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Archive 2012 · Trying to learn flash
  
 
jstephens62
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Trying to learn flash


I have managed to avoid using flash much at all in my photography to date, but I have decided it is time to take the plunge and try to figure this out. I have a specific shot in mind, a sunset portrait on a beach on an upcoming trip to Hawaii.

I have read the Hot Shoe Diaries and didn't find it all that helpful. The humorous prose got in the way of conveying information, sort of like Scott Kelby on a bad day. I find the Speedlighters Handbook to be much better, along with Lighting 101 on the Strobist website.
For the shot I will be using a 1D MIII body with a 580 EX as master and 430 EX as slave.
So now for a couple of questions:

The Speedlighters Handbook says that I loose second curtain sync with the 430 EX as slave. Sure enough, I can turn it on when the flash is on camera, but I can't when it is in Slave mode. The body has second curtain sync available as a Custom Function (II-5), does that become inoperable when the flash is in slave mode? If so that is too bad, I think it could be useful for the shoot I have in mind.

Secondly, it looks like on-camera flash compensation is lost in flash Manual mode, but works in ETTL. Again that would be too bad, as learning flash control in Manual mode makes sense to me. With the shoot I am planning the key flash will be up high and hard to reach and adjust the output manually. Does this mean that I need to actually understand "shutter controls ambient, aperture controls flash", for on-the-fly adjustments? If so I have some practicing to do. Would I be better off in ETTL?

Here is a rough idea of the kind of image I am looking for

Later on, after I understand more basics, I might ask for advice on hard light vs soft light and gels.

Thanks to all for any advice.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/snbg/3689865011/sizes/m/in/photostream/

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hot-Shoe-Diaries-Flashes/dp/0321580141 (ironic, no?)























Aug 05, 2012 at 06:21 AM
alohadave
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Trying to learn flash


For this particular shot, did you see the setup shot? http://www.flickr.com/photos/snbg/3689854913/in/photostream/

Secondly, it looks like on-camera flash compensation is lost in flash Manual mode, but works in ETTL. Again that would be too bad, as learning flash control in Manual mode makes sense to me. With the shoot I am planning the key flash will be up high and hard to reach and adjust the output manually. Does this mean that I need to actually understand "shutter controls ambient, aperture controls flash", for on-the-fly adjustments? If so I have some practicing to do. Would I be better off in ETTL?

It helps to understand how flash and ambient exposures work, but for this one particular shot, it's probably easier to meter to get the ambient where you want it, then add your flashes to taste.



Aug 05, 2012 at 12:32 PM
jstephens62
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Trying to learn flash


Yes, I did see the set up shot, thanks. Lacking assistants and equipment, I am thinking of some way to get the key light light up high, maybe clamped to a ladder or lifeguard stand. I think I like the hard light effect of the Hot Shoe shot, so maybe leave the key light bare, but soften the fill with a soft box or diffuser.

I think I understand about exposing for the ambient light and then adding flash, I am mainly concerned about how to adjust the flash to get the look I want in a reasonable fashion. I am planning on using a model for the first time, which raises the stakes a bit in terms of getting the technical part right.



Aug 05, 2012 at 01:55 PM
dedsen
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Trying to learn flash


Flash exposure compensation is used to override the best guess the camera computer makes for flash power. In manual you are in control. There is no reason for FEC.

If your key light is the 430 in slave mode, you can still set the power from the camera/master flash when using manual mode. Using the aperture is faster but will effect the DOF if that is important to you in the shot.



Aug 05, 2012 at 02:01 PM
jstephens62
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Trying to learn flash


Thanks. Reading further in the Speedlighter's handbook confirms that FEC does not function in Manual mode. I would be nice to change the power of the flash in camera, I will learn how to do this with the 580 EX once it arrives, I just bought it from another FM'er.


Aug 05, 2012 at 04:55 PM
 

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cgardner
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Trying to learn flash


Dual flash in ETTL mode is pretty simple.

1) Master is always Group A by default. It acts as fill if in hot shoe or bracket on ETTL cord.
2) Set slave to Group B - it becomes the off axis key light.
3) Set ratio to 1:2 That setting make the INCIDENT strength of key 2x brighter than fill. The key overlaps the fill so what the camera sees is 2 key (group B) + 1 fill (group A) : 1 fill (group A)

H:S
1:1 Group A lights entire face
2:0 Group B 2x stronger overlaps
==
3:1 Reflected ratio

Why start with A:B = 1:2? That should record a full range of detali on your exposure.

4) Turn on the clipping warning in the playback to guage exposure. Take test shots increasing FEC until you start to see clipping in the highlghts on your subject. With a bit of cross checking between camera warning and the corresponding RAW files you'll be able to use the clipping warning to gauge when highlight detail in RAW is optimal.

5) As you shoot chimp and adjust FEC as needed based on the clipping warning. The metering doesn't guess perfectly because it can't tell for sure what tone clothing the subject is wearing.





Aug 05, 2012 at 10:21 PM
jstephens62
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Trying to learn flash


Got it, thanks!


Aug 06, 2012 at 04:24 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Trying to learn flash


jstephens62 wrote:
...I am thinking of some way to get the key light light up high, maybe clamped to a ladder or lifeguard stand. I think I like the hard light effect of the Hot Shoe shot, so maybe leave the key light bare, but soften the fill with a soft box or diffuser. ...I am planning on using a model for the first time, which raises the stakes a bit in terms of getting the technical part right.


I see you are in Edmonds; I'm in Everett. I don't have any shoots scheduled in August; if you would like to borrow a couple of light stands, a soft box, and a dish to play with to aid you in future purchase decisions send me a PM. I'm free all day on most Mondays, and late afternoons on Saturdays. I'm free on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, but busy on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays. (I'm a Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus, and those are my council's meeting nights.)








Aug 12, 2012 at 04:49 AM
Nozzleforward
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Trying to learn flash


BrianO wrote:
I see you are in Edmonds; I'm in Everett. I don't have any shoots scheduled in August; if you would like to borrow a couple of light stands, a soft box, and a dish to play with to aid you in future purchase decisions send me a PM. I'm free all day on most Mondays, and late afternoons on Saturdays. I'm free on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, but busy on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays. (I'm a Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus, and those are my council's meeting nights.)


______________________________________________________________


It's folks like this that make FM such an awesome place!



Aug 13, 2012 at 07:11 PM





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