Flash or no flash?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Richelle, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. Richelle

    Richelle TPF Noob!

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    I have a Canon Rebel, a Canon 50mm F1.4 and a 70-200mm F2.8 lens. So far I haven't had to use a flash but I want to experiment more with sunset time potraits and dusk. I really prefer using natural light but when there isn't much of it do I need a flash? How do you shoot at night? Help would be greatly appreciated. :D
     
  2. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    I have this same problem... Every time I use flash in low-light situations, it comes across as a very fake light. I've only had limited success, and that was only as a fill-flash once in a while.

    BTW, you take fairly good shots to have never used artificial lighting before. I thought those lenses were the equipment of someone who knows a bit about what they're buying.
     
  3. darkpbstar

    darkpbstar TPF Noob!

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    I always avoid using artificial lighting when possible. The flash just really takes away from the natural look, and will ruin many pictures. Set the ISO higher than you would in the daylight, and increase apperture, unless you have a tripod, then you don't have to worry about shaking.
     
  4. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    If you have someone that can act as your assistant, a reflector dish will make a huge difference and also look nicer than flash lighting. If you go that route you also won't be limited by your camera's maximum flash sync speed, which is usually something like 1/200s or slower, which will prevent you from using a large aperture for subject isolation. If that's not an option, flash with a diffuser and possibly colored gel filters might look good too. Off -camera flash will almost always look nicer too, so getting some sort of remote setup is another route.
     
  5. bigalbest

    bigalbest TPF Noob!

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  6. muli84

    muli84 TPF Noob!

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    I have a Canon too.
    I also prefer using natural light.
    I don't use flash, and because of that I don't recommend to use that.
    To my opinion natural light Is the best.
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The flash just really takes away from the natural look if you don't know how to manipulate it to get the look you want. The two photos I have below have been taken with strobes. Tell me how artificial they look and how ruined they are.

    Again, if you don't know how to manipulate your tools for the desired effect. In fact, reflector and flashes are great used together with ambient light.

    This is what I find is the number one reason people say not to use flash and that it give you crappy results.

    The two shots below are 100% strobe light. If it wasn't for using strobes, they would have looked like real crap. It's all about learning how to use it correctly.

    Good flash often looks like ambient, unless you're going for something more artificial and different.

    Click for Flickr pages:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    Flash only looks artificial if you don't know how to use it. I myself don't know how to use it, but if you become a master of using just one off camera flash, a whole new world of possibilities is opened up.

    Have a look at Bert Stephanie's Confessions of a Photographer series. He mostly shoots fashon and really shows just what one budget (Vivitar 285HV) off camera strobe can achieve. His shots come out amazing. Also read his blog, as well as the Strobist blog linked above.
     
  9. Richelle

    Richelle TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. I do know what I'm buying (I've done alot of research) but I'm still learning how to use my equipment. =)
     
  10. Richelle

    Richelle TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I'm not trying to sound like a complete idiot but what exactly is a strobe light? How does it work?
     
  11. dylj

    dylj TPF Noob!

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    Strobe is just another name for flash.
     
  12. *Mike*

    *Mike* TPF Noob!

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    I agree 100%. Flashes are an utterly invaluable tool for any photographer. Yes, sometimes natural light works beautifully. But often, being able to control and manipulate the light you're working with is crucial.

    Waaay too many "natural light photographers" are actually just people that haven't taken the time to learn, and master, flashes/strobes.
     

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