How to Properly Use Flash During the Day Outside?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by chunter, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. chunter

    chunter TPF Noob!

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    I used the flash taking some pictures outside during the day. I wanted to get rid of the shadows on the people. Unfortunately, I ended up overexposing everything.
    How do you use the fill flash outside during the day? Or, should you not use the flash?
    I just got a new lens. The tamron 17-50mm 2.8 for my T2i.

    I've attached the picture that was overexposed. I had it set to Av and the exposure level is set right in the middle. It was set to f2.8.

    I assume it is because the shutter speed was too fast for the flash? Is the built-in flash on the T2i fast enough for a photo shot at 2.8 in sunlight?
     

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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  2. pixmedic

    pixmedic Critical Care Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have that tamron lens. love it. (for nikon though)
    first, why are you set to f/2.8 outside, during the day, when you are using flash? was your shutter speed high enough to compensate? what was your ISO?
    what were your camera settings? what flash are you using? do you have a diffuser for your flash?
    its hard to say exactly what went wrong without knowing what equipment you used, and what your camera settings were.
    faster shutter speeds let LESS light into the camera, so you get less exposure. slower shutter speeds let MORE light into the camera.
    its possible your shutter speed was too slow. or that you had the ISO too high.
    the built in flash CAN be used for fill flash during the day, but it is harder to control than a hot shoe flash.

    outdoor flash isn't just for shadows, its also good for softening harsh sunlight during the brightest times of the day.





    View attachment 48125
     
  3. chunter

    chunter TPF Noob!

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    I wanted to get a shallow depth of field.
    I used the flash to try and get rid of harsh shadows.
    I just looked at the details of the picture. The shutter was set to 1/200. Which is way too slow.
    ISO was 100
    I was using the built-in flash in Av mode on my t2i. No diffuser.

    Is it possible to set the shutter higher than 1/200 when using the built-in flash on the T2i?
     
  4. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    Manual - http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/9/0300003169/01/eosrt2i-eos550d-im-en.pdf

    High speed sync is mentioned on Page 192 , 193... but didn't see how to set it up. I think you have to have an external flash.. the pop-up may not do it. I did find this for you :



    hopefully that will help!
     
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  5. amolitor

    amolitor TPF Noob!

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    When you're using flash outdoors (or anywhere there's ambient light that you want to use) there are really TWO exposures going on:

    - the ambient light exposure, which depends on shutter speed, aperture, and ISO
    - the flash exposure, which depends on flash power, aperture and ISO -- but NOT shutter speed

    In the sort of situation you're looking at, you typically want to expose for the ambient light more or less correctly. Maybe a bit underexposed, maybe as much a a stop underexposed. More than that and you're starting to get into the land of "dark backgrounds in daylight" which looks bit odd.

    Then you need to make up that underexposure with the flash, but since you're only a little underexposed, you just need a little flash exposure. The flash might be underexposed by 1 stop, or 2, or even 3 stops. If your ambient light expsure is under by 1 stop and so is the flash, they'll add up to "correct" exposure, half flash half ambient. If the ambient is only 1/2 stop underexposed, you need to be nearly 2 stops underexposed on the flash, so you're Mostly Ambient, with a Little Bit of Flash.

    Then you need to make sure that your shutter speed is slower than the flash sync speed, which makes the whole setup fairly complicated.

    Much of this depends on how much metering your camera is capable for doing, and how tightly coupled it is with the flash.

    The short answer is "try very low flash power"
     
  6. jwbryson1

    jwbryson1 TPF Noob!

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    Post the EXIF data so we can see what happened. If you were set to 2.8 in bright daylight you probably needed to shoot faster than 1/200 to properly expose. I am guessing when you originally exposed the image, the meter said it was okay, but when you fired the flash, the camera adjusted to your flash sync speed which was much lower than the correct exposure speed.


    No such thing. The flash is instantaneous and occurs way faster than your shutter speed. Your shutter speed controls ambient light, not flash exposure.
     
  7. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    at ISO 100 F2.8 outside on a sunny day, there is no way (other than an ND filter) to get a shutter speed in the normal sync speed range that will allow a good exposure (look at the background in his shot). So either you would close the aperture down (negating the desired shallow DOF) or you lower ISO.. already at 100 ... so you are stuck with needing a fast shutter speed (well outside of the normal flash sync speed)

    So High Speed Sync is his best option if he wants to use flash for fill... and still get a proper metered exposure of the ambient light.

    [PhotoME]
    PhotoME version: 0.79R17 (Build 856)

    [Overview]
    URL: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...rly-use-flash-during-day-outside-img_6304.jpg
    File type: JPEG
    File size: 133.9 KB
    Creation date: 6/15/2013 07:42
    Last modification: 6/20/2013 09:01
    Make: Canon (Canon Global)
    Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T2i
    Lens: Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Di LD Aspherical [IF] (A16)
    Software: Firmware Version 1.0.9
    Dimension: 800 x 534 px (0.4 MP, 3:2)
    Focal length: 35 mm
    Aperture: F2.8
    Exposure time: 1/200" (-0.67 EV)
    ISO speed rating: 100/21°
    Program: Aperture-Priority AE (Manual)
    Metering Mode: Evaluative
    White Balance: Auto
    Focus Mode: Multi-point AF
    Noise Reduction: Off
    Flash: Flash fired, compulsory flash mode
     
  8. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    Jeff, Exif is in the image! Do you have an Exif reader? Try PhotoME.. although there are a lot of good ones out there...
     
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  9. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Outdoors:
    On the sunny day: (sunny16 - at ISO 100 1/100sec f/16 - You'll BLOW OUT the whole image at 2.8). Thus you'll need to first set you ambient expure correctly. If shooting at wider apertures outdoors (lots of light), look into ND filters.
    Once you set the ambient expsure, add flash to it (preferably off camera) at about 1-2 stops UNDER the ambient... this gives you soft enough light to fill in the shaddows and yet natural looking image w/o "flash" look.

    Good Luck
     
  10. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    You did see where he wanted shallow DOF?
     
  11. chunter

    chunter TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I saw the video and read i the manual about flash sync.

    I'm a little confused. I assume outside when I set the f stop to 2.8, the shutter was probably at like 1/2000 or 1/4000. Then when I turned on the flash, it went way down to 1/200 because that is as fast as the shutter will go with the flash turned on in Av mode.

    Here's what I don't understand: why would the camera have a max speed on the shutter when flash is turned on? If the camera shoots the light, and the shutter opens and closes at 1/4000 of a second, what difference does it make how slow the flash is? So, if the flash can only fire at a max speed of 1/200 of a second, what difference does it make as long as the shutter opens and closes at 1/4000 of a second?

    I'm having trouble understanding why the speed of the flash makes a difference in bright sunlight?
    I understand it makes a difference in total darkness, where essentially the flash is basically the shutter speed.
     
  12. jwbryson1

    jwbryson1 TPF Noob!

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    Just downloaded it. :mrgreen:
     

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