Shadows with off camera flash... help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Lynnzora, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Lynnzora

    Lynnzora TPF Noob!

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    For some reason I'm still getting shadow.. like you would with the on-camera flash... I bought the Pentax 360... flash. Sometimes it works perfectly but other times it just produces these crazy shadows. I've tried tilting it upwards to bounce from ceiling, walls, etc... Any suggestions?
    :er:[​IMG]
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Where the shadows fall has everything to do with the bounce angle. The ceiling is usually pretty good, because it creates an even light from above; all the shadows are cast downward. I've found that bouncing the flash off a left or right surface can add more definition and remove shadows completely. The point is to get those shadows to fall outside the frame, which means throwing light from a direction that's well away from the optical axis. In the shot you posted, it seems that the flash was still relatively close to the camera, and pointing toward the subject.
     
  3. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    You can tell in the picture you posted that it is either bounced to the wall on the right or is direct flash from the camera right. If you bounce directly to the ceiling this will eliminate a lot of flash unless the subject is close enough to the wall to block light from the ceiling.

    This could also be caused by your exposure. Let in more ambient light and the flash won't produce as pronounced shadows.
     
  4. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Shot specs:

    Aperture: f/4.0
    Shutter Speed: 1/60
    ISO: 800
    Focal Length: 50mm
    Pop-up Flash: Flash Fired

    That shadow is from the on-camera pop-up flash, not the off-camera flash. I'm guessing the off-camera flash is a slave flash and only fires when the primary flash (the pop-up flash) fires. Think about getting a sync cord or radio triggers so you won't have to use the on-camera pop-up flash to trigger the slave.

    When shooting with flash use a lower ISO setting (like ISO 100).
     
  5. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    I'm not so sure about the cause of the shadow being the onboard flash. Look at the angle of the shadow....It looks like it would have had to come from his front right (camera left) in order to create a shadow in the place that it is.

    That said, it doesn't matter where the flash is and whether it's on board or off camera....if you shoot direct flash from just about any angle indoors you will get a shadow.
     
  6. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    The shot is in portrait orientation and the pop-up flash was on the right.
    How can the shadow be on the left side of the boy (his right) if the flash is coming from camera left? The shadow would be on the right side of the boy (his left).
     
  7. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup: Didn't think of that.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    One way to avoid shadows like in the posted example is to get the flash higher, which makes the shadow lower and not as noticeable.

    A speedlight is only OCF when it is not mounted on the camera hot shoe.

    Post some examples of shadow problems taken with OCF.
     
  9. Lynnzora

    Lynnzora TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone... sorry responding late. Haven't been feeling well. Ok I got:

    "When shooting with flash use a lower ISO setting (like ISO 100)"

    When I asked earlier about shooting in low light, I saw people mention that I should be boosting the ISO 800... 1600... when shooting in the dark.... Was that only if you were working without a flash?

    In this photo it's quite posible that the flash was pointing directly at my son because I actually tried rotating it in every direction and it didn't really take the shadow away... even pointing directly up. I'll keep trying though.

    It definitely wasn't shot from the on camera flash.... Stopped using that a looong time ago. :) but the slave flash I bought is on top of the camera.... Maybe I should buy one of thos brackets which allow the flash to sit on the side of the camera instead of the top... I don't know...
     
  10. HeY iTs ScOTtY

    HeY iTs ScOTtY TPF Noob!

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    what you need is a tripod or light stand to mount your flash on. like someone said above its not off camera flash if its mounted on the hot shoe.
     
  11. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Yes. When shooting in low light without a flash you have to push the ISO up. If you are using flash then you have an available light source that will cut through the darkness so you don't have to push the ISO.
    Is this flash/Speedlite on a light stand or on the camera?
    When you say you're using a slave flash do you mean you're using a Speedlite on the camera hot shoe? I thought you had a slave flash on a light stand and was triggering it with the popup flash.

    Have you checked out the Strobist web site yet?

    You might want to check out this web page too: Portrait Lighting For Beginners: Portraits With One Light
     
  12. Lynnzora

    Lynnzora TPF Noob!

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    Ok, thanks for the website... I will definitely check that out. Oooops um yeah the slave was on the camera lol...

    It's a Pentax AF 360 fgz... but I did also buy the hot shoe mount and the off-camera one... so I guess all I have to do is buy a light stand? or put it on my tripod... Thanks again.
     

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