Shooting indoors when bounce flash is not an option


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btym3011

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Sep 15, 2008
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#1
hey guys,
need some advice on shooting indoors when the ceiling is of a certain colour (e.g. red) which makes bouncing flash off it not a very good idea. is the only solution to flash directly at the subject? any advice on using WB compensation?

using high iso (i.e. 1600) and wide apertures (i.e. f/2.8) yielded slow shutter speeds in the range of 0.5sec to 1/4sec without flash.
 

#2
You may set your camera's white balance to preset, then take the measure by shooting a graycard while bouncing your flash as usual. check your camera's manual on how to do this.

Or the easiest way is just do usual bouncing, then adjust the whitebalance when editing the RAW file.

My two cents.
 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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#4
Shoot direct... reduce the flash ev accordingly.

Alternatively, use flash brackets and get the flash higher on the side so the shadows does not show that prominently.
 

Dream Merchant

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#6
OPTIONS:

1) Shoot direct
2) Bounce and adjust WB
3) Bounce and tweak RAW files
4) Use a direct diffuser
5) Measure the reflected light color temp if you have a col temp meter, and gel yr flash as appropriate to compensate
6) Bounce off another neutral surface and fill
7) Execute the person who decided the ceiling must be red or whatever strange color
 

Octarine

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#7
In such cases I use Expodisk to adjust WB. Flash plus odd ceiling colours get easily corrected that way.
 

btym3011

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#8
hey.. thanks guys for all the options given. i'll try them out the next time i come into such a situation..
 

Dream Merchant

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#9
Serious? You're going to try #7 on my list? :sweat: :sweat: :sweat:
 

cabbySHE

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Dec 5, 2008
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one easy tip, and sure fire one...

watch news broadcast on tv, when you see VIPs like Barack Obama, MM Lee, PM Lee etc, giving press conference, there will be groups of global/local journalist clicking away, record it down with your DVD recorder. Play back and zoom in and study how all thses journalist use their flash and in what position, b'coz they are not suppose to fail, these pictures had to be appear on next day's paper, maybe frontpage. See, it's just that simple.
 

gymak90

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#12
Hmm I also have a question similar to the TS's.

In fact I had experienced when the ceiling is thankfully white and flat, but it does not seem to bounce my flash back down. Direct flash is also not an option, because of flash shadow.

In this case, will bounce card be my next best option? Is bounce card handmade for a sb600?
 

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zac08

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#13
Hmm I also have a question similar to the TS's.

In fact I had experienced when the ceiling is thankfully white and flat, but it does not seem to bounce my flash back down. Direct flash is also not an option, because of flash shadow.

In this case, will bounce card be my next best option? Is bounce card handmade for a sb600?
In such a case, with a bounce card and no bounce light from the top, it's akin to shooting outdoors with such a rig. ONLY a small bit of flash power will be able to reach your subject. And with a lower GN for the SB-600, you're left with VERY lil light thrown at the subject.

Persoanlly I'd try to move such that shadows are less perceivable and use direct flash instead with dialed down flash ev compensation.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#14
Hmm I also have a question similar to the TS's.

In fact I had experienced when the ceiling is thankfully white and flat, but it does not seem to bounce my flash back down. Direct flash is also not an option, because of flash shadow.

In this case, will bounce card be my next best option? Is bounce card handmade for a sb600?
between direct flash shadow or ugly off color and underexposed picture, I will choose direct flash.
 

miniUltraman

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Feb 27, 2006
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#15
one easy tip, and sure fire one...

watch news broadcast on tv, when you see VIPs like Barack Obama, MM Lee, PM Lee etc, giving press conference, there will be groups of global/local journalist clicking away, record it down with your DVD recorder. Play back and zoom in and study how all thses journalist use their flash and in what position, b'coz they are not suppose to fail, these pictures had to be appear on next day's paper, maybe frontpage. See, it's just that simple.
They use direct flash :bsmilie::bsmilie:
 

unseen

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Dec 14, 2004
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#16
one easy tip, and sure fire one...

watch news broadcast on tv, when you see VIPs like Barack Obama, MM Lee, PM Lee etc, giving press conference, there will be groups of global/local journalist clicking away, record it down with your DVD recorder. Play back and zoom in and study how all thses journalist use their flash and in what position, b'coz they are not suppose to fail, these pictures had to be appear on next day's paper, maybe frontpage. See, it's just that simple.
Most press photographers, unlike hobbyists, are more concerned about getting the right moment rather than the perfect beautiful lighting etc etc...

They're more likely to compare "I got a better moment than you, nevermind the harsh shadow.." than as here "I got softer lighting than you, nevermind that I missed the moment.."

As such, your tip doesn't really apply.. :bsmilie:
 

unseen

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#17
In such a case, with a bounce card and no bounce light from the top, it's akin to shooting outdoors with such a rig. ONLY a small bit of flash power will be able to reach your subject. And with a lower GN for the SB-600, you're left with VERY lil light thrown at the subject.

Persoanlly I'd try to move such that shadows are less perceivable and use direct flash instead with dialed down flash ev compensation.
I'm curious why everyone suggest dialing down the flash ev compensation. It's a most perculiar method which I don't understand.

Direct flash or bounce flash, it immediately impacts the quality of light, as well as the direction of light. The amount of light needed to light the subject up at the point of incidence still remains the same (i.e. more power required for bounced flash).

Dialing down the flash ev indiscriminately will only result in an under-exposed picture in most cases.

True that less light will make the shadow caused by direct light less obvious... but why do you want to take an under-exposed photo just because there's softer shadow?
 

zac08

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Feb 21, 2005
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#18
I'm curious why everyone suggest dialing down the flash ev compensation. It's a most perculiar method which I don't understand.

Direct flash or bounce flash, it immediately impacts the quality of light, as well as the direction of light. The amount of light needed to light the subject up at the point of incidence still remains the same (i.e. more power required for bounced flash).

Dialing down the flash ev indiscriminately will only result in an under-exposed picture in most cases.

True that less light will make the shadow caused by direct light less obvious... but why do you want to take an under-exposed photo just because there's softer shadow?
Not necessarily. This all depends on the settings, ISO, Aperture as well as Shutter speed and your distance to the subject.

For my shooting habits, I tend to get a over-exposed subject with dark BG if I leave the flash settings to iTTL and un-corrected.

Thus, now with a better understanding of the situation. I now use a -1.0 flash ev coupled with my normal settings on my camera and get properly exposed pics without the flash over-powering the rest of the scene.

I am trying to get a more balanced scene as opposed to those you regularly see on PnS, where the flash kills the whole scene. ;)

Also, if you're able to slow down the shutter speed, it's fun to play with the flash and do a manual control on the camera with very optimal results where the flash is almost barely there.



This cat was shot on -3.0 flash ev with wide open f2.8, 1/30 sec ISO 800.
 

Octarine

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#19
I'm curious why everyone suggest dialing down the flash ev compensation. It's a most perculiar method which I don't understand.

Direct flash or bounce flash, it immediately impacts the quality of light, as well as the direction of light. The amount of light needed to light the subject up at the point of incidence still remains the same (i.e. more power required for bounced flash).
Dialing down the flash ev indiscriminately will only result in an under-exposed picture in most cases.
True that less light will make the shadow caused by direct light less obvious... but why do you want to take an under-exposed photo just because there's softer shadow?
It also depends on how the flash metering works. Even within one system line (e.g. Canon) the flash metering and therefore the resulting flash power is not always the same in all settings. More to read here: http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index2.html#confusion Initially I also got confused about the different results when I switched to a different mode and took the same scene again.
Secondly, it also depends on the overall lighting situation (difference between foreground and background) and how much fill flash is needed. Zac08's picture is a nice example: actually it's underexposed according camera metering but overall it's just great for the situation.
 

gymak90

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#20
In such a case, with a bounce card and no bounce light from the top, it's akin to shooting outdoors with such a rig. ONLY a small bit of flash power will be able to reach your subject. And with a lower GN for the SB-600, you're left with VERY lil light thrown at the subject.

Persoanlly I'd try to move such that shadows are less perceivable and use direct flash instead with dialed down flash ev compensation.
between direct flash shadow or ugly off color and underexposed picture, I will choose direct flash.
Thanks guys! It's time for an upgrade to sb900? ;)
What I did to reduce flash shadow, when using direct flash, was to stand in front of the subject. So the shadow created, can be partially covered by the subject's body and height.
 

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