Huge flash question!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Funky, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. Funky

    Funky TPF Noob!

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    Ok well, i have a wedding in 2 days and im stuck, i just purchased this [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Sony-HVL-F56AM-High-Power-Digital-Camera/dp/B000DZKRKK/ref=pd_bbs_4/103-2489827-0375052?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1188240521&sr=8-4[/ame]

    and i was talking to a friend that is now away in vegas for a wedding and he said that to properly take an indoor picture you need two flashes, one to bounce off the walls and light the room and one to illuminate the subject, so one powerful one like the 56 i have and a softer flash to not blow out the subject, i have no idea what hes talking about since im 100% new to the flash world. ive been asking for alot of help lately D: hope all of you dont mind.


    :cheers:
    zach
     
  2. Funky

    Funky TPF Noob!

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    any advice would be helpful ;D
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    That would be fairly advanced...and certainly not necessary. Not something that could be easily figured out in 2 days.

    I'd suggest you just concentrate on using that flash effectively.

    Well done flash photography, is often a balance of flash and ambient exposure. This can help to avoid that 'deer in the headlights look'...where the subject is lit up by the flash, surrounded by darkness. To get a nice balance, you need to be aware of a few things. Firstly, the shutter speed has no effect on the flash exposure. 1/20 or 1/160, it makes no difference to the flash. Just don't go faster than your camera's max sync speed. The aperture does make a difference to the flash exposure...but with a Sony flash on a Sony camera...they will work together and give you the 'right' amount of light for the aperture that you are using. Be aware that the smaller the aperture, the harder the flash will have to work and the shorter your range will be.

    So...assuming that the location will be indoors and somewhat dark...we want to get some ambient exposure, which will allow the background to show up in the image (if there is enough ambient light). To do this, you may have to use a large aperture and a slower shutter speed (dragging the shutter). You may also have to use a higher ISO setting like 400 or even 800.

    Now, the slower the shutter speed, the more ambient (background) exposure you will get...but that may also cause blur or ghosting. The flash burst is very fast, and can freeze the motion...but everything is dependant on how much ambient light you have to work with.

    That may be a bit much to learn in a couple of days. To keep it simple, you could just worry about the exposure of the subjects. Make sure you know how to adjust the FEC, flash exposure compensation.
     
  4. Funky

    Funky TPF Noob!

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    for the first time in 5 years ive been utterly confused about photography haha, thanks big mike, soo much. now i have to break everything you just said down and research what it all means and how it goes together. im entering a new world of photography, yikes!
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    It's hard to figure out, especially just by reading about it. You don't have a lot of time but the more practice you can get...the better.

    I would suggest you get someone to be your guinea pig and find a dim room (the bigger the better) and practice. You may have to use manual mode, but that will help you to learn the settings and what they do. Start with the shutter speed at the max sync speed (probably 1/160 to 1/250). Have your subject move around a bit (as if in a wedding) and try some shots. Then start making the shutter slower and see how that changes the shot. The subject (lit by flash) should be realitvely the same...but the background should get brighter.
     
  6. Funky

    Funky TPF Noob!

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    Well never shooting on automatic and forceing my self to shoot manual probably paid off huh? so let me this as strait as possible :D, if im shooting a subject in a dark medium sized room, say a church, and the subject is infront of me and theres a wall behind me, im going to want to properly expose the background with a shutter speed of say, 1/30 and have the flash ultimatly expose the subject? so im making use of ambiant light and the flash thats been bounced off the wall?
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  8. Big Mike

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

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    Well, the 1/30 would depend on the amount of ambient light.

    Bouncing off of a wall or ceiling may not be possible in a large room. If you can, then by all means, go for it...but typically, the action happens away from walls and the ceiling may be very high.

    Let's assume that I was talking about direct flash above. Although, the same principle would apply to bounce flash. Except than when bouncing off of a wall or ceiling, you may be flashing enough light to light up more of the background (so wouldn't need to use such a slow shutter speed). That can be good...but it also uses up a lot of flash power...which increases your flash recycle time and kills the batteries faster.

    As I said, it all sounds like Latin but once you get some actual practice, it hopfully starts to make sense.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I like seeing these "my friend told me" threads. It's good that you seek out other opinions because what he suggested is plainly false and may apply to a given situation and lighting conditions only.

    What if the ceiling is too high to bounce. What if the ceiling is blue like in Greek churches?
    What if there's plenty of ambient light?
    What if you don't have 2 flash units.

    To properly take pictures indoors with a flash you need to properly use the equipment in a way to get the look you intend. There's nothing wrong with using a single direct undiffused flash perhaps off at a slight angle just like there's nothing wrong with what your friend suggested of using one light to bounce off the roof to lift the overall exposure.

    Try having a look at strobist.blogspot.com and read the lighting 101 tutorials. This will make you an expert in no time.
     
  10. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  11. Funky

    Funky TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone, seriously, i wouldnt be where i am today without this forum, i've learnt soo much from everyone here. now its time to put this new flash to work! wish me luck :D


    thank you!!
     

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