I need help with lighting.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by vikingtyty, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. vikingtyty

    vikingtyty TPF Noob!

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    I shoot with a canon digital rebel xt. I mostly photograph skateboarding/bmx, and those guys generally want to do it at night, since they have less of a chance of getting in trouble.

    Now, the thing is, the dinky little flash on my camera just doesn't cut it.

    Could someone give me some pointers on flashes/lighting, as well as recommend a flash? I don't want a Q flash or anything, but I don't want garbage either. The speedlite series of course seems promising, but I'm not sure if I want to buy one of those just yet either... a bit scared of something happening to it when I go skating.

    Any help will be GREATLY appreciated, guys.

    -Tyler
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    The best skate (& similar) type shots are done with remote flash. Basically, you set up a flash somewhere and trigger it remotely. This way the light is not coming from the camera's location. Makes for great shots...but it may not be cheap or easy.

    A dedicated Canon flash (any of the EX units) will give you the benefit of all the technology. There are other brands that will also 'talk' with the camera but maybe not to the extent that a Canon flash will. The Sigma 500 Super is powerful but not as expensive as the top of the line Canon 580EX.

    What's your budget? A Canon 430EX (or older 420EX) would be a great unit for you...but those still aren't cheap.
     
  3. vikingtyty

    vikingtyty TPF Noob!

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    A friend of mine recommended a vivitar sl-2 remote trigger with a vivitar 285. Does that sound good?

    (here's his site: www.nugentphoto.com)
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    That would certainly work. You don't need a Vivitar remote trigger...any optical trigger will do (check E-bay for cheap ones).

    The Vivitar 283/285 are great units.
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    the 283 would probably work as well and is probably a few bucks cheaper... your on camera flash would be the trigger for it most likely wouldn't even need a radio slave.

    However there are some guys here who shoot a lot of skateboarding at least there used to be, some of them should weigh in soon. I think they were recommending two remote lights for some reason I dont know about. Most likely for the shadows but im not sure.
     
  6. vikingtyty

    vikingtyty TPF Noob!

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    well I mean, it's only 30 bucks brand new, unless there's a cheaper one that you'd recommend.
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    I bought one for about $7 (plus shipping)...but mine isn't as nice as the Vivitar. There are some sturdy looking ones on E-bay for less than $10.

    You could even look into a cheap radio slave set. There are cheap ones avaliable on E-bay. I've heard good and bad things about them...but for less than $30, they might be more versatile than an optical slave (or maybe not :scratch: ).
     
  8. vikingtyty

    vikingtyty TPF Noob!

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    hehe, so... what would you recommend?
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    I've never tried those radio slaves...so I won't say any more about them.

    As for an optical slave...if you can find one at a local store and don't have to pay shipping...then just pick one up. From what I can tell...the ones that cost less than $50 are all pretty similar.

    If you can find a Vivitar 285, then go for it.
     
  10. vikingtyty

    vikingtyty TPF Noob!

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    Awesome, I'll probably be doing this within the next few days. I'll bump this thread and let you know how it goes.
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have one of the cheap radio slaves. It's OK... IF you shoot at 1/60 or slower. That's likely to be a problem with skate shots.

    Pete
     
  12. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    If you shoot at night it wont be a problem the strobe is the shutter . it is usually 1 /1000 to 1/10000 of a sec... the difference between the 283 and 285 is the zoom thing and about ten bucks so i would buy either. optical works pretty well unless there is to much daylight or if you dont have a direct line of site. Radio would indeed be more veristile.
     

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