Taking Group Pictures With 580EXII


spentaz

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Aug 13, 2010
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#1
Hello people, just needed some help with taking group pictures outdoor using the 580EXII.

Yesterday I was at Universal studios at the YOG workforce appreciation party, around 7-8pm onwards, I noticed that sometimes the only way would be to use direct flash(flash head pointed directly at subject) as there were no walls or anything to bounce the light from. I am using the stock 580EXII without any additional bounce card or omnibounce, will any of those help? The Pictures came out very harsh and unflattering, which look like it was taken using the internal flash. I do not face these problems when taking pictures indoors. help!!:sweat:
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#2
Use a direct-diffused source like a Lightsphere/Lembency or a Demb Diffuser.

At worse, use a sto-fen, but that might prove to be futile when there are no walls to bounce off.

Very seriously, in super emergencies, use a huge white plastic bag, blown-up and tied with whatever you can find. It actually works, even though you might not get any Brownie points for being 'so pro ah'. :bsmilie:
 

spentaz

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Aug 13, 2010
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#3
I saw people using their own DIY bounce card, the kind with the card secured with the velcro. Can I use one of that too? The lightsphere are a little bulky to bring while traveling:dunno:
 

Dream Merchant

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#4
I'm not sure exactly which type you've seen, but I suspect that you'll need a fairly large surface area to bounce off. But the thing is, you won't have a ceiling or wall to bounce off, so I'm not sure about how that's going to be effective.

A LOT of guys, unfortunately, are actually firing their flashes into ... nowhere. :think:

Lightspheres can be flattened or 'crushed' during travel. Not sure about long term storage though.
 

flashbug

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Dec 1, 2008
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#5
I saw people using their own DIY bounce card, the kind with the card secured with the velcro. Can I use one of that too? The lightsphere are a little bulky to bring while traveling:dunno:
bounce card doesn't work that well for a large group because of the area involved.

the official gary fong lightsphere latest version is collapsible, though quite pricey. alternatively... you can always bring along a foldable reflector, though it is pretty inconvenient too.

some compromises have to be made if you are trying to balance photo quality and load.
 

Jan 8, 2009
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#7
Use a direct-diffused source like a Lightsphere/Lembency or a Demb Diffuser.

At worse, use a sto-fen, but that might prove to be futile when there are no walls to bounce off.

Very seriously, in super emergencies, use a huge white plastic bag, blown-up and tied with whatever you can find. It actually works, even though you might not get any Brownie points for being 'so pro ah'. :bsmilie:
Are you saying that with a diffuser like sto-fen and flash facing the subject directly, a wall for the flash to bounce off is needed? I thought that the objective of the diffuser is to make the flash less harsh when pointing straight at the subject. Please enlighten me.
 

Sep 17, 2008
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#8
hmm. u were there yesterday? i was there too! anyways, ur 580exii has a small inbuilt bounce card doesn it? could try that.

or get a milk carton, the semi translucent one. shoot through. what u wanna do is to spread the light around, while maintaining enough light. are u one of the YPs? check out how CM did his shots with his diffuser
 

catchlights

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#9
when there is in a open space, you have nothing to bounce your flash, to soften the flash with whatever thing is insufficient, especially photographing a group.

to make the best out of such situation is to make the flash get off the camera, using a TTL cord, move the flash higher and to a side, so the lighting is more directional, tho it is hard but will be more acceptable than a head on flash.

or you can balance flash with the ambient light, if this is feasible.
 

Sep 17, 2008
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#10
when there is in a open space, you have nothing to bounce your flash, to soften the flash with whatever thing is insufficient, especially photographing a group.

to make the best out of such situation is to make the flash get off the camera, using a TTL cord, move the flash higher and to a side, so the lighting is more directional, tho it is hard but will be more acceptable than a head on flash.

or you can balance flash with the ambient light, if this is feasible.
but if u ask me, if i really cant do anythign, then dun do anythign. i believe groupshots like these would fall under the moment>technicality category. just shoot, make sure u can see the face of everyone can already. especially if its for personal use
 

spentaz

New Member
Aug 13, 2010
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#11
hmm. u were there yesterday? i was there too! anyways, ur 580exii has a small inbuilt bounce card doesn it? could try that.

or get a milk carton, the semi translucent one. shoot through. what u wanna do is to spread the light around, while maintaining enough light. are u one of the YPs? check out how CM did his shots with his diffuser
Hey! I am not one of the YP's haha, I was a EVS marshal. Anyway I could do with the spare time to make one myself, walked by TK foto, asked the price for a stofen omnibounce, $30. for a small piece of plastic;(
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#12
Are you saying that with a diffuser like sto-fen and flash facing the subject directly, a wall for the flash to bounce off is needed? I thought that the objective of the diffuser is to make the flash less harsh when pointing straight at the subject. Please enlighten me.
What Catchlights said, and also, yes, for it to be effective, it needs a wall to bounce off. Better yet, several walls and a ceiling. :)

No super portable flash diffuser is effective as the light would still be a 'point' in relation to the subject distance like a group shot, and the sto-fen IS a point-light source because the area of diffusion is entirely inadequate - except for bouncing off walls and ceilings. ;)

My solution is to go for a direct-diffused light source instead as most would not be able to keep still enough for group photos with a long shutters and fill to balance ambient (except perhaps dancers and photographers - the very 'choon' one! :bsmilie:).
 

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