Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Lighting & Studio Techniques | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2012 · outdoor single flash
  
 
jtrankler
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · outdoor single flash


Hey all, looking for input on a good bounce for doing some outdoor shooting usually 1 to maybe 4 people.. Currently using a Metz 50 AF-1 flash.

Normally for indoor shooting i am just bouncing off wall or ceiling. But that gets bit tricky to do outside sometimes...



Mar 27, 2012 at 08:58 PM
jtrankler
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · outdoor single flash


Another note is this will be on camera still. I do not have a remote or stand for doing remote with it.


Mar 27, 2012 at 09:00 PM
BrianO
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · outdoor single flash


jtrankler wrote:
Hey all, looking for input on a good bounce for doing some outdoor shooting usually 1 to maybe 4 people.. Currently using a Metz 50 AF-1 flash. Normally for indoor shooting i am just bouncing off wall or ceiling. But that gets bit tricky to do outside sometimes... ...Another note is this will be on camera still. I do not have a remote or stand for doing remote with it.


The problem is going to be getting a large enough bounce surface to make any difference when the flash is on the camera.

You could make or buy a portable "wall" to bounce the flash off of, but one you've gone that far it's a small step to move the flash off camera.

A lightweight stand, an umbrella, and a long PC cord can all be had for less than $65, and still less than $100 if you wanted an ETTL cable rather than a simple sync cord.



Mar 27, 2012 at 09:15 PM
jtrankler
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · outdoor single flash


Hmm, what would a wireless remote trigger + stand run.. I would not want to deal with a cord when out and about.


Mar 27, 2012 at 09:22 PM
cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · outdoor single flash


What you need is a reflector/diffuser which will bounce all the light forward like these DIY diffusers I use...







But mounted on a flash in a hot shoe all a diffuser will do versus direct flash is make the highlights on the face marginally less specular.

The thing to grasp about lighting faces it that the light needs to come from above at about 45 relative to the eye line to look natural because that's the angle of natural light in mid-morning and mid-afternoon or at noon if a face is raised up into the skylight to keep the brow from shading the eyes.

If you put the sun directly behind your group the skylight will be hitting the faces at a downward angle creating a nice flattering "butterfly" pattern if they look up and the eyes sockets are not shaded. If you were to shoot at around f/4 and 1/250th at ISO 100 the faces would be normally exposed and you'd see that modeling, but the sunlit parts will be blown out by 2-3 stops.

When you stop down the lens to f/11 to keep the sunny parts below clipping the same "butterfly" pattern is on the face, but the face will be underexposed. If add flash from the hotshoe near eye level with the subjects you will match the front of the faces to the sunny parts exposure-wise but the low angle of the flash will cancel out all the natural modeling. The net result will be flat-lit faces just as with an indoor shot taken with flash in the hotshoe.

If you make one of my DIY diffusers (follow the link in the photo for a template or click the WWW button below) AND keep the camera in Landscape mode the center of the diffuser will wind up about 6-8" above the lens, but that's still less than ideal. What is ideal is when the angle of the flash matches the 45 angle of the natural skylight hitting the faces.

The takeaway is that even with a diffuser on the flash the lighting on the faces will look flat and unnatural. For more natual looking flash lighting you need to raise the flash so it hits the eye line at about a 45 angle. Without a stand or a bracket the best alternative is shooting from a ladder to get camera and flash above the heads. That will also get the group looking up eliminating the problem of the brow shading the skylight.



Mar 27, 2012 at 09:24 PM
BrianO
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · outdoor single flash


jtrankler wrote:
Hmm, what would a wireless remote trigger + stand run.


If you don't mind shooting with manual flash-power adjustments -- including making the adjustments on the flash gun, rater than from the camera -- you can get cheap triggers like the Cactus v5 for less than $60 for one transmitter and one receiver.

Or you can get an ETTL-capable outfit like the Phottix Odin for about $350 for one Tx and one Rx.

Stands run the gamut from about $20 for a light 6-footer from Impact to well above $5,000 for a high-end studio model.



Mar 27, 2012 at 09:53 PM
BrianO
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · outdoor single flash


cgardner wrote:
...If you put the sun directly behind your group the skylight will be hitting the faces at a downward angle creating a nice flattering "butterfly" pattern if they look up and the eyes sockets are not shaded.


I challenge you to show me a portrait with butterfly lighting made solely by daylight when the sun is behind the subject.



Mar 27, 2012 at 10:07 PM
mourningshadow
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · outdoor single flash


I'll let you play around with my Odin's this weekend. Your gonna want to buy some, trust me.


Mar 27, 2012 at 11:04 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · outdoor single flash


BrianO wrote:
I challenge you to show me a portrait with butterfly lighting made solely by daylight when the sun is behind the subject.


Skylight has a downward direction because it bounces from the atmosphere overhead. When sun is behind a subject near the middle of the day the sky will be brightest in the opposite direction, the direction the person's nose is pointing. Just go outside and look to satisfy your curiousity.

It's the same light you'd get in open shade facing north, or a north facing window. If you don't have situatation awareness of the natural skylight direction and use it to model the face BEFORE adding flash the flash will always fight it. If you understand where the dominant "key" vector of the sky light is coming from, pose the face into it effectively, then add the flash at the same angle the flash complements the natural pattern.

I'm really surprised you don't understand this.



Mar 28, 2012 at 02:19 AM
BrianO
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · outdoor single flash


cgardner wrote:
I'm really surprised you don't understand this.


I understand the concept of skylight very well. North light/open-sky light is very non-directional if it's not shaped by an aperture like a window, and even then it is very soft. That's why it's so valued by people who seek north-facing windows for their studios.

To get a butterfly-shaped shadow under the nose of a subject, one needs a hard to medium-hard light source. Open sky won't do that; that's why rear-lit photos appear so flat. I'm surprised that you don't understand this.

I say once again: I challenge you to show me a portrait with butterfly lighting made solely by daylight when the sun is behind the subject.



Mar 28, 2012 at 02:31 AM
cgardner
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · outdoor single flash


A butterfly pattern was named for the shape of the nose shadow but that's not the only thing which defines it. It's more important trait with regard to defining the 3D shape of the face is the diamond shaped "mask" pattern of highlights it creates on the raised parts of the forehead, top of cheeks under the eyes, top of chin and ridge of the nose.

In skylight the pattern is subtle, which is likely why you have never noticed it, but it is there. The downward moideling directional vector of the skylight is evidenced by the fact that when subject and photographer are both on ground level looking at each other the brow of the subject will shade their eyes. That's the #1 defect in most outdoor shots I critique. What creates that shadow? The fact that the downward vector of the skylight is brighter than the omni-directional ones.

Again you are getting tripped up by some narrow definition of the term "butterfly" as meaning there's a well defined nose shadow hanging down. Again I invite you to take a subject outdoors in open shade at noon, face then north and have them nod their chin up and down. You'll see the light in the eyes, not not. Once you can see that cause and efffect in open shade try the same thing in sunlight. There will likely be more bounced fill from the ground around the subject hit by the direct sun, vs the open shade, but you'll see the same cause and effect in the eyes: chin down / eyes shaded, chin up/ light in the eyes. That's the critical factor. The fact the downward vector or the lighting all is creating a 3D "mask" pattern on the face, albeit a faint one, is a bonus.




Mar 28, 2012 at 11:37 AM
ozpall
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · outdoor single flash


Go to a print shop and ask them for scrap foam board and bounce your flash off the board, you will need an assistant but its free.

EBay triggers are cheap, 15 20 bucks a set, also a stand and umbrellas are cheap.



Mar 28, 2012 at 03:38 PM
jtrankler
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · outdoor single flash


Ahh debates they are fun.

Thanks for input though all around, and Aaron yes i forgot that you had gotten those remote triggers.



Mar 28, 2012 at 05:31 PM
BrianO
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · outdoor single flash


cgardner wrote:
A butterfly pattern was named for the shape of the nose shadow but that's not the only thing which defines it. ...Again you are getting tripped up by some narrow definition of the term "butterfly" as meaning there's a well defined nose shadow hanging down.


Ah, now I see. Once again you are making up your own definition of a standard term. I should have known.



Mar 28, 2012 at 05:35 PM
sic0048
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · outdoor single flash


I know you said you don't like the idea of a cord, but a long TTL cord would allow you to get the flash off camera and retain full TTL control over the flash. Most people will say TTL doesn't matter and you should be shooting in manual flash mode, but what TTL allows is manual flash control from the camera. This is certainly a much cheaper solution than going with wireless TTL triggers and since you only have the single light, the long TTL cord will work just fine.

A good reflector can work even better than a flash in a lot of situations. You need a competent assistant to direct the light, but you can see the effect the reflector is having on the subject before you take the picture. This can greatly assist in getting the image you want without having to fiddle with the flash.



Mar 28, 2012 at 07:33 PM





FM Forums | Lighting & Studio Techniques | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password