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Thread: How to take better flash photos

  1. #1

    Default How to take better flash photos

    Spent a bit of time at some of the Busker's shows over the weekend. Was using SB80dx on my D100. Most of the shows are at night and lit by some fairly weak tungsten lights, so flash seemed to be the only way of getting any decent shots.

    Sadly though, most of my shots have pretty strong shadows behind the busker and overall don't look so good because of it. Bounce flash was not really an option as there's nothing to bounce off (the stages are all outdoors).

    Last night I was thinking how to improve this and I guess what I should've done was shoot with rear curtain. Would that have improved the situation? Basically what i was looking for was for more ambient light in the photos and less contrast created by the flash.

    Any tips / hints?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Royce
    Spent a bit of time at some of the Busker's shows over the weekend. Was using SB80dx on my D100. Most of the shows are at night and lit by some fairly weak tungsten lights, so flash seemed to be the only way of getting any decent shots.

    Sadly though, most of my shots have pretty strong shadows behind the busker and overall don't look so good because of it. Bounce flash was not really an option as there's nothing to bounce off (the stages are all outdoors).

    Last night I was thinking how to improve this and I guess what I should've done was shoot with rear curtain. Would that have improved the situation? Basically what i was looking for was for more ambient light in the photos and less contrast created by the flash.

    Any tips / hints?
    The trick is to balance flash and ambient exposure. Use a higher ISO, lower shutter speed, bigger aperture (smaller f/number). Play around with flash exposure compensation as well. D100 + SB80DX appears to be rather erratic for me :| and I've only recently found a setting which works well for indoor bounced flash. Outdoors will still need work....

    Regards
    CK

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the tip... will give it a shot.
    I also find that SB80DX + D100 combo can be erratic.

  4. #4

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    There's no rule that U've to use flash at night...

    My buskers' pix

    Didn't use flash...

  5. #5

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    What about using bounce card or omnibounce ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kst
    What about using bounce card or omnibounce ?

    u tend to lose a lot of light with these in my experience and your shots can be underexposed. U might need to boost the flash compensation by one stop. In any case, you are on digital, so can test shoot and find out how it will look like. That's the best thing about digital imaging...... sighz.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by AReality
    There's no rule that U've to use flash at night...

    My buskers' pix

    Didn't use flash...
    What time of the day did u shoot? The ambient light seems to be quite strong.... if at night, u die die also need flash.....

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    Are you shooting in the vertical cropping?? If so, then go get a flash bracket and off shoes cables. you have no ceiling to bounce, so thats the best way.

  9. #9

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    I usually bounced my 420EX off the ceiling indoors.. and shoot directly outdoors..

    For macro, i use the omnibounce, sometimes pointed 45 degrees.. sometimes head on.

  10. #10

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    What exactly is an omnibounce?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TME
    u tend to lose a lot of light with these in my experience and your shots can be underexposed. U might need to boost the flash compensation by one stop. In any case, you are on digital, so can test shoot and find out how it will look like. That's the best thing about digital imaging...... sighz.....
    Well there's only so much you can increase flash exp compensation. Once the flash reaches full power, no matter how much you increase the compensation, you won't get more exposure.

    Regards
    CK

  12. #12
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    Hi

    how to take better flash photos?

    simple..turn the flash off :P

    no really....
    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by TME
    What time of the day did u shoot? The ambient light seems to be quite strong.... if at night, u die die also need flash.....
    Around 8.40pm bah...
    no flash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AReality
    Around 8.40pm bah...
    no flash.

    Wow! U must have really steady hands....

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    Quote Originally Posted by TME
    u tend to lose a lot of light with these in my experience and your shots can be underexposed. U might need to boost the flash compensation by one stop. In any case, you are on digital, so can test shoot and find out how it will look like. That's the best thing about digital imaging...... sighz.....
    If your shots are underexposed, it is due to the bounce flash not being powerful enough. You should not need to adjust flash compensation with TTL flash metering. If you increase flash compensation, there is a chance of overexposing the subject if the background is dark. Rather with dark backgrounds, you will probably need to dial in negative flash compensation to avoid overexposing the subject.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Royce
    What exactly is an omnibounce?
    http://www.stofen.com/

    The white box-like thing that covers the flash head is a diffusor.

    Omnibounce is the name of the company's, Stofen, diffusor

    Full name is actually "Stofen Omnibounce" plus the model number (OM-C, OM-SB16...etc) for the various flash types and brand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by linse
    If your shots are underexposed, it is due to the bounce flash not being powerful enough. You should not need to adjust flash compensation with TTL flash metering. If you increase flash compensation, there is a chance of overexposing the subject if the background is dark. Rather with dark backgrounds, you will probably need to dial in negative flash compensation to avoid overexposing the subject.
    I see. But my flash is rated at GN55 ISO100 50mm. Hmm....

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TME
    I see. But my flash is rated at GN55 ISO100 50mm. Hmm....
    The guide number of 55 is for direct flash. When you use a bounce card or omnibounce, you may lose more than half the light output depending on the size of the bounce card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by linse
    The guide number of 55 is for direct flash. When you use a bounce card or omnibounce, you may lose more than half the light output depending on the size of the bounce card.

    Woah..... I see....... no wonder my shots were often underexposed..... I was probably outside flash range.... plus I dialed in +0.7EV exposure compensation, that must have shortened the flash coverage even more.......

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