Ski shots, fill flash

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by burtharrris, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. burtharrris

    burtharrris TPF Noob!

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    My friend and I were talking about skiing and photography. I said I wanted to take some shots of him skiing off some jumps. As a preface I'm using a non-dedicated flash in manual mode.

    I'm trying to put on fill flash for the shadows. I read up on the forums like I'm supposed to (to avoid duplicate threads) and found this great thread with help from ksmattfish.

    I plan on metering off a grey card to get the right daytime exposure. The real question is, will the snow give me enough shadow fill-in? I'm not sure whether it would act like the biggest reflector ever or not.
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    If it's sunny outside, you won't need a flash.
     
  3. Imagee

    Imagee TPF Noob!

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    If the sun is bright you may get harsh shadows, especially if the subject is wearing dark clothes. The problem with using flash in this situation is 2 fold. 1. You would need a very powerful flash! Check your flash specs. A lot of flashs are only good for 20-25 feet (or less!) depending on the ISO you are using. 2. You also need to check your flash sync speed. If your flash will only sync. up to 1/60 or 1/100 of a second you may get unwanted motion blur.
    IF your flash is capabile of shooting that far then my suggestion would be to try it both ways...with and without and see what works best.
     
  4. burtharrris

    burtharrris TPF Noob!

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    Thanks imagee, I forgot about sync speeds. He's going to be about 15 feet away from me total. While my guide number is 120', i should have the power, but I can't bring down the aperture down to f/8 and still sync. Unless I use an ND filter?

    I don't know if this was obvious or not but he's going to be 5+ feet above me. There will be shadows.


    Thanks guys, I'll give this a shot and see how it goes.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    When it's sunny outside...that is one of the best times to use your flash. As Imagee mentioned, bright sun creates dark shadows....so unless the sun is right behind you (as the photographer)...the subject will probably have some dark shadows. The snow can help to reflect the light around...but that depends on a lot of factors.

    If you can find the right shooting position/angle etc....then maybe you won't need the flash. Or maybe you won't be able to get close enough for the flash to make a difference. It's all about experimentation and experience.
     
  6. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Nah. I've done perfectly fine daylight fill with my pop up flash. Just stop down the aperture to where the ambient exposure matches the flash sync, even if it means stopping down to f/16-f/22. And even if the sync speed is 1/200th, the flash's duration is well over 1/8000th of a second, that's what stops the action. that's how they stop bullets, if the flash had a duration of 1/200th, than you wouldn't see any bullet. sync speed only determines the ambient exposure, and it's daylight fill where that's so critical.

    I still don't understand why you would even need flash to shoot someone with a GIGANTIC reflector underneath them.

    Unless this is water skiing, you don't need a flash.
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    Good point...but that won't help much if the sun is behind the subject.

    That may work in some situations...but the flash exposure depends on the power of the flash and the aperture. At F22-F22...you would need a lot of flash power unless the subject is very close to you.
     
  8. Ripnowell45

    Ripnowell45 TPF Noob!

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  9. snownow

    snownow TPF Noob!

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    It depends on the location and time of day. Remember most slopes are north (ish)facing. I have done a bunch of ski shots, morning to noon has always worked best for me. In the after noon you get a lot of backlighting. Normally I will use a fill flash then, but like i said above all depends on the location, ski slopes point lots of directions with lots of bad and good light. But hey that backlit subject sometimes turns out nice as well. So use them both, be flexable. If your hitting jumps, a flash will also help with "freezing" the subject in the air. Only down fall not able to rapid fire.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. snownow

    snownow TPF Noob!

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    If you can shoot in Raw as well, if your WB is off you can get a lot of blue in the snow.
     
  11. burtharrris

    burtharrris TPF Noob!

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    There's my answer.

    Thanks everybody!
     
  12. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    It was just for the sake of example..
     

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