New! My Speedlite580EX - lots of tries and even more errors!

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by LaFoto, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, I have saved and saved even more so I'd be able to get myself the Speedlite 580EX, and now I have it! :D :cheer:

    However - taking photos with a flash is sooo different from all I have been doing so far (i.e. trying to work with available light at all times in order to avoid having to use the on-camera flash). I have to read and read a lot more on this new part of photography.

    Yesterday, in the shop, when I said to the salesperson that it might be hard for me to have grown familiar with this new gadget until Sunday (commission for which it will be needed), he said, no problem at all. It does everything all automatically. And he suggested I put the camera back on AUTO and then everything would turn out just fine. And I better shoot JPG for the time I am still "playing", he said (don't know why).

    Well, this afternoon, I could "persuade" my cat to be my willing (?) subject for a bit of bounced-off-the-ceiling flash (I don't like anything BUT this).

    But I find all my photos too bright!!!
    See this:

    Photo 1 - SOOC* (*straight out of camera)
    [​IMG]
    This being a JPG now, in PS I only worked with the levels ("level"-person is what I am), pushing the shadows from 0 - 20 and the midtones from 1,00 to 0,70) - still not good but maybe better?

    Photo 1 - edit (levels in PS)
    [​IMG]

    And again!
    Photo 2 - SOOC
    [​IMG]

    And Photo 2 after an identical treatment in PS
    [​IMG]

    OK, I did not like the original crop, so if I were to produce "a final version" of that one, it would look like this:

    Photo 2 - edited and cropped
    [​IMG]

    But why is that new flash always too bright?
    What can I do about it?

    Should I go back to RAW? Would that be wise?
    (And yes, I will read the manual, and will read it with the camera manual in the other hand, and I even got myself a whole new book on flash photography which I will also read!! But I won't be able to master all this until Sunday. I need to be able to get good enough photos in the AUTO mode, I should think.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    That's what you get for listening to a guy in a shop...Yes, of course, go back to shooting RAW. :D

    As for being too bright...I've heard some people say that they always get shots that are too bright...and other say that they always get shots that are too dark. They are usually pretty close, so it's not a big deal...but it can be hard because we don't really know why.

    The solution is to use your FEC. Flash Exposure Compensation.
    I forget which camera you are using now...but it should have an FEC button (flash with a (+) & (-) symbol). This basically works in the same way that EC (exposure compensation) works. If it's too bright, then dial in negative (to the left) and shoot again. If it's too dark, then dial in positive (to the right).

    If you don't have FEC on the camera...you can also adjust it on the flash body. The 580 has a nice wheel, which makes it easy...my 430EX, on the other hand, has tiny little buttons...so I always use FEC on the camera...which may be easier anyway.

    As for putting the camera in auto...that may be OK for some situations. The thing is that Canon has programed the flash (& camera...E-TTL metering) to act differently in auto, than when in Av or Tv. When in auto, it will set a shutter speed no lower than 1/60 (I think)...and assume that the flash is the main source of light (unless it's really bright). That is OK sometimes.
    However, when you put the camera into Av or Tv...the camera will think you want the flash for fill only...so it will still try to expose for the ambient light (maybe a slow shutter speed)...and then give you enough flash for fill.

    Personally, I like to use flash in manual mode...which takes some practice and understanding...but then it's quite easy.

    There is a page that you may want to read...however, be warned, it's very wordy and technical...and probably won't make a lot of sense...so don't feel bad when you don't understand all or any of it.

    EOS Flash Bible
     
  3. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Congrats on your purchase of the 580EX Corinna!! I love using mine.

    I agree with Mike. Shoot in RAW, and either set the camera to AV or Manual. Experiment with FEC to get that correct combination of ambient and flash (Im still working on getting that right myself ;-)).

    They tell me to "chimp often" too (check your brightness histogram on almost every shot), and make sure you are exposing enough but not too much for your environment and subject.

    Dont you just love all that techy talk?? ;-)

    Good luck! :)

    NJ
     
  4. duncanp

    duncanp TPF Noob!

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    i like your end shot, i permanently shoot in RAW, unless its high speed sports
     
  5. ShaCow

    ShaCow TPF Noob!

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    I agree, the last edit is the best, the crop and the levels make it look more natural.
     

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