Flash - a necessary Evil, but how can it be made bearable?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Dubious Drewski, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    So I recently got to stretch my legs for the first time with my K10 as an official "photog" for my friends' baby shower. (Is it uncool to use that word?). It went very well. If you care at all, you can see the shots here. (Yes, she wanted all those extra shots of her house and her animals)

    Now another fellow there shot a handful of pics with a D80, but he was using internal flash. I really didn't like the shots he took with the flash. I won't link you to them, because that would be rude, but trust me, they didn't look good at all.

    Now I've been considering getting an external flash for my K10, but I'm really wondering - can you make flash look good? So far, my attitude has been "Do not use flash under any circumstances; a blurry shot with natural lighting is always a lesser evil than a sharp picture with horrendous lighting." (And alot of those shots are noticeably blurry)

    And if I buy this external flash, I will always always bounce the light. But I'm just wondering - do you guys think bounced flashes look good? Can you link me to some shots that were lit solely with natural light and bounced flash?

    I'm hoping you guys can convince me either way.
     
  2. Fiendish Astronaut

    Fiendish Astronaut TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London, UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I usually use a light box that fits over my flash - very useful it folds up into a pocket sized envelope and I attach it to me flash using velcro. Good use of flash should add to existing lights although I find I can get away with using this in very dark places and people don't look too bad. Very good for using at dark-ish parties.

    Not sure if you'd consider this a good use of flash or not, but for it's worth here's one I took using the light box.

    [​IMG]

     
  3. John_Olexa

    John_Olexa No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Maryland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
     
  4. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    That's a beautiful shot Astronaut! Great use of the external flash. I definitely think they are worth it. I do agree, my motto is "only when absolutely necessary" but, I will definitely feel more confident putting my external flash on my camera than popping up the built-in. I just put this example up in another thread. I just recently got a Canon Speedlite 430EX. I haven't mastered it yet, but here is a sample shot I took right out-of-box. The 1st shot on the left is w/my built-in, and the shot on the right is w/my new external flash. Not spectacular shots, but this is my first time experimenting with the external flash, and even still you can see the difference it makes from the built-in flash. On the shot on the right I bounced my flash off the ceiling at 45 degrees.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Of course, I'm not considering the possibility of using little tricks and aides, like diffusion boxes over your flash. Astronaut, that's a wonderful shot and has made me lean towards getting one for sure. Maybe I just need to learn about how to make it look good, the way you have.

    Hehe yeah, I figured that. It's just that when I look at this shot taken with an internal flash:
    http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/2986/shot2gr6.jpg (Not mine)
    and this shot that I took at nearly the exact moment without a flash:
    http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/5605/shot1gt3.jpg
    I get a bit put-off about the idea of using an internal.


    But I think my decision may have been solidified. Marcus, I would love to be able to see what the lighting looked like without any flash at all - just for comparison. Because your second shot's lighting actually looks nothing like a flash-lit shot at all. It looks very good in comparison to the first.
     
  6. TCimages

    TCimages TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,978
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Northern Va
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  7. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey, nice link. Ok, ok. So I'm buying an external flash for my K10D. Now the question is, what make and model? Yikes!

    I have no idea what TTL, PTTL or ATTL mean, or what a safesync is, etc, so I'm gonna have to learn those things first, it seems. But as for actual devices, the Pentax Dedicated Promaster FTD 7000M looks like a good choice. As does the Pentax AF-540 FGZ, but what do I know? heh.
     
  8. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Here ya go. I just went and took a couple shots. The lighting would have been pretty much exactly the same tonight as when I took the other shots - nighttime, the only light in the room was the little 40W bedside lamp sitting on the floor, lol! The shot of the bed is pretty much the same spot I took the shots of my son, and I took this with no flash. I had to use 1/15 sec at ISO 800 because ISO1600 on my camera looks like absolute crap. (the light in the photo by the bed was not on)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. John_Olexa

    John_Olexa No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Maryland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I can tell no flash by the sickly green look!

    Try this go shoot that again and this time after each shot change your Aperture. Shoot at F/5.6 F/8, f/11 F/16 you will see the diffrence in the lighting in each shot
     
  10. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    John, I'm not sure who you're talking to, sorry. If you are talking to me, then sorry, I can't shoot any of that again, heh. It was a one-time thing. And even if I could, what would changing the aperture do that would be surprising?

    (Oh, and that wasn't me that was using the flash. I NEVER use my internal flash - for very aparent reasons)
     
  11. John_Olexa

    John_Olexa No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Maryland
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    All these were shot with flash

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,111
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Necessary evil?? :lol:

    How about an artform in addition to the art of using a camera without one?

    Visit the strobist site and learn what it's all about. ;)

    Come back in a week or 2 and then tell us what you think about that necessary evil... lol

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    To do that without a flash in an evening shoot is impossible.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

how to make flash look bearable