First Strobist Picture + a Few Questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JackRabbit, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. JackRabbit

    JackRabbit TPF Noob!

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    Ok so the guy at my local camera shop is a REALLY nice guy and hooked me up with a Vivitar 283 for like 30 bucks the other day so I called up a few friends and did a photoshoot to play around with my new gear. Anyways, here is the best photo of the shoot. I really liked how this one turned out but I'd love to get some advice as to how to improve.

    As for my questions:
    1.) I'm thinking about getting either another Vivitar 283 and making another DIY Vari-Power or a Vivitar 285. What would you guys suggest?

    2.) What do you guys think of the Cactus V. 4 triggers?

    And now for the photos:

    3
    ---------
    [​IMG]
    Setup:
    -Canon EOS Rebel T1i
    -Canon 55-250mm Telephoto
    -Canon 430EZ Speedlite
    (No off camera flash was used in this photo)

    4
    ---------
    [​IMG]
    Setup:
    -Canon EOS Rebel T1i
    -Canon 55-250mm Telephoto
    -Canon 430EZ Speedlite (to trigger the strobe because of the crappy slave unit)
    -Vivitar 283: Full Power (stage right)
     
  2. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use a different type of flashes and triggers so I won't comment on the part.

    Regarding the pictures...

    1. I think the pose is good. Maybe a little bit of fill flash would've helped or a higher exposure compensation on your camera's settings

    2. Pretty good. I would've had him take his hood off to have flash give some hairlight and accent shadows on the subject
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The first kid has a good look and seems comfortable in fron tof the lens. Use the hell out of him.

    The second kid seems extremely uncomfortable. Notice the furrows on his forehead and the clenched fists... not to mention the scared look in his eyes.

    I think the flash was missused and not positioned properly in the second. Too hot and should have been more in the range of 30-45° in front of him. As is, there is no benefit to illuminate the subject. You haven't overpowered the ambient to add drama or punch to the lighting.
     
  4. JackRabbit

    JackRabbit TPF Noob!

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    Camz, I was thinking the same thing. Make sure you were viewing the whole thing, not just the crappy resize that the forum does because it definitely has more fill light in the big version
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  5. JackRabbit

    JackRabbit TPF Noob!

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    At that point, I had not had the chance to do the mod on the flash to make it so that the flash power was variable. As you may or may not know, the 283 came with no way to control the power output and Vivitar made you buy an extra part (the Vari-Power VP-1) in order to control that. Or you could do it the DIY way and build your own which is what I did two days ago. Also, I have a slave unit which relies on seeing another flash fire before it fires so I had to use my speedlite to fire the flash so when the flash was in front of him, the slave unit would not detect that the speedlite had been fired and when it did detect it, due to not being able to control the flash output, the picture would turn out blown out because it was too much light between the speedlite and the flash. This is why I was asking about the Cactus V.4 triggers so that I can avoid having this problem. And also, I now have a way to control the flash output so that won't be a problem in the future. However, I appreciate the reccomendation as I have absolutely no idea what I am doing as far as strobist photography goes so any tips go a long way.
     
  6. themedicine

    themedicine TPF Noob!

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    your photos look fine, and most of what I would say has been said. So I will comment on equipment. skip the vivtar 285 and buy a nikon sb-26, sb-27, or sb-28. I know you're a canon shooter, but that doesn't matter not one bit, especially in terms of off shoe flashguns. those three flashes have WAY more variable power options, are easier to change the power, are more powerful at 1/1 and are much much smaller than the vivitar 283/285. I know this from experience and wasted money.
    The cactus v4's are amazing for the cost. i just got myself a set and damn, they work well. I have had zero misfires and have shot from hundreds of feet away through walls while it was stashed in a closet. I was flabbergasted. I really didn't think the cactus triggers would do it, but they did. Best product I have ever used for the money except an old ml-l3 remote for my old nikon.
    good luck and happy strobing!
     
  7. syphlix

    syphlix TPF Noob!

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    i use the v4's w/ 2-3 receivers and they've worked perfectly as long as i've had them... never tried anything longer range than 15 ft though so can't vouch for the range... but for what i mess around w/ they are perfect
     

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