Bouncing Light

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by johng25, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. johng25

    johng25 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi, guys and gals. I have a question.

    I have an SB600 and am trying to make great pics with flash when necessary. I've been trying to bounce the light. But it's not working!!! Nothing is working out! I don't know if I'm doing the wrong angle or if I'm too far away from a wall or ceiling.

    So...how exactly does one bounce light to get a decent photo? What are the limitations of this? I have been perusing strobist and I'm on lighting 101, but so far I haven't noticed anything about my question.

    Thanks in advance!

    John
     
  2. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I find the easiest way is to put the flash on full manual, work out the distance from camera-wall/ceiling-subject then set aperture according to the distance scale of the flash. Try to use a white ceiling/wall or you'll get a color caste. H
     
  3. johng25

    johng25 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks, Harry. How would I set aperature according to the distance from camera-wall/wall-subject?

    John
     
  4. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Illinois
    oooh, I just got an SB600 the other day. And I've been playing with it.
    But I also have a small umbrella that I use to bounce off of.
    It does pretty nicely.

    But I still have no clue of what the hell I'm doing.
     
  5. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Illinois
    Oh, I wanted to add, too, that you can use things to soften the pop-up flash.

    I've done things as ghetto as taking a small stack of coffee filters (Hey, it's what I had available at the time!) and held it over the pop-up flash to soften it.

    I know, ghetto, but it works! There's a lot you can hold over your pop-up flash to soften it.
     
  6. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Waxhaw, NC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Check out this website: http://www.abetterbouncecard.com/

    I made some of these and they work great. They are cheap and easy to make. Watch the videos to see how to make and use them.
     
  7. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Generally the flash should work pretty good right out of the box, bouncing off ceilings, walls etc. Sometimes you have to experiment a bit, but I often find that bouncing off the ceiling... just a bit behind me and a hair to the left or right has a really pleasing effect.

    I also generally like to use the "tupperware style" plastic diffuser for it... you can buy them on amazon for like $12. Very nice. +1 on the bouncecard... also very nice.

    If you're not liking your result, maybe post an example.

    Generally if your camera supports TTL metering (I can't think of a Nikon DSLR that doesn't, actually... but I dunno), then your image should be nearly perfectly exposed every time.

    Can you post an example shot and tell us what your settings are?

    BTW, I don't recommend putting the flash into manual just yet. I highly recommend learning more about how it works first. Manual on a flash can be super confusing at times.
     
  8. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,045
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Greencastle Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    To bounce you've got to have something to bounce off. This means that you need a wall, ceiling, or other large flat object to reflect your light, and it needs to be fairly close to the flash-- ie gym ceilings are going to be a lot more difficult to bounce off than a living room. Using a card behind the flash head will help get some light moving forward as well as up, which makes the light look a little more even and natural. Perhaps if you explain the problems you're having a little more we can give a bit more input.
     
  9. johng25

    johng25 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for all the advice so far. To be honest I don't even know what all the settings in manual on the flash do/mean; I'm a total noob at it.

    I've encountered some low light situations indoors. So what I've been doing is basically just trying to turn the flash towards the ceiling or a wall and take the pic hoping that somehow that light will reflect onto the people. 15% of the time it works; the rest of the time there isn't much change at all or so little that it doesn't do much to enhance the picture. Maybe I'm just needing some guidance about how to bounce, as well as metering, like was mentioned earlier??? I'll try to post some pics in a bit and show you what's going on.

    John
     
  10. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Seriously the best way for us to help you at this point is for you to post a resulting picture and describe the scenario in which you took it (positing of flash, walls, etc.)
     
  11. johng25

    johng25 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I've finally been able to keep my pics uploaded. The pics I uploaded turned out pretty good, but most of the pics I tried to bounce the flash on look like the dark ones here with no change. I need to be able to get consistency and to be able to bounce off walls (which none of the photos I tried to bounce off the walls turned out good!).

    Please give me criticism on these pics on how to make the lighting better. As stated earlier I have an SB600 with a Nikon D80. Outisde was very cloudy/rainy so each of these pics are indoors with articifical lights (fluorescent); plus some of the lights were covered with different colored papers (it was school festival day). In the pics I bounced the light off the ceiling, and was just lucky it worked. I have no bounce card; I just aimed the flash up.

    First pic is no bounce, or a bad bounce.
    [​IMG]

    Second pic is with a good bounce.
    [​IMG]

    Third pic is with a bad bounce.
    [​IMG]

    Fourth pic is good bounce.
    [​IMG]

    Fifth pic is with a good bounce and it is just fun.
    [​IMG]



    Thanks,
    John
     
  12. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    What were you bouncing these off of?

    The ceiling in that particular area looks a bit high... that may have something to do with part of this, but I wouldn't think it would be high enough to have this kind of effect.

    It looks like your flash is in some "optional/M" mode... which looks like you don't have it setup right. You should be in Auto/TTL mode (at least for now until you get used to the flash and how it works)
     

Share This Page