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Thread: newb here with some question on day outdoor flash photography

  1. #1

    Default newb here with some question on day outdoor flash photography

    Hi,

    I do some actual day wedding shoots (but i dont do pre-wed, coz i think i not creative enough). So im pretty cool on using flash indoors (with much appreciated help from seniors here ).

    However, im pretty bummed on balancing flash with outdoor light . And of course i dont have the luxury to shoot/test/redial setting over and over because its an actual day event.

    i've once met this pro using his D300 + sb800. using his wireless commander + a 10-20mm to do impromtu outdoor "studio" lighting. (camera in right hand, flash in left hand) and it looks good! however, i have problems mimicing such daylight:flash ratio balance. The guy is very experienced and estimates his manual exposure & flash power with very much accuracy.

    he uses like:
    1/250 f11 (or so) flash on 1/2 or full depending on the day. the 14mm panel pulled over the flash with the omnibounce that came with the flash. pointed flash straight at couple.



    The problem is, im still relying too much on ETTL to do its job (exif data not showing flash power values fired via ettl is not helping me learn D=).

    Im still trying to refine my steps but this is usually what i do:
    (450D + 580ex2)
    1) switch to Tv, set shutter to 1/200 (sync speed) and meter for the sky, which is usually f10 or something.
    2) change to manual mode and set values to metered values.
    3) set +3ev on my 580ex2
    4) point flash directly at couple, with omnibounce (coz sometimes no time to take out)

    and the results is less than satisfactory...
    here are some sample shots i took recently (these are unusable sample shots purely for discussion):

    picture taken with omnibounce. flash doesn't look natural at all, coz diffused and doesn't light lower part.


    taken w/o omnibounce. (forgive wrong/under exposure of bg) too harsh... and also a small area is lighted.

    both were taken at ETTL +3ev on camera flash pointed directly at the couple. zoom at 28mm(auto)

    we are all here to learn and share. so im hoping someone could enlighten me what else can i do to be faster on my feet. How can i refine my steps or should i change them entirely? im not cool on using manual flash yet but im trying to learn.

    OHOH!PS: I know there someone how uses a omnibounce with the top cover cut off! who is he ar? im considering using that in a high ceiling ballroom, so i wanna ask his opinions...

  2. #2
    Member Sispecho's Avatar
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    Default Re: newb here with some question on day outdoor flash photography

    hey not really a pro here, but i think your main proble is the positioning of the flash to your subject. Why the photos dont look 'natural' is because i think that the lighting is flat. From the photos i reckon you pointed your flash down-up to the couple.... Try avoiding hitting them straight on and down up for your main light (especially so if your camera is square one the couple) the lighting angles, and your positioning of the lens in respect to the light and couple can affect the outcome greatly.

  3. #3
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: newb here with some question on day outdoor flash photography

    what effect you intent to have?

    more balance of ambient and flash? than why dial +3 on flash?
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  4. #4

    Default Re: newb here with some question on day outdoor flash photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Sispecho View Post
    hey not really a pro here, but i think your main proble is the positioning of the flash to your subject. Why the photos dont look 'natural' is because i think that the lighting is flat. From the photos i reckon you pointed your flash down-up to the couple.... Try avoiding hitting them straight on and down up for your main light (especially so if your camera is square one the couple) the lighting angles, and your positioning of the lens in respect to the light and couple can affect the outcome greatly.
    hmmm i shall work on that once i get my hands on a 7D

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    what effect you intent to have?

    more balance of ambient and flash? than why dial +3 on flash?
    hmm yea more balance i guess. i dailed +1 and +2 and that gave me very underexposed foreground. so i started using +3(which was the max) to balance daylight

  5. #5
    Member Burnings's Avatar
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    Default Re: newb here with some question on day outdoor flash photography

    This is what I would do in this situation to get a balanced shot.

    1. Use P Mode to get the settings first. eg 1/80, f11.
    2. Switch to M and dial in 1/80, f16 or more to underexposed the shot.
    3. Switch on flash and take the shot. (Diffused flash is a must)

    Just my 2 cents

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