Flash photography


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aHxi-o

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Aug 31, 2006
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#1
Hihi!

I wanna learn the ropes for indoor event photography (which require the use of flash). So i guess I will need

1. A flash (duh!) [i'm using canon]
2. Lightsphere (is this needed? or any cheaper alternatives?)

Any good sites to suggest? Google gave me 1001 sites, but no idea which are good and which are better. Shifus, having been in the field for a nong, nong time, any 'favourites' which you'd like to recommend to this start-up noob here?

Thanks in advance!

(pardon me if this thread was started in the past. did a simple search but found nothing recent.)
 

David Kwok

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Aug 23, 2008
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#2
Hihi!

I wanna learn the ropes for indoor event photography (which require the use of flash). So i guess I will need

1. A flash (duh!) [i'm using canon]
2. Lightsphere (is this needed? or any cheaper alternatives?)

Any good sites to suggest? Google gave me 1001 sites, but no idea which are good and which are better. Shifus, having been in the field for a nong, nong time, any 'favourites' which you'd like to recommend to this start-up noob here?

Thanks in advance!

(pardon me if this thread was started in the past. did a simple search but found nothing recent.)
Outdoor requires flash at times too :)
There are quite a couple of ways to diffuse flash light namely from the simple diffusion cap that is found in some flash, your own bounce card, lightsphere, flip it, soft box and some even says bounce of the ceiling will do(provided it's white) and so forth. Each has it's own supporter and reason for it to exist. As for me, bouncing of the wall, diffusion cap, lightsphere, reflector all works for me. As long as it can achieve the effect it hope for, which is soft lighting with soft shadow, I'm happy :)
 

aHxi-o

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Aug 31, 2006
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#3
Outdoor requires flash at times too :)
There are quite a couple of ways to diffuse flash light namely from the simple diffusion cap that is found in some flash, your own bounce card, lightsphere, flip it, soft box and some even says bounce of the ceiling will do(provided it's white) and so forth. Each has it's own supporter and reason for it to exist. As for me, bouncing of the wall, diffusion cap, lightsphere, reflector all works for me. As long as it can achieve the effect it hope for, which is soft lighting with soft shadow, I'm happy :)
thanks for your input.
which method/add-on will produce the best result?
 

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tjhan

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Feb 11, 2007
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#4
It's sort of like a tool box. Each tool serves different purposes. Each effect is different as well.

Personally I don't own any diffuser and have gotten by with white wall boucing, dialing down flash power manually and other methods like bouncing on friends with white t-shirts. But recently got a off-camera cord to select my bouncing direction better. The diffusers are quite expensive, like pieces of plastic costing 50-100 bucks. And tere's the ringflash adaptors, rayflash and orbis, that cost 300 and 169 USD respectively. Those appear quite good as well.

Check out strobist.blogspot.com for a mindboggling intro to the world of flash.
 

sjackal

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Jul 9, 2008
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#5
Hihi!

I wanna learn the ropes for indoor event photography (which require the use of flash). So i guess I will need

1. A flash (duh!) [i'm using canon]
2. Lightsphere (is this needed? or any cheaper alternatives?)

Any good sites to suggest? Google gave me 1001 sites, but no idea which are good and which are better. Shifus, having been in the field for a nong, nong time, any 'favourites' which you'd like to recommend to this start-up noob here?

Thanks in advance!

(pardon me if this thread was started in the past. did a simple search but found nothing recent.)
I hope I can help you here with my blog post some days ago.

:)
 

Nov 12, 2003
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Pasir ris
pachome2.pacific.net.sg
#6
http://strobist.blogspot.com/

This is an interesting site, DIY, techniques, etc.

I would suggest starting out with trying out bounce cards and ceiling bounces before committing to a light sphere it might not be that useful all together.

for your canon system, depending on your budget, you might want to start out with a 2nd hand 550EX, of course if budget allows get anything better than that.

Reason being a flash with manual controls would help in the experimentation. :)


by the way, what sort of subjects are you looking at? food? macro? people? night shots of people? It would help those who can share their expertise in those areas too.
 

David Kwok

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Aug 23, 2008
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#7
thanks for your input.
which method/add-on will produce the best result?
Woooo. this is a sensitive question. Lets not stir up a whirlpool... :bsmilie:

I uses lightsphere indoor when taking event photographs because I find it gives a soft and wide coverage by diffusing light 360 degree, bouncing off all available. When the ceiling is white and sufficiently high, I will take away the top of the LS and let the ceiling help out too.

When outdoor, I don't really use a lightsphere becoz it eat away alot of energy with nothing to bounce back your lights. So I just use the the built in bounce card or diffusion cap and aim at the subject to brighten his/her face, so tat it doesn't look dark against the normally bright background in the day.
 

sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
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#8
Just to add, there are 'alternative versions' for most of the expensive diffusers at a fraction of the price.

Just check the sales forum, ebay, etc.
 

calebk

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Jul 25, 2006
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Clementi
#9
Just so you know, the Lightsphere is hardly a very popular tool among photojournalists, because it "wastes" light. Instead of getting light to your subject, it goes all around the room and much of that light doesn't actually come back to your subject very well. In closed spaces, it works quite well, but in large rooms with high ceilings, you're going to end up working your flash very hard.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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www.foto-u.com
#10
Just so you know, the Lightsphere is hardly a very popular tool among photojournalists, because it "wastes" light. Instead of getting light to your subject, it goes all around the room and much of that light doesn't actually come back to your subject very well. In closed spaces, it works quite well, but in large rooms with high ceilings, you're going to end up working your flash very hard.
agree, photographers need some flash knowledge to get used to the Lightspehere, if not, till dead also don't understand what has gone wrong.
 

sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
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#11
Just so you know, the Lightsphere is hardly a very popular tool among photojournalists, because it "wastes" light. Instead of getting light to your subject, it goes all around the room and much of that light doesn't actually come back to your subject very well. In closed spaces, it works quite well, but in large rooms with high ceilings, you're going to end up working your flash very hard.
Plus one. An alternative is Demb Pro, which instead of sending light 360 degrees all around like the Lightsphere, its sent 180 degrees out front, which probably means nearly twice the power of what the Lightsphere gives out in the front direction.

The Softlite Diffuser is the same, except that the top is opened, in comparison to the Demb Pro's top can be opened or closed, or set at an angle to vary the amount of bounce versus front fill.
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#12
2. Lightsphere (is this needed? or any cheaper alternatives?)

Any good sites to suggest? Google gave me 1001 sites, but no idea which are good and which are better. Shifus, having been in the field for a nong, nong time, any 'favourites' which you'd like to recommend to this start-up noob here?
Search this forum for 'flash diffuser' and you will get a lot of results about the technique and also about the devices used. There is no "one tool fits all purposes", depending on the conditions and the intended result you will need to use different tools. Apart from those pre-manufactured devices like Lightsphere you can google for ABBC - A Better Bounce Card. Bounce cards are the simplest and cheapest way to direct flash light. Together with bouncing flash towards walls and ceiling they give good results.
 

Apr 15, 2008
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Singapore, east-ish
#13
Just so you know, the Lightsphere is hardly a very popular tool among photojournalists, because it "wastes" light. Instead of getting light to your subject, it goes all around the room and much of that light doesn't actually come back to your subject very well. In closed spaces, it works quite well, but in large rooms with high ceilings, you're going to end up working your flash very hard.
Hmm...anyone tried 'plating' 180° of the inside of your Lambency/Gary Fong diffuser with aluminium foil before? :bsmilie:

Must experiment when i'm free... :think:
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#14
Hmm...anyone tried 'plating' 180° of the inside of your Lambency/Gary Fong diffuser with aluminium foil before? :bsmilie:

Must experiment when i'm free... :think:
Just the rear is enough. I've seen a fren do it.
 

aHxi-o

New Member
Aug 31, 2006
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Bedok Reservoir
#19
Thank you for all the replies, the webbies, your experiences and everything! sjackal, your blog post is good!

Personally I don't own any diffuser and have gotten by with white wall boucing, dialing down flash power manually and other methods like bouncing on friends with white t-shirts.
Dialing flash power manually refers to changing a point on the scale of the sign with a lightning and a +/- right?

by the way, what sort of subjects are you looking at? food? macro? people? night shots of people? It would help those who can share their expertise in those areas too.
I'm looking at people at indoor events, eg. dinner and dance, prom etc etc. I've seen people using just a bounce card to cover such events. And judging by the nature of such event and from what I've gathered from the responses, I think bouncing off ceilings, using a bounce card and using Demb Pro (this option needs more $$$) will be the best options.

Just to add, there are 'alternative versions' for most of the expensive diffusers at a fraction of the price.

Just check the sales forum, ebay, etc.
Are there brands to these alternatives?
 

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