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Thread: New urgent help for flash photography

  1. #1

    Default New urgent help for flash photography

    I have a company event (indoor) coming up.
    The environment is not big, quite dark, no need to shoot far and ceiling is low.
    Currently I have D90, 18-200, with SB600.
    So far i have been using bounced flash off the ceiling and sometimes use a bounce card (improvised using namecard).

    So my questions are:
    1. Is bounced flash off the ceiling good enough? or should i get a light sphere for better effect?

    2. How many types of attachment are there for flash unit? any one-stop web links? In fact i would like more about flash photography from scratch. I have only been using auto mode for the flash unit.

    3. If i want to use light sphere or diffuser, I should use a more powerful flash unit such as SB800/900 right? I was advised by an acquaintance that my SB600 might not be stong enough. What if I need to shoot a high ceiling hall or a far-away stage?

    4. What is a colour gel for flash unit for? got great difference? I dun see many ppl using it though.

    1 thing to note is... i hate the blue tone that was shown on people's face...even though i use bounce card.
    Last edited by sin77; 22nd December 2008 at 12:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default Re: New urgent help for flash photography

    1) for bounced effect. Plain bounce is enough. A bounce card is for the lil amount of light for the catchlights in the eyes.

    2) plenty... you need to read the older threads. All covered.

    3) You probably may need to. But at a pinch, the SB-600 works pretty well with a Omnibounce.

    4) Colour gels are for colour correction to match the flash light to the ambient light. Let's just put up a simple example, if the ambient is tungsten and you fire flash at the subject. The subject would be corrected by the camera's AWB to the correct WB. But the BG lighting would still be tungsten and too yellowish. Thus if you gel the flash to tungsten and correct the WB to tungsten, all is evenly matched and can be corrected for (both subject and BG)

    Blue tone?? You mean the ceiling is blue?? You have to know that the reflected light will take on the colour of the surface you bounce off... so only bounce if you are certain the surface is white or does not give a colour cast.
    Michael Lim
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  3. #3

    Default Re: New urgent help for flash photography

    "Blue tone" --> probably the Auto White Balance corrected the yellowish ambient lighting, thus making the flash look cool.

  4. #4

    Cool Re: New urgent help for flash photography

    when u are using flash, maybe u can try the flash mode for white balance.
    may not always work, depending on the area ur flash can reach & the ambient lighting too.

    if all else fails, shoot RAW & edit later

  5. #5

    Default Re: New urgent help for flash photography

    hmmm, i was advised by ppl that my SB600 will not be strong enough to use other stuffs other than bounce card only.
    actually i was thinking of getting a diffuser cap or the Demb (w/ flip-it).
    What you all think?
    Time to upgrade to SB900?
    Last edited by sin77; 22nd December 2008 at 11:17 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: New urgent help for flash photography

    I wouldn't worry too much if the ceiling is white and low. Bounce card will suffice.

  7. #7

    Default Re: New urgent help for flash photography

    is there a great difference if i use a big bounce card vs a self-improvised (namecard) one?

  8. #8

    Default Re: New urgent help for flash photography

    bigger bounce card, bigger the light source. Bigger light source, cast less harsh shadow.

  9. #9

    Default Re: New urgent help for flash photography


    You might want to consider the camera settings while shooting indoors, especially the aperture and ISO. Personally, I put the camera in Aperture Priority mode to force the camera to stay at the widest possible aperture and ISO at 800 and above or use the Auto ISO function with a specified range.

    1. Adding a bounce card would be good as it can direct some of the backward flash to your subject. Additionally, set the flash at TTL BL with +1.0 EV. I find that it gives me a rather properly exposed image in most situations when I bounce flash off the ceiling. Even better if you can handle the flash in manual mode.

    2. As mentioned in an earlier response, there are plenty. But more importantly, you need to start switching away from auto mode right now.

    3. You can still try pushing up the EV to maybe +2.0 to compensate for the additional diffuser of choice. Of course, batteries run out faster, and the recycling time will be longer. For far shots, hit it with a direct flash (without the diffuser) if you have to. Otherwise walk nearer and shoot with the flash tilted slightly forward.

    4. Colour gels can give the images either a warm or cool tone. Depending on the intensity of the gel used, output flash can be reduced by around 1.0 EV, so you might need to compensate the loss accordingly. I put the very mild orange one over my flash to create slightly warmer lit shots. Alternatively, play around with the temperature until you are happy with the effects.

    To minimize the blue tone, try using flash with Sunlight for white balance, or if your camera allows it, set the WB temperature to 5500K and higher.

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Punggol, Singapore

    Default Re: New urgent help for flash photography

    when shooting indoor event, if you using flash as main light, you need to set at iTTL, Not TTL-BL. reason: TTL-BL will take ambient as main light, flash as fill, so if you use TTL-BL the result is you have underexposed your subjects.

    if you flash already fired at full power, dial any + compensation will not able to squeeze out anymore power from your flash, so either you UP iso, Open aperture, or get Closer.
    Last edited by catchlights; 23rd December 2008 at 09:05 AM.
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