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Thread: Flash filters?

  1. #1

    Default Flash filters?

    Hey Everyone,
    I consider myself as a newbie in photography thus I hope I can learn from the professionals and the more experienced photographers in here.

    Recently I just bought a flash because I just realized how important a flash is after a rather embarassing incident. I hardly use a flash because I find them rather difficult to control and my subjects always turned out looking "fake" or too "flat" because of the flash.

    I bought a normal flash from Cathay recently and the flash comes with some colored filters that fits to the flash. There is red, blue, green and a clear filter.

    I know this may sound embarrasing but to be honest, I have no idea what is the purpose of those color filters and when should I use them. I tried going to the library and looking up on photography books but they did not explain anything related about flash or those filters.

    I hope someone can guide me along in this area. I will greatly appreciate the help and assistance.

    Does anyone know any good reference books about flash photography? I can certainly use the extra help.

    Regards,
    -Michelle-

  2. #2
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    Default

    hi michelle
    i find flash usage without filters ok. you just need to learn various flash techniques... like bouncing of walls, and using bounce cards and diffusers so as to reduce the harshness on the subjects face. the filters will just change the colour of the flash out put... nice if you want more creativity... but for normal stuff like parties and events, no filters are needed.

    the fake and flat feeling you are getting is a lack of light modelling. you are prob just firing straight on to the face. there is also a need to properly balance ambient light together with electronic flash...

    wheter your flash is used for key light or just fill light is also important...

    in short, flash photography gives lots of room for creativity and experimentation. go shoot more and post the results for all to see and comment... that would boost your learning curve. also discuss your settings with fellow enthusiasts.
    Last edited by showtime; 9th December 2003 at 01:03 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default

    The filters can be used for interesting effects and to correct color balance (eg under flourescent lights). Usually used for film cameras but I guess digital would work too. I haven't tried them but have heard of them.

    Using digital cameras, you can simple adjust the white balance on the camera to get roughly the same function.

    As for flash photography, you can search on the net for a wealth of information. ANother key point is understanding how the flash works with your camera. For example, Canon's ETTL system works in a unique way. The following article has helped me tremendously in understanding flash in general and also specifically the way Canon's system works:
    http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/

    To avoid the "flat" or "harsh" look, try not to use direct full powered flash. There's a variety of techniques like bouncing the flash, using a diffuser, controlling the power of the flash.

    Lastly, experiment. Nothing like trying out a few shots.

  4. #4
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    Default Okay this what i have...

    Hiee...

    I got an antique set of minolta flsah panels.

    It comes with .....if i can remember..
    - red
    - green
    - yellow
    - nuetral density (slight greyish clear panel

    These filters are used in the older days for blak and whote photogrpahy
    in place of those ring type color filters. Each color will create a different incident
    colored light hence resulting in various results.

    I don;t know about color cast correction with these though.
    You can try these....make a rainbow broad color rectangular boxes in MSwords and then print out.

    Assuming that you are using digital camera.....set to black and white...mode. If film...use black and white film...
    Put it on the wall....and see with the different color ...the output of the captured printout in black and white is different...

    Then you can see the effects....

    rgds,
    Sulhan

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zplus

    To avoid the "flat" or "harsh" look, try not to use direct full powered flash. There's a variety of techniques like bouncing the flash, using a diffuser, controlling the power of the flash.


    chances are that unless the flash is really really weak, shooting direct would not require full power... bouncing of high ceilings MIGHT require full power on a powerful flash like a sb80dx... even then maybe not...

    just to clarify the bit about "direct full powered flash".

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