Flashing someone, whats the best way to do it? ;)

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by gonzo, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. gonzo
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    gonzo have kiwi, will travel...

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    I am a bit of a numbskull when it comes to using a flash, when i have used it, the subjects where either too far in the distance for it to take effect or the brightness washes out the detials of there face. I know it'll take a bit of practice using it properly, but what are some good tips when you decide to use a flash?

    I use a canon d10 by the way.

    Also, though this could be a complete seperate thread, any ideas for using a flash creatively?
  2. metroshane
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    metroshane New Member

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    Have you read the manual? The 10D has a couple of options. First, you can always control the flash compensation level. I do this almost always when using the flash. You can also set it to send out a little pre-flash flash that measures the intensity and adjusts automatically.
  3. gonzo
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    gonzo have kiwi, will travel...

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    I lost my manual when i moved to my new place :oops: but of course i should see if could download it from the canon website somewhere 'doh!'
  4. voodoocat
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    voodoocat ))<>((

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    I usually just lift up my shirt when I want to flash someone.
  5. photogoddess
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    photogoddess New Member

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    Wow! When I first saw the title to this thread I had an overwhelming desire to head off to the Mardi Gras. :badangel:

    If you can't find a manual for your 10D, I can scan the appropriate pages from mine and PM them to you.
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo have kiwi, will travel...

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    actually thats not a bad idea, i am so pale i glow in the dark. I am a walking light source! Screw the flash!

    oh thanks for the offer.. i was going to tidy up my apartment to see if i can find it, if i can't - i'll message ya!
  7. Jeff Canes
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    Jeff Canes New Member

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    My Spanish version is still in shrink rap, you can have it if you pay for the shipping. :wink:

    But on the other hand you can download a PDF copy at
    http://www.powershot.com/powershot2/customer/pdf/EOS_10D_E.pdf
  8. oriecat
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    oriecat work in progress

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

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    I don't know much about the 10D, except that it's digital (and doesn't that mean that you could shoot away endlessly until you get a feel for flash photography?), so my first question is are you using a real flash or the puny little wimpy flash that they like to build into SLRs these days? As you might be able to tell, I don't have much confidence in the pop-up flashes. I think of them sort of like the little do-nut spare tire; nice in an emergency, but not what you want to drive on everyday.

    Whatever flash you are using, it has a "guide number". The guide number is listed in either ISO 100/ft. or ISO 100/meters, whatever you're more comfy with. If you don't have the flash manual, then get it off the manufacturer's website.

    GN divided by flash to subject distance (in feet or meters) equals aperture for "correct" exposure (at ISO 100).

    So if your GN is 80 (ISO 100/ft) and your flash to subject distance is 20 ft. then the correct aperture would be f/4. If you are using ISO 400 it would be f/8. If your subject is 5 ft away (at ISO 100) then f/16.

    Some folks like to underexpose the fill flash by a stop or so, compared to the background. Some folks like to do it the other way (background under exposed a stop or so, compared to subject exposure). Try them both out; each one gives a different look to the image. You got that fancy 10D, embrace the power of digital and practice, practice, practice!!!
  10. Chase
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    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member

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    :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
  11. photogoddess
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    photogoddess New Member

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    I want my beads! :cheer:
  12. MDowdey
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    MDowdey Guest

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    i love you.

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

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    I should have added that it's important to test the accuracy of what the manufacturer says is the GN. Many times I find that the flash doesn't quite perform up to the manufacturer's claims.

    Don't expect miracles from you flash. Beyond 20' to 25' you are pushing the limits of lighting ability of most consumer flashes. Even though the manual and GN suggest that flash photography out to 60' or 70' is totally possible, reality is often less practical.

    I always use a flash when it's very dark and when it's very bright. The dark is obvious. I use the flash in the bright daylight to eliminate dark shadows. Both film and digital will capture much greater contrast than it appears to your eye. You have no problem seeing Uncle Bob's eyes under his baseball cap, but the pics turn out with an almost solid black shadow on his face. I turn folks so that the sun is behind and off to one side of them using it as sort of a hairlight, and then use the flash to light the face/body.
  14. terri
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    terri Administrator Staff Member

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    I love Mr. Nagy because of his ability to get a serious answer while enticing our slutty minds into the gutter - all in one thread.

    Hats off to you sir! :salute:

    (not my shirt, though, baby - keep dreamin') :p
  15. doxx
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    doxx New Member

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    the 10Ds build-in pop-up flash is useable for fill-in if you reduce it by
    a few stops. Otherwise it's pretty much useless...
  16. karissa
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    karissa The Untitled

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    I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you Terri.
  17. markc
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    markc New Member

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    Yeah, I agree. That goes for any built-in flashes from my point of view. I hate using flash anyway, so it's not much of a loss for me. I just use it for fill or snapshots.

    What kind of images are you using the flash for, vonnagy? If they are sit-down portraits, then having the sibject sit next to the window (covered with a white shower curtain if there's a lot of direct light coming in) and a reflector on the other side works pretty well. You can then dial the flash way back if you want it for highlights in the eyes. The reflector will usually give you that, though. That's what I did here (no fill):

    [​IMG]
    The reflector was actually too close, as it almost washed out the side of my face.

    The big problem with using on-camera flash as your main source is the harsh shadows that fall behind the subject and the flat, straight-on lighting.
  18. terri
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    terri Administrator Staff Member

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    Why, anytime, Karissa. :wink:
  19. gonzo
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    gonzo have kiwi, will travel...

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    Ahem, now just who's caption here say 'sex sells' ;)

    well, I have done much in the way of portraits yet, but thanks for that bit of information. There was an outdoor concert at night and a midnight street fest which i tried to use my flash, with pretty crap results. The street fest i end up lugging my tripod around to take long shutterspeed shots, but I wasn't happy with those results either.

    Good news is that i've finally found my manual! :cheer:

    Thanks ksmattish for those guidelines! It is a pretty dinky popup flash.

    I think there are going to be a couple of more outdoor events, I'll see what i can muster up with the flash that i've got!
  20. terri
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    terri Administrator Staff Member

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    HEY!! You know very well Chase did it to me in a mirthful fit of evil. :twisted: He's a twisted little man.

    &lt;running>

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