Trying out new speedlight (PRO critique requested)

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by brazilnutjr, May 5, 2009.

  1. brazilnutjr

    brazilnutjr TPF Noob!

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    I recently got a Nikon SB-800 speedlight and I'm still getting used to it. Today, I happened back by the old tractor that I had photographed last month and tried to get some shots of it again. It was about 4:30 P.M. and the tractor was in deep shade. Since I had photographed it from the front last time, I tried to get a new angle on it and thought that some shots from the drivers seat might be interesting. The dark/light presented some challenges. Here is what I did...
    1. Camera details (ISO 400, 1/60, f/25)
    I dialed down the exposure 2 stops (-2.0EV) so I could get some color in the sky and hand held the SB-800 (with a diffuser on it) out in front of the camera just out of the picture (top, center). Focused on the "tank" of the tractor through the steering wheel.
    Overall it is darker than I would have liked it, and it is grainy (I should have lowered my ISO to 200), but it is my first attempt at using a flash like this. Any C&C?
    [​IMG]

    2. Here is a horizontal format. Camera details (ISO 400, 1/125, f/25, -2.0EV)
    [​IMG]

    Of the two formats, I prefer the vertical one.

    Please feel free to leave C&C. BTW - the "PRO critique requested" is an idea I borrowed from Overread. http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/feedback-suggestions/162889-pro-critique-suggestion.html Let's see how it works. Thanks!
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Try the same thing, except take the diffuser off, outside it's worthless, there's nothing for the light to bounce off of, and if you want soft light make your source larger.

    Keep your ISO at 200, shoot at 1/500th of a second, that's the great thing about the D70, it can do that, few SLR's can.

    Shutter speed doesn't affect flash power (unless you're shooting in fp), so crank the shutter speed when outside. adjust the aperture untill your ambient is what you want it to be, THAN add the flash. there will be plenty of power for your flash and the tractor will be properly illuminated.

    And of course, shoot the camera in manual, and the flash in manual, not TTL. TTL and auto modes complicate things when using flash.

    in manual, if the background is too light, adjust shutter speed. If the flash is too hot, dial it down, or tighten up your aperture. you will be able to see the direct results of changes.

    When you've mastered that, then you can attempt TTL. I have 3 SB600's and I rarely do TTL with them when they're off camera. In fact, only one of the pictures I have on my flickr have my off camera lights in TTL.
     
  3. brazilnutjr

    brazilnutjr TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the feedback, Sw1tchFX. I tried shooting without the diffuser first, but I was getting very harsh shadows. I didn't think of the larger light source. As far as that goes, are you talking about adding additional lights, or is there a simpler solution that I may be overlooking (i.e. reflector)?

    I really appreciate the detailed feedback. I will try to go back there and play around with it some more as soon as I am able.
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Theo nly way to get softer light is to increase the size of the source, that way, light would be comming in from a gazillion different angles, with bare flash, it comes from one. Diffusers bank on the idea that you're in a room with white walls and white ceilings, so the flash can bounce off of everything, thus making a giant light source, thus diffusing. They're worthless otherwise, and rob your flash of power. I used mine once, then threw it away.

    You don't need another light, but Umbrellas and light stands are good.

    IMO, you should read Joe Mcnally's books. They're Nion specific, and will give you a ton of ideas and essentially teach you the mechanics of speedlights.
     

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