere's the ringflash adaptors, rayflash and orbis, that cost 300 and 169 USD respectively. Those appear quite good as well.

    Check out strobist.blogspot.com for a mindboggling intro to the world of flash.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by aHxi-o View Post
    Hihi!

    I wanna learn the ropes for indoor event photography (which require the use of flash). So i guess I will need

    1. A flash (duh!) [i'm using canon]
    2. Lightsphere (is this needed? or any cheaper alternatives?)

    Any good sites to suggest? Google gave me 1001 sites, but no idea which are good and which are better. Shifus, having been in the field for a nong, nong time, any 'favourites' which you'd like to recommend to this start-up noob here?

    Thanks in advance!

    (pardon me if this thread was started in the past. did a simple search but found nothing recent.)
    I hope I can help you here with my blog post some days ago.

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Flash photography

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/

    This is an interesting site, DIY, techniques, etc.

    I would suggest starting out with trying out bounce cards and ceiling bounces before committing to a light sphere it might not be that useful all together.

    for your canon system, depending on your budget, you might want to start out with a 2nd hand 550EX, of course if budget allows get anything better than that.

    Reason being a flash with manual controls would help in the experimentation.


    by the way, what sort of subjects are you looking at? food? macro? people? night shots of people? It would help those who can share their expertise in those areas too.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by aHxi-o View Post
    thanks for your input.
    which method/add-on will produce the best result?
    Woooo. this is a sensitive question. Lets not stir up a whirlpool...

    I uses lightsphere indoor when taking event photographs because I find it gives a soft and wide coverage by diffusing light 360 degree, bouncing off all available. When the ceiling is white and sufficiently high, I will take away the top of the LS and let the ceiling help out too.

    When outdoor, I don't really use a lightsphere becoz it eat away alot of energy with nothing to bounce back your lights. So I just use the the built in bounce card or diffusion cap and aim at the subject to brighten his/her face, so tat it doesn't look dark against the normally bright background in the day.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Flash photography

    Just to add, there are 'alternative versions' for most of the expensive diffusers at a fraction of the price.

    Just check the sales forum, ebay, etc.
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Just so you know, the Lightsphere is hardly a very popular tool among photojournalists, because it "wastes" light. Instead of getting light to your subject, it goes all around the room and much of that light doesn't actually come back to your subject very well. In closed spaces, it works quite well, but in large rooms with high ceilings, you're going to end up working your flash very hard.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by calebk View Post
    Just so you know, the Lightsphere is hardly a very popular tool among photojournalists, because it "wastes" light. Instead of getting light to your subject, it goes all around the room and much of that light doesn't actually come back to your subject very well. In closed spaces, it works quite well, but in large rooms with high ceilings, you're going to end up working your flash very hard.
    agree, photographers need some flash knowledge to get used to the Lightspehere, if not, till dead also don't understand what has gone wrong.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by calebk View Post
    Just so you know, the Lightsphere is hardly a very popular tool among photojournalists, because it "wastes" light. Instead of getting light to your subject, it goes all around the room and much of that light doesn't actually come back to your subject very well. In closed spaces, it works quite well, but in large rooms with high ceilings, you're going to end up working your flash very hard.
    Plus one. An alternative is Demb Pro, which instead of sending light 360 degrees all around like the Lightsphere, its sent 180 degrees out front, which probably means nearly twice the power of what the Lightsphere gives out in the front direction.

    The Softlite Diffuser is the same, except that the top is opened, in comparison to the Demb Pro's top can be opened or closed, or set at an angle to vary the amount of bounce versus front fill.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by aHxi-o View Post
    2. Lightsphere (is this needed? or any cheaper alternatives?)

    Any good sites to suggest? Google gave me 1001 sites, but no idea which are good and which are better. Shifus, having been in the field for a nong, nong time, any 'favourites' which you'd like to recommend to this start-up noob here?
    Search this forum for 'flash diffuser' and you will get a lot of results about the technique and also about the devices used. There is no "one tool fits all purposes", depending on the conditions and the intended result you will need to use different tools. Apart from those pre-manufactured devices like Lightsphere you can google for ABBC - A Better Bounce Card. Bounce cards are the simplest and cheapest way to direct flash light. Together with bouncing flash towards walls and ceiling they give good results.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by calebk View Post
    Just so you know, the Lightsphere is hardly a very popular tool among photojournalists, because it "wastes" light. Instead of getting light to your subject, it goes all around the room and much of that light doesn't actually come back to your subject very well. In closed spaces, it works quite well, but in large rooms with high ceilings, you're going to end up working your flash very hard.
    Hmm...anyone tried 'plating' 180 of the inside of your Lambency/Gary Fong diffuser with aluminium foil before?

    Must experiment when i'm free...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Daedalus Trent View Post
    Hmm...anyone tried 'plating' 180 of the inside of your Lambency/Gary Fong diffuser with aluminium foil before?

    Must experiment when i'm free...
    Just the rear is enough. I've seen a fren do it.
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Just the rear is enough. I've seen a fren do it.
    yea, thats what i meant

    So...was it effective?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Daedalus Trent View Post
    yea, thats what i meant

    So...was it effective?
    Throws sightly more to the front.
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Throws sightly more to the front.
    hmm...i guess i'll have to find out for myself how much that 'slightly' is

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. #18
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Daedalus Trent View Post
    hmm...i guess i'll have to find out for myself how much that 'slightly' is

    Thanks for sharing!
    the amount doesn't matter, cos you just don't want the light to throw behind and get wasted.
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Thank you for all the replies, the webbies, your experiences and everything! sjackal, your blog post is good!

    Quote Originally Posted by tjhan View Post
    Personally I don't own any diffuser and have gotten by with white wall boucing, dialing down flash power manually and other methods like bouncing on friends with white t-shirts.
    Dialing flash power manually refers to changing a point on the scale of the sign with a lightning and a +/- right?

    Quote Originally Posted by moos blues View Post
    by the way, what sort of subjects are you looking at? food? macro? people? night shots of people? It would help those who can share their expertise in those areas too.
    I'm looking at people at indoor events, eg. dinner and dance, prom etc etc. I've seen people using just a bounce card to cover such events. And judging by the nature of such event and from what I've gathered from the responses, I think bouncing off ceilings, using a bounce card and using Demb Pro (this option needs more $$$) will be the best options.

    Quote Originally Posted by sjackal View Post
    Just to add, there are 'alternative versions' for most of the expensive diffusers at a fraction of the price.

    Just check the sales forum, ebay, etc.
    Are there brands to these alternatives?
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by aHxi-o View Post
    Are there brands to these alternatives?
    ABBC - A Better Bounce Card; IKEA bubble foil ..
    Search the forum for 'flash diffusor' and you'll find them all.

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