simple flash use

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by mysteryscribe, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Now I dont know a lot about digital cameras, but I know a heck of a lot about flash. After thirty years using flash, from bulbs to electronic, I picked up a little bit.

    So here let me pass on what I know and you can tailor it to your camera's abilities.

    You can do two things with electronic flash. You can use it as a main light, and you can do what we called shutter drag to use it as a fill light.

    As a main light you want to over power the existing light.

    As a fill light you want to balance it to the existing light or have it a wee bit under the exiting light.

    So what you want to do first is decide, do I want this scene lit by strobe completely or existing light with fill strobe.

    flash power just read the room light. Make sure your shutter speed is higher than it would take to shoot the room at the strobe's fstop, if it wasn't there.

    example strobe should be set at f8. At f8 existing light would give a ss of 1/15 if you set the camera at 1/60 or more you should not have any light but the strobe to power the scene. maybe with only a small amount of background light. You wouldn't need a tripod because the strobe is the shutter. it fires from 1/1,000 to 1/10,000 usually.

    Balanced light... same example. if you read f8 at 1/15 and you set shutter speed at 1/15 you will get all the room lit just as if the strobe wasn't there. But you need to have a tripod for a 1/15 or lower because of camera shake. You are exposing for the existing light not the fast shooting strobe. The strobe will simply add a different dimension to the light. These days this method is used a lot more since in digital you can see the effect immediately and know if the worked correctly.

    Im sure there is a lot more to it these days but this is the main way I used stobe light. You do have to keep in mind there is a flash sync speed you cant exceed in film cameras. I'm not sure about digital I wouldnt think so but I dont know.

    Please feel free to correct me if im wrong here.
     
  2. ftops

    ftops TPF Noob!

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    i dont think there is in a digital, simply because of the difference between analog and digital. a lot more is left up to you with film, while digital does all the brainwork for you...not to stomp on anything digital. with a film camera, you release the shutter and the camera says "OK here i go!", but a digital camera will talk to the falsh and say "ready when you are...alright lets go!"
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, digital cameras have a minimum synch speed just like film cameras do. It varies by model but there is certainly a limit on any camera with a focal plane shutter.

    I don't understand what you mean by digital doing brain work. TTL flash metering and auto flash exposure have existed since well before the introduction of digital cameras. In fact auto flash exposure goes back to the 1970's.
     
  4. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Thank god for auto flash..... Without it wedding photography from 1970 till today would have been screwed up and/or taken ten times longer.

    Other stuff as well but that is where I made a couple of hundred exposures mostly with flash. Calculating every time I changed the setup would have been a nightmare. Every group required the photographer to move in the early days. Imagine doing the math to figure the proper fstop every time you move back or forward while shooting anything.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Memorize the settings for specific distances, for instance 5', 10', 15', and 25'. I still use this method (along with a flash meter) at weddings because I find that TTL and ETTL are easily bamboozled by the groom in all black (overexposes everytime), and the bride in all white (underexposes everytime).

    Another thing I've done is figure out the math at home for a variety of apertures and distances, write it out like a chart on a piece of tape, and stick it on the camera or flash.
     
  6. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    for me it was easier to use the math. 12/120 =10 but i still wouldnt want to do it everytime I moved.

    My old vivitar 283 and the give and take of film did a fine job. Especially after one hour labs came about so that I could stand at the counter and say. I would like this one just a little lighter ect...

    What gave me a fit was the difference in skin colors in the same group shot. Just a nightmare trying to decide who to expose for.
     

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