Flash Beginner-need tips

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by beetle_slayer, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. beetle_slayer

    beetle_slayer TPF Noob!

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    OK, first my setup: Eos1, 28-135/IS/USM, Kodak Supra 400, and 540EZ flash. I think I am having the same problems most beginners do. My subject is really washed out, deep shadows, or a combo of both. Some pictures even have a heavy shadow on the sides of the room. Any tips or suggestions to eliminate this problem? I am using the auto mode with and without the built in diffuser. I am considering trying the sto-fen diffuser. Anything will help.
     
  2. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    If possible, post some examples. It would be a lot easier to figure out what's happeining with something to look at (for me, at least. I'm a visual person. :D ).
     
  3. Debbe

    Debbe TPF Noob!

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    I agree, if we could see some examples. But also, how close to subject are you? I am not a big fan of auto modes. I like to set my own settings.
    I use as much existing light as possible and use flash only for fill.
    Lightens up backgrounds that way and avoids going dark back there and decreases shadows.
    I am by no means an expert though. I just experiment and do what works for me.
    have a great day.
     
  4. beetle_slayer

    beetle_slayer TPF Noob!

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  5. beetle_slayer

    beetle_slayer TPF Noob!

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  6. ksmattfish

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

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    Darkening at the edges is a result of your lens having a wider angle of view than the flash has. Probably happens mostly when your lens is at 28mm. A larger diffuser may help this, or try not to go wider than 35mm when using your flash.

    I've never found an auto-exposure mode that does a good job with flash; I'm sure folks have them, it's just never worked well with any of the equipment I've used. Start by figuring out your flash's guide number (GN), and then figure out how to set it on full power manual. The guide number is usually listed at ISO 100 and in feet or meters. GN divided by distance to subject equals the f/# for "correct" flash exposure. So if your GN is 100, and your subject is 10' away, with ISO 100 film you would choose f/10 (or the closest to it you can get since that's an odd f/#, for older cameras it would be the halfway setting between f/8 and f/11). Try this out see how it works. You may find that you prefer to over or under expose, but now that you are running the camera you can experiment, and see what works for you.

    Frontal lighting tends to suck (IMHO). Get a cord so you can get off the flash off the camera some, or try bouncing the flash off the ceiling.

    Keep trying and take notes. For me using flash for lighting has been by far the hardest to learn aspect of photography.
     

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