Flash Photography Info

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by rcam72, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. rcam72

    rcam72 Member

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    I just got a 550EX for my EOS 3 for no good reason besides the EOS 3 not having a pop-up flash. I quickly realized that I have no idea as to what I can do with it besides turn it on and put it in auto. So I'd appreciate suggestions as to any books, web sites, etc to educate myself on the different uses of a flash. I have the manual and have looked it over and I'd like to know more.

    Thanks,
    Raul
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    This is a fun one http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Shoe-Diar...0141/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1304168961&sr=8-2

    This is one o those things that requires practice and experimentation.

    Auto is fine, where you will see the biggest differences is in learning how to bounce the light around.

    Pick a room and a subject and a single direction to point the camera, load a roll and start twisting the head around differently for each shot. Left, right, up, down, even back behind you.

    You will pretty quickly get a feel for what happens.
     
  3. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    In the future I suggest giving a more specific title to your post. You increase your chances for useful replies with a better title. Your title is so general that I only opened it as I am bored at the moment and was trying to kill a few moments before I have to leave. Perhaps a better title would be something like;
    Advice on Flash photography lighting techniques.

    Sorry I can't say anything more useful in the time I have.
     
  4. rcam72

    rcam72 Member

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    Mark,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to check the local library or bookstore and take a look at it. It looks to be Nikon-centric but, outside of terminology, I don't see that being a problem.

    Practice and experimentation? That sounds like a four letter WORd ending in K. I was hoping sleep learning would be an option.:D

    -Raul
     
  5. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    You are right about being Nikon centric, beyond that you'll learn a lot.

    I got it first at the library too then bought it.

    Yes it does take some work but not as much as you might imagine. Once you see how bounce affects the shot and that the camera and strobe will actually expose the shot well as long as there is a good surface to bounce off regardless of where the head is pointed you'll relax.

    Bouncing the strobes light is in my head a lot like shooting bounce/bank shots in pool. In the beginning "bank shots" are not as reliable at lighting the subject as head on shots so I would recommend is that you shoot two or three shots where you think you need one and change the head for each shot a bit. After a while you'll get to the point where the bank shots are your main tools.

    The other thing I do is look through the strobist group on Flickr and when I see a shot I like I'll try and figure out how I would do it.

    Couple other things to remember.

    The strobe is fast, typically 1/1000 duration is "slow" for the actual flash of light. In auto mode strobes regulate exposure by shortening the duration of the flash. A gentle fill pop may only be 1/20,000 of a second long.

    The larger the aperture you use the easier it is for the flash to do it's work, for me flash photography is an "f/2.8 and be there" thing unless I'm in full sun and just filling the dark side.

    The camera's shutter speed is how you control your background effects. Long shutter times allow a brighter background and more blur. This is an artistic choice, balance it to your taste.

    Nikon calls it rear curtain sync when the strobe fires at the end of the shot, this puts the ambient light "trail" behind the subject. I use that setting for everything.

    Have fun
     
  6. rcam72

    rcam72 Member

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    Thanks Mark. I appreciate the guidance.

    -Raul