Frame by Frame Flash help.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by colino, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. colino

    colino TPF Noob!

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    So lately I been taking lots of action frame by frame photos of the local skateboarders stuff like that. I also noticed that in a lot of the skate videos that the photographers can do frame by frames in the dark. I can't do this on my camera because it automatically disables the flash on frame by frame mode because it can't flash the flash quick enough. I was wondering what kind of external flash would snap the flash so fast simultaneouly so I could do fame by frames in the dark. And also where I could find it; if it would even work with my camera, a Nikon L100. I've been in photography for a few years but new to action/skateboarding photography. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Can think of some flash accessories that might help, but I don't think they would work with your camera, as it doesn't look look like it has a way to connect to an external flash.

    If you really want to do this, you would probably need to invest in a better, camera and an external flash, along with a supplementary power source for the flash (Quantum Turbo)...and even then, it may or may not be fast enough to keep up.

    You might be able to shoot a sequence like that, at night, if you use bright enough lights. Off the top of my head, you could try some of those Halogen work lights that you can get pretty cheap at Home Depot. You would have to have access to a power outlet (or a generator).
     
  3. colino

    colino TPF Noob!

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    ok thank you very much!!! And I do apologize if this shouldn't be in this section. But one more thing. Now that im looking at my camera I do now notice that there is no way to attach it to an external flash that is directly linked to my camera. But arent there also flashes which are external and completely seperate from the camera for use on tripods etc. I know they probably arn't compatable with this camera but I am interested for the future.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    You main alternative in flash is a separate flash unit equipped with an optical "slave" triggering system. If you can put the camera into a manual exposure mode where you can control the lens aperture, you could easily set up an off-camera flash + slave, and get shots that were well-lighted in that manner. The flash burst from the camera would trigger the external flash+ slave combo. With a camera that does not have rapid-fire advance capabilities, you'll have to carefully pick and chose your shot opportunities.
     
  5. colino

    colino TPF Noob!

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    ok thank you so much! So basically the external flash unit is in no way connected to the camera and is activated by my camera's flash? It definately sounds like it would work. I just have my flash on my camera on and somewhat pointed near the external flash unit. The only thing is would the external flash unit with slave take to long to get triggered in which case the camera wouldve already taken the shot. Because remember I can't take multiple shots, and also have a flash to set off the external flash.
     
  6. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    If you set your shutter speed low enough it will capture the external flash. I don't know if the manufacturer would list a sync speed, since that camera isn't specifically designed for things like this. But I assume if you are shooting at 1/125 or under you are golden.

    I'm worried about your built in flash contaminating the lighting you are trying to achieve with your external light (strange lighting with double shadows). With hot shoe mounted flashes you can often angle the flash away and still trigger a slave on an external light or use the mounted flash as a fill light by bouncing it off something. The problem in that your flash is fixed and not adjustable. You could try dinking around with some foil to redirect the light or put some diffusion over it to soften it and use it as a fill. It depends on what look you are going for.
     
  7. colino

    colino TPF Noob!

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    ok thanks you guys. I know what to do now. Two more quick things.

    are there are slave triggered exterior flashes which flash numerous continuous flashes really fast, like my continuous shot mode on my camera.

    and also I still am not understanding how a can even trigger the slave flash when my flash on my camera is disabled in frame by frame mode.

    sorry I'm a bit new to action photography. thanks
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can't. The only way you can trigger an external flash via your camera is by using the pop up flash. But as some one said above, timing is key. I looked at the specs on the Nikon L100 and it doesn't have a hot shoe or external flash connection. Sorry bud.

    On a good note, I was at Staples with a friend yesterday and I noticed they had Nikon D3000's with an 18-55 VR for $499. That's cheap. You should be able to find them cheaper else where. That camera would allow you to shoot like you want.

    But keep in mind, again, timing is key.

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photojournalism-sports-gallery/189543-some-bmxin.html

    I used an external flash on the first two and ambient on the third. Each was taken with one shot and not in a burst. You're more likely to get the shot you want when you get your timing down as opposed to just holding the shutter and hoping you get something.

    Trust me on this.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Another thing that may cause problems with the optical slave idea...is that your camera's flash probably uses a preflash. This preflash will trigger the optical slaved flash too early, before the camera's flash fires again during the exposure. The slaved flash won't be able to fire again so quickly.

    There are optical triggers that can be set to ignore the preflash, but they are a lot more expensive.

    You have to concede that you just don't have the equipment for what you are tying to do...at least not at night. Shooting a sequence of shots is a lot easier in the day time, when you don't have to rely on flash.

    ----

    I was just thinking of one way that you might be able to get something close to what you want. That is with a single long exposure and multiple strobe pops. It might have to be pretty dark for this to work though.
    You would set up the camera on a tripod and put it into manual mode (if you can). Set a shutter speed or 1 or 2 whole seconds, maybe longer. Then you would need either an external flash or maybe a 'strobe light'.
    The idea is that because it's dark, the border won't show up in the photo when the light is off, but will show up when the light strobes. So if you pop a flash every half second or so, you should end up with a series of images as they skate by.
    You might be able to manually pop a flash that fast, but it would have to be a good flash with fresh batteries, and fired on a low power setting...other wise the recycle time might be too long, causing you to miss most of the action as they go by.
     
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I was going to mention pre flash
     
  11. colino

    colino TPF Noob!

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    ok. Well thanks everyone. All the information will be very good to know in the future.
     

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