Camera Settings Using Off Camera Flash

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bdavis, May 12, 2009.

  1. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I'm shooting a band on Saturday and would like to check with some of the people on here about camera settings. I already know aperture controls flash exposure and shutter controls ambient, but here's what I'm thinking...

    I want to take a photo where the band is perfectly exposed, but the background be a little bit darker maybe 1/3 - 2/3 stops under-exposed to help them pop a little. Since I'm shooting a group, I know I'm going to have to shoot at an aperture of f/5.6 - f/8 or something like that to get a good depth of field. The problem I'm running into is that I'm using a speedlight which just doesn't have as much power to pull off a good exposure at f/8 or so. My question is, does raising the aperture draw in more light to help me pull this off? I think it does, but I just wanted to make sure.

    On a side note, do I need a model release for this? Where could I find one for shooting multiple people?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, opening up the aperture will give you more flash exposure...but also more ambient exposure and less DOF. You can also raise the ISO, which will give you more flash and ambient exposure.

    Keep in mind that light falls of at an inverse square to the distance from the source. So if you are shooting a band with flash from in front of the stage...the lead singer will probably get a lot more flash exposure than say, the drummer at the back.

    To even this out, you could move the flash back farther, but this will also require more flash power (or larger aperture, higher ISO). It could also put more exposure on the background, which I think you mentioned you wanted to avoid.

    Ideally, you would want all your subjects to be the same distance from the light source...so have them all together or use separate lights for the different ranges/distances that they will be.

    A model release is mostly for protection of someone who publishes/uses the image. For example, if you wanted to sell the image to someone to use in an ad...they would want a signed release before they bought the image from you.
    To just take the photo, I don't think you need a release but you may need permission from the venue.
     
  3. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    So my thoughts on the ISO are correct. I know bumping it up will give me a bit more noise but to me its worth it if I can get the shot I'm after. I think I can pull it off with a single speed light and a shoot through umbrella, but I'm going to test it out Thurs and see before I have to shoot the band Sat.

    I'm also familiar with the inverse square law. I learned it from Zack Arias' blog and OneLight DVD...great teaching tools. It also shows how to position members to get even exposures, minimize shadows of one member falling on another, etc. I will have to apply all this for the first time, I'm a bit nervous but have to go for it at some point.

    I don't need a release because the area we are shooting in is unowned and has been abandoned for a long time, there's no one around, but I think it would be a good location to shoot in.

    Thanks for the fast response by the way!
     
  4. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you shoot it in the daytime you could try ISO 100 1/200 @F22 this will hold back the sunlight and let your speedlight be the domanant light source
     
  5. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I dont know if that would work too well, wouldn't shooting at f/22 drop the flash power a lot?
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Not in manual set the flash to what power you want
     
  7. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    yes it would, the smaller the aperture the less powerful the flash is essentially.

    f/22 might be a bit much, but f/8-f/11 shouldn't be too much of a problem. assuming you're shooting the flash bare you should be fine. if you're using some sort of a modifier (umbrella, softbox, etc) then you might have a bit of trouble with out the light source being very close to the subjects
     
  8. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If he uses a sinc lead it will work seperate to the camera so you can use any setting
     
  9. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    What means is shooting at f/22 would kill the knock the stuffing out of the flash. Doesn't matter what you set it to. Set it to full power and shoot at f/8, then leav the power seting the same and shoot at f/22. Big difference. The problem that the OP is having is not enough flash power, so shooting at f/22 is the last thing he should do.
     
  10. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    i'm not even sure what you're trying to say
     
  11. johnbergsing

    johnbergsing TPF Noob!

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    The most efficient way of achieving the effect you want is, before even turning on the lights, set the set exposure for the background. (Personally, I'd shoot for a stop or two under but that's my preference.) Anyway, after nailing down the under-exposed background all you have to do is turn on the lights and get that exposure set.
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You want to overpower the ambient. Depending on how strong the ambient is, you will need several strong speedlights or 1 large and very powerful studio strobe. One speedlight is not going to do this unless you are in a huge room that is very dark and you can then add a smidgen of flash from a bounced umbrella from a good distance away. It's all one big balancing act and no one can give you exact settings without knowing the exact ambient readings.

    Band member positioning will also have a huge impact. If you line them all up, and use F/4 on a 50mm lens, it will work. If you go 2-3 people deep, F/8 may be needed. Also you need to lookup how bokeh works at different focal lengths, this is an equally important factor. You may need to use a short focal length lens to increase DOF at a given aperture settings vs distance from the band.

    Opening the aperture ALWAYS increases the light coming into the camera, this is photography 101, but your issue is a lot more complex than just that. You have lack of power issues, ambient issues, bokeh issues and posing issues.

    YES!!
    Use Google or write one up and have a lawyer with expertise in photography related law look it over or talk to another photographer to show you his.

    Huh? First... it is spelled SYNC as in synchronized, and what you say after that makes no sense. :confused:
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009

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