Lighting guidance please

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by RobNZ, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    Its my daughters birthday today and we are going out for dinner with family to a restaurant with high ceilings, too high to bounce off, off camera flash is not an option, so I thought I would check out some DIY diffusers for my strobe, which I did and the simplest soloution I found was a frosted plastic bottle placed over the strobe.

    Found the perfect bottle, cut to fit, tidied it up and tried it out, seems to work really well, but I am a real noob when it comes to using strobes to be honest, first thing I noticed was that the white balance was more accurate with the DIY diffuser than without, less colour cast from the ceiling is my guess.

    So I set up a reasonably controlled experiment, same grumpy child, same expression, same in camera settings (full manual), hotshoe-flash on TTL.

    Background was about 4 feet behind.

    So my question is this, for the actual lighting which do you prefer and why?

    [​IMG]

    Remember this is about lighting, shadow and contrast, not colour cast, my poor composition or the "im over it" expression, lol. This is also about shooting on the fly indoors, no tripods, no off camera lights strobes etc, keeping it simple.

    Personally in this case I actually prefer the middle one.
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I prefer the middle shot. I do not like the background shadow on the far right hand side shot. The diffuser + ceiling bounce shot on the left produces flat, dull lighting that makes her face look flat and uninteresting; in the middle shot, her face appears three-dimensional,and the colors appear well saturated.

    In the diffuser straight ahead shot on the far right, the contrast seems a bit too harsh, and the colors appear "hot" and washed out.
     
  3. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Derrel, the far right is un-diffused and flash not bounced, added for comparison as the harshest light, small, close and direct.

    So in a room where I am not able to bounce the flash off the ceiling/walls the results be better with the diffuser?

    This is what I am not sure about, my guess is it has to be better than direct, un diffused?

    But in this case, where I do have low ceiling, un-diffused bounced is better.
     
  4. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You know you don't have to bounce it off the ceiling. I try not to use the ceiling, instead I look for walls, curtains, T-shirts, windows (yes windows) etc. As for the lighting I prefer #2 as well. You could also try setting your exposure for the ambient lighting and then popping the flash off of a wall behind you etc, or just using very subtle direct flash for fill.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also, unless the ceiling is 100' high, it's not too high.

    Most modern first party speedlights have their guide number at full power at about 100' That's just how powerful they are. Plus you can always zoom them for some extra juice.

    What I would be worried about is if I'm disturbing the other guest, since I wasn't shooting an assignment.
     
  6. misstwinklytoes

    misstwinklytoes TPF Noob!

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    This is the same thing I'd say only ... better. :lol:
     
  7. Kofman13

    Kofman13 TPF Noob!

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    Middle shot is my fav
     

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