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Thread: Setting for external flash

  1. #1
    Member rongwei82's Avatar
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    Exclamation Setting for external flash

    Hi ppl, tomolo i will be helping my friend with his ROM photo shoot. Tried out some shoot with my flash gun. But not very satisfy with the results.

    Here are some questions i'm pondering regarding using the flash:

    1) What metering should i use and should i meter on the couple skin?
    2) What mode (M, Av, Tv) will be more useful?
    3) Am i taking the exposure metering from the surroundings and the ETTL flash to determine the flash power for me?
    4) If its true that the metering is taken from the surrounding - a low lighting surrounding, what do i need to do? Use the low shutter speed that the cam determine for me?
    5) If i increase my ISO, should i lessen the power for my flash?

    Currently i'm using 40D, 18-55 f3.5-5.6, 50mm f1.8 and 55-250mm.
    Borrowed a sigma 17-70mm from my friend and a 430EX...=D

    Thanks a lot in advance... hope all pros will be able to give me more tips and advise regarding this.....

  2. #2
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Setting for external flash

    If the lighting is very unbalanced, it's probably best to use spot metering and concentrate on the main subject, be it the couples' expression or the bridal gown. Background might end up blown or underexposed, but at least the important element is well captured.
    Which mode to use depends on what you want to control, be it depth of field or shutter speed. Manual will mean you'll have to keep a watchful eye on the metering.
    I think if your flash is ETTL, upping the ISO will automatically cause the flash output to reduce for the same scene.
    Exploring! :)

  3. #3
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Setting for external flash

    Are you sure you want to help at a ROM with all your questions that are still open? Do you think you can memorize all the answers within 24h and turn into instantly improved pictures? It's no shame to admit that one's skills are not up to what it needs to be a ROM photographer. I have tried a few times for my own fun at some occasions and I got some hard lessons taught about it. Relax and enjoy, take a few pictures at moments where you don't need to worry about where to meter or which mode to take.
    You can read here about flash photography with Canon, that should answer most of your flash questions.

    1) Spot metering is commonly used but pay attention to details of clothing and other things (furniture, background) around. depending on the location and condition Multi-Segment is also ok. More important is that you know how it works and how it affects the outcome.
    2) Use the mode according your need. Each has it's purpose. Many use Av since they want to control aperture first. But Tv or M can be useful as well - depending on situation.
    3) Why do you want to take exposure from surroundings? Earlier you ask for spot metering...? Read your manual about the various metering methods and how they work. DO have several trial runs on subjects before.
    4) Read the link, topic "fill flash". If the shutter speed is too low for handholding you can increase ISO or use -EV to get faster shutter speed. But for the latter you will decrease exposure for background (will appear darker).
    5) ETTL will determine the necessary flash power for foreground (see link). If you need to adjust this use FEC (see camera manual).

    6) Don't forget bounce cards or diffuser
    If all fails just put down the cam and enjoy.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Setting for external flash

    The 18-55 MKII IS actually is very good, comparable with tamron 17-50 f2.8 in good light.

    1) What metering should i use and should i meter on the couple skin?
    Spot metering and be sure to set manual white balance or can always shoot Raw and fix things in PP.

    2) What mode (M, Av, Tv) will be more useful?
    Av is when they are not moving, Tv is when the couple is moving but only if have bright light as faster shutter means less light gets through, manual if you know what you are doing.

    3) Am i taking the exposure metering from the surroundings and the ETTL flash to determine the flash power for me?
    ETTL is good but i recommend setting the flash power to one setting so that can get consistent flash output.

    4) If its true that the metering is taken from the surrounding - a low lighting surrounding, what do i need to do? Use the low shutter speed that the cam determine for me?
    Why would you want to meter the surrounding when the subjects are the couple? Tv is good if the couple is moving a lot.

    5) If i increase my ISO, should i lessen the power for my flash?
    Since you are using flash, ISO should be as low as possible to reduce noise.

    **a bit late but i recommend you go library now and rent wedding photography books so that you know what shots to take and tips on how to take.
    Last edited by Reportage; 7th July 2009 at 04:38 PM.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Setting for external flash

    How does the Program mode actually works ar? Like for aperture,we sets the aperture while the camera sets the shutter spd, but for the program mode, the aperture some times will be high,and some times will be low, so how does the camera actually know when we need high shutter spd and when we need bigger aperture,Vice Versa?
    Nikon D300|MB-D10|Nikon F2|Nikon 24-70mm f2.8G ED|Nikon 70-210mm f/4-5.6 AF-D|SB-80DX|Next:70-200mm

  6. #6

    Default Re: Setting for external flash

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanTan View Post
    How does the Program mode actually works ar? Like for aperture,we sets the aperture while the camera sets the shutter spd, but for the program mode, the aperture some times will be high,and some times will be low, so how does the camera actually know when we need high shutter spd and when we need bigger aperture,Vice Versa?
    Covered in the manual... And basic photography tutorials.
    Alpha

  7. #7

    Default Re: Setting for external flash

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanTan View Post
    How does the Program mode actually works ar? Like for aperture,we sets the aperture while the camera sets the shutter spd, but for the program mode, the aperture some times will be high,and some times will be low, so how does the camera actually know when we need high shutter spd and when we need bigger aperture,Vice Versa?
    its like rifle...by selecting P mode, your camera becomes a semi-auto in which case you can make manual adjustments to the automatic readings the camera give. usually people who use this mode have mastered using M setting so they know how to compensate for the readings. very useful for rapidly changing lighting.

    as for how the camera decides, it all depends on its programming.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Diavonex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Setting for external flash

    You'll be better off with a compact camera like the LX3 plus plenty of batteries.

    If you're not familiar with the equipment, it can put you under a lot of pressure.

    My $0.02 worth.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Setting for external flash

    from all the questions you asked. i'm guessing your not the main photographer right?
    cause if you are i forsee a whole lot of problems for you man.

    you need to understand your camera and flashgun first before attempting to do a ROM shoot.

    if your going to be taking pictures of them holding hands in a park etc... then i guess you can do some trial and error.
    if your shooting them when they are signing the ROM documents and stuff. then you would have to really know your stuff.

    good luck.
    D3s - (24-70 f/2.8)
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Setting for external flash

    Agree that it's really a bit too last minute to absorb all these stuff... Suggest that you go to the location earlier to do a bit of planning, and some test shots using the settings that have been mentioned here... so that you have a better feel and also u are more confident during the actual ROM, thereby allowing you to focus on capturing the important moments rather than worry too much about the technical aspect.

  11. #11
    Member rongwei82's Avatar
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    Default Re: Setting for external flash

    Hey, thanks a lot from the over-whelming respond from all CSers...

    Really appreciate all those tips and tricks that is being posted here. I believe it doesnt only benefit me but also other newbies...

    I have told my friend that i'm trying my best and i'm just a newbie. So i have no worries and taking it as a practice, haha.

    Really appreciate all the help here. Hope that i will have a very good day!!!

    Same goes to all the people in CS...cheers!!!

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