Bounce Flash

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by his4ever, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. his4ever

    his4ever TPF Noob!

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    I have been experimenting with my new flash. I love how it swivles and all that... but how do you know where to point it to get the right light? What do you all do with your flashes?
    I have an event coming up in April where I will be kindof photojournalising. It will be indoors. I really want to master the bounce flash before going there. I only seem to get it right when I am in my home (although I think it comes out to bright sometimes). What shall I do?
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Well, you have to look at what you have available to bounce from. You have to have a ceiling (or a wall) that is relatively low, ie. not 20 feet. You'll also need to be aware of the color of the ceiling, or wall, so you don't induce a color cast.

    For my needs, I don't bounce at all. I built a diffuser for my flash out of a won ton soup container. Fit the flash pointed straight up, I get nice soft lighting.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Practice and experience.

    Also, when bouncing off of the ceiling, the light may be coming too much from over head, not lighting up the front of the subject enough. This where all the accessories come in. The idea is that you want to bounce most of the light but you want some to shoot forward to light up the eyes/face of your subject.

    It could be as simple as a white card (bounce card). Or check this out for [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNCmuExlHvM"]'A better bounce card' [/ame].
    You could use something like the Gary Fong 'Lightsphere' or one of the similar creations.
    Then there is the ever popular Omnibounce.
    I have a Lumiquest ProMax system on the way, should be here tomorrow.

    Don't forget that you don't have to always bounce from above. Bounce off of walls, people...anything you can.
     
  4. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To say nothing of the won ton flavor you impart to all the events.
     
  5. his4ever

    his4ever TPF Noob!

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    wow... didnt think that youtube would have tutorials. Thanks.

    Would a Rubbing Achool bottle work too?
     
  6. Tangerini

    Tangerini TPF Noob!

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    Digital, would you mind showing us a picture of your won ton flash adapter?
     
  7. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I've used a cropped milk carton!!! But I succummed to the fong lightsphere as it looks just a bit more professional and works well.
     
  8. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    You can make some sort of flash bouncer/diffuser out of just about anything.
    Be creative and try different materials.
     
  9. his4ever

    his4ever TPF Noob!

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    sweet

    Yea... Digital... I am with Tangerini... would love to see your wonton addapter too. :D
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Google "inverse square law photography" and "flash guide number" for good reading material.

    You can bounce light off almost any surface. Aspects of the surface such as distance and angle to the flash, texture, color, and material all can affect the light. Only practice and experience is going to teach you to estimate the effects of different ceilings. Digital makes practicing and test shots easy. With film I quickly realized the value of a good flash meter.

    In a home or building with ceilings less than 12' tall with fairly light tone, and not much texture, I figure light fall off from the distance of the path the light is taking (to the ceiling and then to the subject), and assume the surface is going to reduce flash power at least a stop. More texture or darker toned surfaces will suck up even more light.

    The color of the surface is going to change the color of the light reflecting off of it. That's easy to solve with digital. With film I shot mostly BW. ;)

    Ceilings are the typical bounce surface, but you can bounce off whatever you can aim your flash at. Aim it at the white wall behind you. Bounce it off a reflector held by an assistant. Use your imagination.

    For weddings I carry a Lightsphere, an Omnibounce, and a mini softbox (5"x8"). I had a Lumi-quest all in one bounce diffuser thingee kit, but I lost it. They all do a good job, and sometimes one works better than another for something I'm trying. I bought a Canon 580 flash, and I thought the little pull out white card reflector was a joke. When I actually tried it I really liked it a lot for many bounce flash situations.

    I'm all for the DIY version of this stuff. Flash modifiers are expensive, but almost anyone should be able to make their own. I'm using plain old white index cards rubber banded to my flashes for bounce flash. :) It's even better than the pull out 580 reflector, because I can make it bigger.
     
  11. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

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    I use a Sto-Fen diffuser ($16) about 98% of the time. I also have the Gary Fong LightSphere II (cloudy) but it's only effective to about 6 feet without the reflector top he now wants to sell you. I made a foamboard top with a hole in it for the LSII and it double the effective distance; made it for about $1 instead of the $40 for the top.

    I do weddings for about 95% of my income. I only use straight-on, un-modified flash for the processional and recessional where I need maximum firepower and minimum recycling time.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Gary Fong also has a new flash modifier...it looks like a whale tale, or a toilet :lol: I haven't heard from anyone using it yet.
     

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