Home · Register · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

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

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

1       2       3      
4
       end
  

I'm terrified of flash

  
 
Archibald
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.4 #1 · p.4 #1 · I'm terrified of flash


kaplah wrote:
These are all gear questions, not how-to questions. In your shoes I would start here: http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

Regards your questions:
- shoot-through umbrella.
- Yes, but you won't like it. Fully manual, set at the flash not on the godox trigger/controller, and you would be buying a godox receiver to trigger them, if that would even work. Best to discard / sell.
- it goes down with the size of the modifier. Mostly. I would not think about GN with modifiers, it's best used with bare flash on-camera.
- someone does. Just no-one I know or have read about. With a useable modelling light (at least
...Show more

Thanks, kaplah. I will investigate a shoot-through umbrella. The Photek Softlighter that jlafferty recommended appears to not be available.

I found out about the Godox X1R-C receiver to control Canon flashes using the Godox transmitter. It is real interesting and quite capable. However, my 580EX is too old to benefit, so I will have to buy Godox flashes.

Hair lights are a bit of a mystery to me. I have no experience with them. It seems that they ought to have a snoot or barn doors to limit spill. So aiming will be important. With all the gadgetry that has been developed and that photographers love, why not a remote aimer of some kind? Good point about the modelling light. That rules out a TT685. Need to think some more about this.

Now about GN and power and so on - the opinion of the pros seems to be premised on the thought that everybody has 800 ws units. If the brightness isn't right, just adjust up or down. No problem. But we little beginners might not be so lucky and only have wimpy starter units or speedlites. We need to consider that we might not have enough light.

But I'm now thinking that this might be MUCH less of a problem than I originally thought. I will just crank up the ISO. Why not? Sensors have improved so much. Today's 400 ISO is yesterday's 100.

I might eventually end up with a quartet of AD200s as they have modelling lights. But for now I might try adding speedlites, because they are so much cheaper. I'm not sure yet how I will take to studio photography and who knows, might quit after a while. Just hedging my bets. I don't want to end up with too much expensive unused gear.



Nov 12, 2021 at 11:33 PM
kaplah
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.4 #2 · p.4 #2 · I'm terrified of flash


Archibald wrote:
Thanks, kaplah. I will investigate a shoot-through umbrella. The Photek Softlighter that jlafferty recommended appears to not be available.

[...]
Hair lights are a bit of a mystery to me. I have no experience with them. It seems that they ought to have a snoot or barn doors to limit spill. So aiming will be important. With all the gadgetry that has been developed and that photographers love, why not a remote aimer of some kind? Good point about the modelling light. That rules out a TT685. Need to think some more about this.

Now about GN and power and
...Show more
I could have explained more, so here goes:
- the umbrella is the do-everything modifer. it leaks enough light that it bounces around the room to act as fill. Softboxes- particularly with grids - control the light a lot better but have less general application. If you do the lighting 101/102 that I linked, you'll get a good appreciation for this.
- hair/ modelling. if you are wanting to do five-light portraits, by all means do a hair light. if not, omit it, it is the fussiest of the light sources. To understand what hairlights are for, go here and scroll down to Shapiro's post: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4409603
- modelling: having modelling lights is better than not, but on Nikons there is a "Modelling Flash" function that runs the flash continuously for about one second, which is better than nothing. I suggested at least 100w equivalent, which for an LED is about 14 watts. I think the AD200 modeling light is much weaker, you can figure that out. The modeling light (on the key) also has the function of controlling pupil dilation so people don't look vacant - but there are ways around this. I prefer about 250w equivalent for that purpose.
- speedlights: I found I needed two speedlights inside a speedlight-specific softbox to have reasonable f-stop / recycle time. YMMV.
- 400 ISO - as long as your room light is controlled, you can up the ISO., This lets more ambient in, hence my comment about room light.
- by all means start with TT685's. Even better, start with TT600's. You will not use TTL in a traditional, or environmental, or any static portrait. They are cheap and will do the job. If you run into limitations, change up. Remember that with one light you have three light sources: the light, a reflector, and as much ambient as you let in for fill. It's much easier to have three lights, but you don't need them. Again, suggesting Lighting 101.

"I don't want to end up with too much expensive unused gear." truer words never spoken.

This is still all gear. Here is a link to the "rules" of traditional portraiture, which you can break with intent once you understand them: https://moam.info/rules-to-good-portraiture-by-benji-kelcc_598816251723ddd269e53152.html

Since you mention hair lights, one of them is "20. Don’t Overuse Hair and Kicker Lights­. The hair light should kiss the hair, not blast it. "




Nov 13, 2021 at 10:41 AM
rico
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.4 #3 · p.4 #3 · I'm terrified of flash


Archibald wrote:
I'm mostly an outdoor nature photographer and have little experience with off-camera flash. Now I'm trying to outfit a home studio. There are a ton of questions.

You're trying to frontload information that you may never need and distracts from the primary mission—gaining experience through trial and practice. Learn what you can achieve with your single light source and modifiers on hand (like a white wall). Think about light itself and happens when it hits your subject: the sun is excellent for interactive experiments. When creating your own illumination scheme, where is the light coming from, and why?

At your stage, it's best to ignore apparatus, brands and technology. Light is your language but you haven't learned to speak it.



Nov 13, 2021 at 04:54 PM
Archibald
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.4 #4 · p.4 #4 · I'm terrified of flash


kaplah: TT600 instead of TT685 - that is a great tip. Thanks! And pupil dilation - yet another aspect I had forgotten about. I will read Strobist and have been on the first page for the last couple days! I'm busy - other stuff needs to get done too. Lots of good stuff in your post.

rico: Thanks, yes, it is all about light. Well, I don't know - for customers it is often all about expression. But point taken. However, I want to be able to do satisfactory portraits in the first session. Otherwise it wastes the sitter's time. And I'm not THAT much of a newbie. I've done weddings, and portrait stuff at a simpler level, but it was long ago. And I have been doing some outdoor portraiture recently. You know, you can be WAY off ideal lighting, and still create photos that are good that the subject likes.

And there is nothing wrong with listening and learning from others.



Nov 13, 2021 at 05:18 PM
3BIGMAMAS
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.4 #5 · p.4 #5 · I'm terrified of flash


Like many said before, Strobist offers pretty much everything you need. For free.
I myself learned how to use flashes and artificial lights with David Hobby's Strobist back in 2008.

Don't be afraid it's a whole new world. You'll always learn some new stuff.
It's great!



Nov 16, 2021 at 03:01 PM
 


Search in Used Dept. 

Archibald
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.4 #6 · p.4 #6 · I'm terrified of flash


3BIGMAMAS wrote:
Like many said before, Strobist offers pretty much everything you need. For free.
I myself learned how to use flashes and artificial lights with David Hobby's Strobist back in 2008.

Don't be afraid it's a whole new world. You'll always learn some new stuff.
It's great!


Thanks, 3BigMamas. I've been reading Strobist, and also a fascinating thread here, on photographing seniors - high school seniors, not seniors like me. There's tons of practical info on gear and technique by working pros and advanced amateurs.

I've come to the conclusion that at a minimum, for pro-like work, I will need a 400 Ws flash like the AD400. It is suitable for indoors and out, has the power to cover most situations, and has a modelling light that is helpful for composition and near-essential for pupils. Those 400's are not cheap, so I will do due diligence before buying. And it is a minimum. An 800 or 1600 would be better.

I agree "It's great!" but I just need to make sure I want to get into this, and what exactly I'm getting into. It is a commitment.

It is really beneficial to discuss these things in the forum, because it stimulates thought. So now I'm thinking I would much prefer outdoor settings or on location instead of in my studio. That means I should favor portability and devote less effort to building a fancy studio.



Nov 16, 2021 at 05:02 PM
Paul_K
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.4 #7 · p.4 #7 · I'm terrified of flash


Archibald wrote:
Hair lights are a bit of a mystery to me. I have no experience with them. It seems that they ought to have a snoot or barn doors to limit spill. So aiming will be important. With all the gadgetry that has been developed and that photographers love, why not a remote aimer of some kind? Good point about the modelling light. That rules out a TT685. Need to think some more about this.


I've been following this thread with much interest right from the start when it was posted, and keep amazing (more and more) over the assumed bears that are seen in the road when using flash.

I rather get the impression the problem is more with setting up lights with whatever light source, flash or other (reason why I copied the above remark) then with what gear to purchase (as if buying that will immediately solve all problems).

Instead trying to find out / learn on more lighting, the conversation is predominantly about the gear, rather on how to create a lighting set up (sorry, no, Strobist really isn't a resource where you will really learn much on that, apart from some superficial 'how to do' descriptions)

Based on my own experiences I would
a) get a good book teaching the basics (and maybe even a bit more) on how to create a lighting set up, i.e. (type and position of the) main light, fill in (with a light or reflector) and perhaps a hair light (very, very conventional old fashioned, but if you really want it ....)
b) get simple lighting equipment that won't cost you an arm and a leg, and help you avoid buying gear that the internet 'experts' tell you is absolutely 'mandatory' for succeeding in creating a successful head shot, but in the end / in the long term turning out to be superfluous.

Let me, to clarify the above somewhat, briefly describe the very similar to what you seem to do mistakes I made when I ventured into serious /professional headshot / beauty photography when I took my 1st steps into professional photography back in the early 80's.

Having by lucky circumstances (actually not that lucky, as it was consisted of financial compensation for quite severe injuries suffered in a traffic accident, but being young I didn't experience it that way ) amassed a nice bit of cash, I bought what I at that time had read and was told by 'more experienced' photographers (no internet around back then) to be 'mandatory' to be a 'real' photographer: 2 Courtenay monoblocks - with modeling lights - (no cheap Chinese studio flashes around yet) with a simple reflector, a snoot and a beauty disk, a Hasselblad 500CM multiple lens set including a 150mm, multiple film backs and a Pola back, and additional stuff like a Lastolite collapsible reflector, setting me back respectively approx in US $ 2,000, 10,000 and 250.

Sad truth is I sold the Courtenays within a year as I really couldn't get the results I had in mind / wanted to create (what the h.. was that beauty disk for?), and parked the Hasselblad set into the back of my equipment 'closet' (40 years on I still have it, and it still is gathering dust there) as I wasn't able to handle it / incorporate in fluently in the way I found I preferred shooting. The Lastolite did come in handy for how I shot later, but given how cheap collapsible reflectors are nowadays, I sure paid top money for it back then.

After finding found the hard way how not to do things I started looking around for knowledge and resources that would / could really help me.

To begin with I was lucky to find a really boring, at that time already old fashioned, but nevertheless not outdated book on (portrait) lighting, explaining in detail, with text, diagrams and examples of images shot with the set up described, 'Lighting for Portraiture' by Walter Nurnberg.
Here's e.g. a page from it to illustrate how things were explained in detail






And being a book, instead of the superficial descriptions / 'tutorials' and video's on the internet that nowadays make things look so 'easy' to do (and lead obedient followers into lots of frustration https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1725280 ) , I could always read back, even when not shooting a picture, on what to do (and have a more solid idea already when I was actually was preparing to take / taking a picture).

Secondly I got simple equipment with which I could play around without having to bother with additional problems / questions like eg guide numbers or too much light, and bought a couple of simple halogen lamps (not even special 'photography' lamps like eg Hedlers, but rather cheapo Kaiser film lights I found cheap during sales).

May sound crummy, but got me to finally get the images I had in mind / hoped to end up with,
eg





or






Held on to the techniques learned even when I became more full fledged as a professional photographer in later years, and in pro level situations e.g.





and






Using halogen light may seem a sacrifice on sharpness, and it was back in the max ISO 400 (800 if you were feeling adventurous) slow lenses (my 1st 80-200 zoom was a manual focus max f4.5 one) film shooting days.
But in today's 'affordable' 2.8 AF zooms and still excellent IQ at ISO 3200 DSLR (and I dare say the A7R IV should be able to handle that easily) days the above really is a non issue.

Big advantage of shooting with continuous light is the WYSIWYG way it allows you to shoot: put a light source too close, and you will immediately see if it causes over exposure, just like you will immediately see what the effect of (an ill positioned) hair light is, and without having to mess around with a flash meter (another additional piece of equipment that, similar to a hand held meter, does need learning to be able to master it).

I nowadays do have a number of studio flash units among my gear (although I still have as number of Hedlers).
But the bedrock remains what I learned during the hours fiddling around with my cheapo film lamps bought in a rumble sale.

Sorry for the typos and the probably at times funny / incorrect English, not a native speaker

My two cents



Nov 16, 2021 at 06:58 PM
rek101
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.4 #8 · p.4 #8 · I'm terrified of flash


First, I think I was much like you are and I'm hardly a pro. Flash is just more moving parts to make your head spin and the way bloggers talk about it, I think they overwhelm. To me, your use case (outdoor fill flash) is probably one of the most complicated.

I'd get a speedlight that is as light and small as possible that takes 4 AA batteries and has a TTL mode. Then just bounce the thing off a white ceiling and see how you like it in aperature priority mode in a dimly lit room. Use ISO 800 and f/4. Just see how it looks.

Then in the same dimly lit room, switch the flash to manual mode and switch your camera to manual mode and and set your ISO to 800, your aperture to f/4, and move the flash power up and down a bit and see what the results look like.

Once you get the the exposure close, then try messing with your ISO a bit up and down and see how things change. Then mess with your aperture see how things change when you power the flash up and down manually.

Once the intimidation wears off, then watch some videos, but first just use the darn thing and see how it behaves in a situation where you definitely "need" flash. Outdoors you can often find some shade and get a good result. Indoors in low light, I think you can often get a better result with some artificial light so that's where I'd start.



Nov 26, 2021 at 10:38 PM
Art Nouveau
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.4 #9 · p.4 #9 · I'm terrified of flash


If you're afraid of flash now, never stand next to a 4,000 watt/sec Norman power pack when it arcs. Trust me on this one...


Jan 07, 2022 at 06:09 PM
pasblues
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.4 #10 · p.4 #10 · I'm terrified of flash


derKoekje wrote:
For some reason I've never warmed up to the concept of using flash and I honestly wouldn't know where to begin. Using a flash introduces so many variables that I feel quite intimidated by the whole idea. Fast shutter speed, slow shutter speed, intensity. Continuous lighting is so much easier to comprehend...

... But I have to learn sometime. I think I'd like to start with 1 flash. Is that even possible or should you get at least 2 flashes for a natural looking result? Is on-camera flash viable or is the result going to be look amateurish when compared to
...Show more

Back in the 80's one of my AP photographer buddies spent about 15 minutes with me to show me some tips and tricks with a flash. This was a Vivitar 285 - so nothing fancy. Pretty much the standard PJ flash for back then. That short session pretty much pole-vaulted my knowledge of how to vary flash direction and use a simple modifier (a notecard rubber-banded to the head for bounce).

So, if you have a friendly, experienced colleague near you who could take a little time to do that with you, I think you'd be golden.



Feb 02, 2022 at 04:15 PM
1       2       3      
4
       end






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

1       2       3      
4
       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username      Reset password