Strobes Direct vs Bounced
/forum/topic/1172455/0



mdalby
Registered: Feb 06, 2011
Total Posts: 416
Country: United States

I always shoot direct... Until last night.

In my time shooting with strobes, I haven't ever had a complaint. I had my first issue last night. The person at the score table complained that the strobes were hindering her ability to see how many fingers the refs were holding up when there were fouls etc. I was shooting direct. I at first offered to try to direct my one strobe a little off center court to try to direct the light a little from her. That worked until half time when I was asked to bounce rather than shoot direct.

I am not happy with the results. Here are a few shots from the game so you can see the difference. Generally if I can't see the grain of the ball, it doesn't pass the mustard.

Strobe Direct







Strobe Direct







Strobe bounced from ceiling - Maybe I should have tried bouncing off the wall.






basehorhonda
Registered: Dec 09, 2011
Total Posts: 266
Country: United States

this answered my question on my thread. thanks



hilo90mhz
Registered: Dec 09, 2012
Total Posts: 31
Country: United States

I agree with you.



P Alesse
Registered: Dec 25, 2004
Total Posts: 11419
Country: United States

To me, it's a no-brainer. BOUNCED. But, you're asking the wrong guy. I don't like the heavy highlighted, heavy shadowed look. I prefer a natural looking scene with just enough light falloff to make the subject pop. On your first two shots, I'm seeing heavy highlights on the left side (players' right), on face, leg and ball, and the defenders showing very pronounced shadows. On the bounced shot, we avoid all that.

Now, the positions of the lights need a little tweaking to get the subject to pop a bit more, but IMO, there is more potential for a great looking shot.



thursdaylsr
Registered: Sep 07, 2009
Total Posts: 506
Country: United States

I've always bounced, I don't like how direct flash looks in pretty much any situation. With high ISO capabilities now, its more of a fill which is why I bounce.



mdalby
Registered: Feb 06, 2011
Total Posts: 416
Country: United States

It is definitely a personal preference. To me, I like the contrast and the color. To me the bounced look is flat and doesn't isolate the subject from the background as much.



mdalby
Registered: Feb 06, 2011
Total Posts: 416
Country: United States

I should have tried some shots with no strobe at all just for another comparison. I am shooting with the D4 now so that would have been good to see too.



Ed Peters
Registered: Jul 25, 2003
Total Posts: 5251
Country: United States

If I had my choice it would be direct, just seems to be more intense..



chrisbergmann
Registered: Jun 30, 2011
Total Posts: 271
Country: United States

I think that your bounced and direct shots are well within the acceptable range but IMO the bounced is a more natural, even light.



Scott Sewell
Registered: Dec 08, 2003
Total Posts: 8565
Country: United States

P Alesse wrote:
To me, it's a no-brainer. BOUNCED. But, you're asking the wrong guy. I don't like the heavy highlighted, heavy shadowed look. I prefer a natural looking scene with just enough light falloff to make the subject pop. On your first two shots, I'm seeing heavy highlights on the left side (players' right), on face, leg and ball, and the defenders showing very pronounced shadows. On the bounced shot, we avoid all that.

Now, the positions of the lights need a little tweaking to get the subject to pop a bit more, but IMO, there is more potential for a great looking shot.




I agree.

Plus, you need to take into account the fact that someone complained about direct. I am a proponent of strobing (assuming someone has insurance, has permission, etc.), but I'm also a proponent of NOT causing problems with those I'm shooting. Guess you can figure out how to make bounced work for you or stop strobing altogether. I know which option I would choose.



gene2632
Registered: Jan 25, 2004
Total Posts: 637
Country: United States

One thing you have not considered in this debate is when you are able to go direct you get more of the freeze from your strobes. When you bounce you lose some of that and you will normally see more motion blur. Over the years I have found the real answer often lies in the building and the event. We don't get to work in an ideal world, maybe that is why I still enjoy the challange.



mdalby
Registered: Feb 06, 2011
Total Posts: 416
Country: United States

Gene, yep that was the main issue for me, the lack of being tack sharp that I missed from the direct.



Matt OHarver
Registered: Sep 18, 2006
Total Posts: 4068
Country: United States

If you are not getting tack sharp, then you aren't getting your strobe power or aim correct. You need to be 2-3 stops over ambient when bouncing.


Matt



mdalby
Registered: Feb 06, 2011
Total Posts: 416
Country: United States

P Alesse wrote:
Now, the positions of the lights need a little tweaking to get the subject to pop a bit more.


Paul,

What do you mean here? How can I position strobes better to get the subject to pop when bouncing?



kwhaley29
Registered: Jan 19, 2012
Total Posts: 234
Country: United States

I like the bounced shot better...but as others have said it's just a matter of preference. The bounced shot seems more natural and it feels like there is more movement, whereas the direct seems too frozen.