Having trouble softening light.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by anubis404, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm having some trouble softening the light from my SB-600. Bouncing it off the ceiling creates tons of shadows and a bounce card indoors doesn't make a difference, and outdoors still doesn't look nice. I'm seeing a lot of photographers achieve a real soft and nice light with their on camera flash (or at least I think its on camera). How are they doing this? Is it an onboard softbox? A diffuser?
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Softness of light is all relative to how large the source is when compared to the size of the subject.

    What are you using for a bounce card? a post-it note size thing won't do jack, an 8.5x11 piece of paper, and shooting close to your subject, now that will give you more ground to work on.

    IMO, if you want soft light for snaps, get a small "softbox" for your flash, and get it off camera. You'reon a D70, so it will work wirelessly.
     
  3. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    0
    Strobist is the best place to go for ideas with respect to flash work (including softness of light). As hinted above getting the flash off the camera will help a lot as you can then throw the light in at the subject from any angle at any power.
     
  4. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My D70 can trigger the flash wirelessly? Sweet. What angle should I use when doing portraits?
     
  5. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  6. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    yuh huh, I have 2 SB-600's and use my D70 from time to time instead of my 700 because the 70 can sync at 1/500th at full power, only the D40/50/70 and D1 can do that.

    Whatever you want, You're in control!

    Heck, You could have it come from the top, down:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    From Undreneath:
    [​IMG]

    From Behind:
    [​IMG]

    90 Degrees:
    [​IMG]

    45 Degrees:
    [​IMG]


    Straight on:
    [​IMG]



    All of those I shot on my D70 with one light, outside on location, in daylight (except for the last one)! It gives you an immense amount of control when you're shooting!
     
  7. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Cool. How do I adjust the power output on the SB-600 when using it wirelessly? I can't seem to figure that out. Does the on board pop up flash contribute to the exposure when in commander mode?
     
  8. kami

    kami TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have the D80 but I think the menus are somewhat the same. In the commander mode you can set the power output of your flash from the camera from 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 and so on until 1/128th power.

    Make sure your flash is set for wireless, both channels of your camera and flash are the same, and don't forget to pop up your onboard flash.

    Your flash will contribute to the final exposure if you want it to. You can set your onboard flash power from your camera as well.
     
  9. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Not on the D70, the onboard can't fill. Go into your custom menu, hit onboard flash control, scroll down to commander mode, set the flash into slave mode, make sure it's in 3 A, and you're set.

    It's explained in both the 600's and D70's manual.
     
  10. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    784
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you're looking for softer light, that diffuser you posted would work fine, just slide if over the flash and you're good to go.

    If you didn't want to do that, there are a lot of cheap options, I've heard of people using pieces of milk jugs, tracing paper, even toilet paper. Just keep adding sheets until you get the effect you want. I'm waiting for my SB-800 to arrive in the mail so you'll have to let me know how this works because I'm sure I will have this issue too :)
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    A softbox won't automatically give you soft light. The one posted above is rather small.
     
  12. jeff.scott

    jeff.scott TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Reflector cards work the best. Just cut out something big with bristol board and attach it with an elastic band; experiment. Works okay in the studio, but you'll look very cheap and unprofessional at a wedding; so you may want to buy one if you like the effect.
     

Share This Page