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Thread: taking grp photo - urgent

  1. #1

    Default taking grp photo - urgent

    Hi, I need help here. I suppose to take grp photo for ard 12 person. Inside a function room, there will be a event backdrop behind the row of people, but the sid eis a full glass which sunlight and shine in but there is a transparent curtain.

    I'm using Nikon D3x with D900 flash light and 2 speedlight (studio light), when the speedlight is set 1/1 and my aperture f11 or f9, 1/60s , ISO 100, the shots taken is dark like without flashlight (my flash and speedlight is working fine). It seem not logical but when I set the speedlight to 1/32, f4.5, 1/60s and ISO 100, it seem to be brighter. Butthis is not logical rite?

    Please advice

  2. #2

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by babykoh View Post
    Hi, I need help here. I suppose to take grp photo for ard 12 person. Inside a function room, there will be a event backdrop behind the row of people, but the sid eis a full glass which sunlight and shine in but there is a transparent curtain.

    I'm using Nikon D3x with D900 flash light and 2 speedlight (studio light), when the speedlight is set 1/1 and my aperture f11 or f9, 1/60s , ISO 100, the shots taken is dark like without flashlight (my flash and speedlight is working fine). It seem not logical but when I set the speedlight to 1/32, f4.5, 1/60s and ISO 100, it seem to be brighter. Butthis is not logical rite?

    Please advice
    Hi Sorry, I'm using the Bowne Espirit 500 (studio Flash)

  3. #3

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Dunno what you talking about.... put up a diagram on the position of lights and the settings and power used here. See if any csers here can understand and help.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    ISO same, shutter speed same.

    There is 2 light source, sunlight thru the full glass and output from the flash.

    You said that you used a larger aperture but lower flash output and the picture is brighter.

    At smaller F number (F4.5), it will allow more ambient light in. The fact that using a larger aperture but lower flash output results in brighter picture simply means that the ambient light source is very much stronger than the flash. So by using larger F number (F11), the exposure to the stronger light source is greatly reduced while the output of the weaker light source is increased. The increase in output of the weaker light source becames insignificant compared to the reduction in exposure to the stronger light source, hence the picture becames darker..

    What is not logical?

    Of course these are just speculation w/o further information. But I feel that the situation is absolutely reasonable


    Quote Originally Posted by babykoh View Post
    Hi, I need help here. I suppose to take grp photo for ard 12 person. Inside a function room, there will be a event backdrop behind the row of people, but the sid eis a full glass which sunlight and shine in but there is a transparent curtain.

    I'm using Nikon D3x with D900 flash light and 2 speedlight (studio light), when the speedlight is set 1/1 and my aperture f11 or f9, 1/60s , ISO 100, the shots taken is dark like without flashlight (my flash and speedlight is working fine). It seem not logical but when I set the speedlight to 1/32, f4.5, 1/60s and ISO 100, it seem to be brighter. Butthis is not logical rite?

    Please advice

  5. #5

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by Limsgp View Post
    ISO same, shutter speed same.

    There is 2 light source, sunlight thru the full glass and output from the flash.

    You said that you used a larger aperture but lower flash output and the picture is brighter.

    At smaller F number (F4.5), it will allow more ambient light in. The fact that using a larger aperture but lower flash output results in brighter picture simply means that the ambient light source is very much stronger than the flash. So by using larger F number (F11), the exposure to the stronger light source is greatly reduced while the output of the weaker light source is increased. The increase in output of the weaker light source becames insignificant compared to the reduction in exposure to the stronger light source, hence the picture becames darker..

    What is not logical?

    Of course these are just speculation w/o further information. But I feel that the situation is absolutely reasonable
    Hi Sir,

    Thanks alot, you have explained to me the reason. Really thanks for solving my problem, So , tat is correct setting for such lighting? Btw can I asked one more question, I'm using the D3x, the lens is a wide angle lens(17-24mm) but seem to be a fish eye lens. How to solve the distortion at the side? Hope u know wat I mean, Sorry!

  6. #6
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    what mode you set for the SB900 to trigger the two Bowens Espirit 500?

    and when you mention
    when the speedlight is set 1/1 and my aperture f11 or f9, 1/60s , ISO 100, the shots taken is dark like without flashlight (my flash and speedlight is working fine). It seem not logical but when I set the speedlight to 1/32, f4.5, 1/60s and ISO 100,
    which light you referring to ? SB900 or the two Bowens Espirit 500?
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  7. #7

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Fishy... Anyways, use your shutter speed to 'cut' the ambient light which may cause over exposing parts of the scene. Then set your aperture to suit the setup which for this case should be about 7.1 to get a decent depth of field. Set ISO to a reasonble one and then just work your lights lor. It's quite straight forward wat.... and you don't really need your SB. But if you do, I reckon is just for fill.

    You can work your Bowens for a direct light, shoot through... meaning the light stand and strobe will pretty much be just behind you or if not shoot through even reflect will work...or for a nicer contrast, you can have 2 lighting setup, one main one fill..... I don't see why this can be hard considering the equipment you have on hand.
    Last edited by rendition; 8th August 2009 at 02:27 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by rendition View Post
    Fishy... Anyways, use your shutter speed to 'cut' the ambient light which may cause over exposing parts of the scene. Then set your aperture to suit the setup which for this case should be about 7.1 to get a decent depth of field. Set ISO to a reasonble one and then just work your lights lor. It's quite straight forward wat.... and you don't really need your SB. But if you do, I reckon is just for fill.

    You can work your Bowens for a direct light, shoot through... meaning the light stand and strobe will pretty much be just behind you or if not shoot through even reflect will work...or for a nicer contrast, you can have 2 lighting setup, one main one fill..... I don't see why this can be hard considering the equipment you have on hand.
    Hi Sir,

    can expalin more? sorry I abit stupid to understand. Thanks

  9. #9

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    what mode you set for the SB900 to trigger the two Bowens Espirit 500?

    and when you mention which light you referring to ? SB900 or the two Bowens Espirit 500?
    I'm referring to Bowens espirit 500.

  10. #10

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    OK all these are based on what I 'think' your scenario is...but.... if you don't mind letting us know, do you have experience in lighting setup? What exactly is your source of unsure-ness here?

    1) You have the ambient light coming from window which you do not want right cuz it's one directional and it's casting a harsh shadow on your subejcts? Easiest way to eliminate that is to set the maximum sync speed. Get this part...?

    2) Next, it's pretty straight forward, you have a group to shoot, you need a certain amount of depth and I suggest at least 7.1 but again depending on how you position them but generally for a 2-3 row setup.... 7.1 suffice and you're using UWA anyways.

    3) Setup your Bowens... and really..... just test and shoot lor, if it's under, bring power up (your 500w/s is powerful enough btw), too over, bring down lor.

    Ehh, don't think I can elaborate any further... but it just seems like a simple setup which really, technically if you do not have experience in lighting setup, an SB-900 with e-ttl will even suffice..... that said of course with proper lighting setup, it will look better as opposed to hot-shoe flash.
    Last edited by rendition; 8th August 2009 at 04:31 PM.

  11. #11
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by babykoh View Post
    I'm referring to Bowens espirit 500.
    My first question: what mode you set for the SB900 to trigger the two Bowens Espirit 500?


    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    what mode you set for the SB900 to trigger the two Bowens Espirit 500?

    and when you mention which light you referring to ? SB900 or the two Bowens Espirit 500?
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  12. #12

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    My first question: what mode you set for the SB900 to trigger the two Bowens Espirit 500?
    I put TTL.

  13. #13

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by babykoh View Post
    I'm using Nikon D3x with D900 flash light and 2 speedlight (studio light), when the speedlight is set 1/1 and my aperture f11 or f9, 1/60s , ISO 100, the shots taken is dark like without flashlight (my flash and speedlight is working fine). It seem not logical but when I set the speedlight to 1/32, f4.5, 1/60s and ISO 100, it seem to be brighter. Butthis is not logical rite?
    Shutter speed slowed to 1/32 from 1/60 and f-stop opened up from f9 to f4.5 allowing more ambient light into the camera. So its perfectly logical

    I've no experience with Nikon TTL, but you are probably subjecting yourself to the quirks of the camera by doing it in "auto" (ie. TTL) mode.

    Here are my recommendations (manual):
    1. "Lower" the ambient light by using a fast shutter speed. Read up your camera manual for the highest shutter speed that allowed for flash sync. I'd say 1/180 is a safe bet for flash sync, but I suspect you have better mileage with a D3x (1/240??).

    2. The following actually has many variables (f-stop, flash to subject distance, flash power), so I'm really 'guesstimating' here. I'd assume you keep the flash stationary so that eliminates the flash to subject distance question. Select the working aperture. I'd start with say f8 which is sharp and work your way up/down accordingly. Set flash power to say 1/8. Fire off.

    3. Check if exposure is alright.
    Too dim - increase aperture
    Too bright - decrease aperture
    Tweaking aperture 1st, you'd not need to move around to adjust all the flashes.
    Remember if you want sharp picts, so going under f4 is probably not recommended (depends on lens as well)

    4. Shoot again
    Still too dim - increase flash power
    Still too bright - decrease flash power

    Tweak :
    Ambient too dark or black? - lower shutter speed


    Since it sounds like you can access the venue and tryout, I suggest you do so. Being able to roughly gauge how many stops you are above or under by reviewing the picture will help a lot.

    Gd luck

  14. #14
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by babykoh View Post
    I put TTL.
    when using TTL mode on SB900, the SB900 fire a pre-flash, it will set off any other flash units on slave mode, so they won't able to fire again when the camera shutter open.

    try using manual mode on your SB900 to trigger the two Bowens espirit 500.
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  15. #15
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by babykoh View Post
    Hi, I need help here. I suppose to take grp photo for ard 12 person. Inside a function room, there will be a event backdrop behind the row of people, but the sid eis a full glass which sunlight and shine in but there is a transparent curtain.

    I'm using Nikon D3x with D900 flash light and 2 speedlight (studio light), when the speedlight is set 1/1 and my aperture f11 or f9, 1/60s , ISO 100, the shots taken is dark like without flashlight (my flash and speedlight is working fine). It seem not logical but when I set the speedlight to 1/32, f4.5, 1/60s and ISO 100, it seem to be brighter. Butthis is not logical rite?

    Please advice
    btw, now do you know why the full power output on your Bowens espirit 500 is looks worst then when it is at the 1/32 power output?

    want to make a guess?
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  16. #16

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    One thing puzzles me ...

    1/1 and 1/32 sounds like fully manual settings.

    TS later mentioned using TTL.


  17. #17

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    btw, now do you know why the full power output on your Bowens espirit 500 is looks worst then when it is at the 1/32 power output?

    want to make a guess?
    lol, 1/1 = only 1 shot and this one shot was fired by the pre flash which miss the photo

    1/32 = 32 shots or more and TS most prob fired twice, once by pre flash one by actual
    D80/D700 18-135/17-50/14-24/24-70/70-200/70-300/50/60 SB600/900

  18. #18
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    One thing puzzles me ...

    1/1 and 1/32 sounds like fully manual settings.

    TS later mentioned using TTL.

    Yo DM, TS set the SB900 at TTL mode to trigger studio flash, so when the studio flash fire at FULL power, seem like no light up from the studio flash, but when the studio flash set at 1/32 power, the overall result is better, (the two studio flash do gave some exposure to the scene)

    Why like that leh? You are so experience, I do have explain to you what is happening right?
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  19. #19
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by nixontkl View Post
    lol, 1/1 = only 1 shot and this one shot was fired by the pre flash which miss the photo

    1/32 = 32 shots or more and TS most prob fired twice, once by pre flash one by actual
    1/1 is power output at full blast

    1/32 is power output at one over thirty two, not 32 shots.

    you are close, but not there yet.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: taking grp photo - urgent

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    btw, now do you know why the full power output on your Bowens espirit 500 is looks worst then when it is at the 1/32 power output?

    want to make a guess?
    Sorry, I thinkl I state wrongly. When I set the Bowen to 1/32 it look dark on the people and their background (which is the glass window looks bright) but I set the Bowen to 1/1, with my camera setting 1/60s, F4.5 and ISO 100, then it will better and bright. Is that correct setting?

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