Question about "strobist-style" lighting?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Baaaark, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North or South Pole... it depends
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    So, if you get the Cactus triggers and some third party flashes, and go full manual, how do you know what level of flash to use without a TTL setup to tell you? Is it a lot of trial and error? Or are there hand-held meters to help out? I guess what I want to know if there's any way to meter the upcoming flash, and adjust it fairly accurately before taking the shot.

    If you do use mostly trial and error, how do you prevent from flashing the hell out of your subjects and burning through batteries? Or, once again, is that just part of the learning curve process?

    I'm just getting into this, and have been learning about the gels, and the setups and stuff. Just wanted to know how hard it is really to start using a manual setup. I'm sure it really doesn't matter once you know what you're doing.
     
  2. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kaneohe, Oahu
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yes. Setup...shoot...check image...make adjustments...shoot again...make more adjustments...etc...
    Yes. Check out the Sekonic line of light meters.
    Meter the flash before taking the shot?
    If you're shooting a lot of strobist stuff you eventually learn what settings to start with for the type of shots you're trying for and then you make minor adjustments after a test shot or two. Over time you'll be able to get the exposure settings pretty close to what you want/need.
    When I'm shooting with my off-camera flash gear (strobist stuff) I'm on full manual on my camera and full manual on the flash. I start with some basic exposure settings and make adjustments after a test shot. I'll be getting a Sekonic L-358 Flash Master Light Meter this month to help with flash exposure so I won't have to keep doing test shots and adjusting exposure settings between the test shots.

    I may eventually get the newer E-TTL capable radio triggers, but I'm waiting to see what my friends say about theirs first. A couple of my shooting buddies recently got the new PocketWizard MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 wireless triggers and are testing them out now. I think one said the range on his set isn't what he was expecting...something I've been hearing about on other forums. He may be sending his set back to PocketWizard.
     
  3. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rain City
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Inverse law of light. :lol: J/K, if you're not metering, you just spend a lot of time taking shots, checking your histogram, and adjusting settings. And you don't want to start out running your flashes at full power. I usually adjust my exposure for the ambient (to the degree that I want it exposed), add my flash and adjust power to expose my subject while maintaining my ambient exposure. It takes some practice, but is totally doable without a fancy light meter. David Hobby (author of Strobist.com) doesn't even use a light meter himself, although he has years and years of working with light under his belt. Really though, it's not rocket science, and if you put in the time/reading to learn it, you'll find it to be so worth it.

    If you didn't see this, you may want to read it and hopefully you'll gain a better understanding of how to use off camera flash.

    And if you're on a budget and considering Cactus triggers, opt for the V4's. I did a mini review of them here. Even since then, still have had great results. Almost no misfires and tested up to about 20-30 feet.
     
  4. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North or South Pole... it depends
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    THe whole metering before the flash.. My thought was (with a meter) saying, "Okay, we ha've this light setting, so with one strobe straight on at 1/64th, and one on the back drop at full power, it should meter at ****. I was (I guess) asking if it was rather formulary to meter with off-camera light (like it is with the built-in flash), or if its way too dynamic and complicated to be calculated by a machine.

    You probably just do test shots with the backdrop in place and all before introducing your model, now that I think about it. I think that's what my friend did when he did his studio stuff. But I never really cared about it or payed attention to him back then.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,225
    Likes Received:
    5,003
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  6. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rain City
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yep, I expose for the background/scenery then add my subject and flash accordingly. The point of off camera flash isn't just to light up everything with no consideration to the ambient. You want to use your flashes to balance and work with your current lighting so that it's complimentary, not dominant. At least that's my take on it, sometimes it is fun to just nuke the crap out of your subject with a stopped down background, but often the idea is to create balance. You could also read up on "subject driven lighting" which might help you conceptualize how you should approach lighting.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
about strobist
,
david hobby is light meter necessary
,
david hobby light meter
,
light meter strobist
,
strobist exposure settings
,

strobist light meter

,
strobist lightmeter
,
strobist style
,
strobist style lighting
,
vivitar 285hv flash