where should i place my external flash unit relative to the camera?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by shingfan, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    if i'm shooting in a wedding reception.....where/how should i place my flash unit relative to my camera....i heard many ppl say off the camera....but giving a reasonable relative position would be good to know.....like angle and distance away from camera body.....

    when i have external flash working off the camera (in wireless mode) ....do i need a direct flash (on camera flash) + the external flash for better exposure...or i should minimize the on camera flash and use only the external flash
     
  2. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Arm's length for me and bounce flash if the room can provide for it.
     
  3. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    arm's lengh horizontal away from the camera and pointing directly at the subject you mean?...or just flashing striaght ahead arm's lenght away?
     
  4. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    In my case I use a home made L bracket... the light is about 8 inches the side of the lens and about a foot and a half above it. I think that with digital you should bounce it off the ceiling but my son in law also bounces if off walls that are handy. I personally don't do bounce flash. I shoot film and its just too risky for me. I have in the past bounced it so that all the light fell behind the subject making it was to dark.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    If you are holding the flash out at arms length, you should point it back toward your subject. If you are in a smaller room/space that doesn't have extremely colored walls/ceiling...then you can bounce the flash off of a wall, the ceiling or a combination of both. The idea is that the bigger the light source, the softer the light.
     
  6. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    yes...boucing is what i usually do when i can.......but when boucning is not permitted...i like to know which way to locate and point the flash....like in a wedding hall with high ceiling
     
  7. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    The difficulty of holding the flash at arms length to the side is somewhat difficult to do and keep the angle of the flash head correct, and the shadows would be somewhat severe. Bounce flash is the best way to go but you must consider where it will bounce from so you are not bouncing over the heads if you understand what I mean. I don't understand what you mean when you say "when bouncing is not permitted" It is much easier on the subject than direct flash. I would in your circumstances be doing some testing first prior to the shoot.
     
  8. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    when there is just no surface for you to bounce..........i need to work with what i have.....like in a wedding reception with a very high ceiling.....i've never done it with high ceiling......i was thinking that the ceiling might be too high to get a good bounce light.....high as in 20 ft above the floor or something...or that that is still okay for boucing?...
     
  9. Imagee

    Imagee TPF Noob!

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    Most of the wedding receptions I shoot are in very dark rooms with very high ceilings and walls covered in some sort of gold brocade and studded with mirrors. It makes bouncing flash nearly impossible. I use a Stroboframe and direct flash for most reception photos. A Stroboframe is a metal frame that screws into the tripod socket of your camera. You attach the flash to the frame and the flash unit to the camera via a cord. It raises the flash about 8 inches above the lens. The effect isn't as nice as bouncing, but in a dark room with high ceilings, sometimes it's the best way to go.
    If the subject is close enough I use a white thingy (sorry I can't remember what it's called) that attaches to the flash head. You point the head up and bounce off the "thingy"!
    I really wish they'd turn the lights up a bit at wedding receptions!
     
  10. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Off the subject I think a problem some people have with weddings is they sometimes think it is just there for them to get photos when you are supposed to be there as a recorder of the events as they are. But anyway back on subject I think where you position the flash is a choice that is dictated bu the size and shape of the room, the color of the walls, how dark the room is and so many other factors that there is really no hard and fast rule as to where to put the light.
     
  11. bryanwhite

    bryanwhite TPF Noob!

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    The other day, I had a photographer show me her Fong Lightsphere. She showed me how it worked and what it did, and I was downright amazed at the results. If you have time before the wedding, I would get one of these. Google "Fong Flash" and it's the first thing to come up.
     
  12. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    ah...interesting..will have a look when i have time.....still got a few more months to practise before the wedding.....hope i can sharpen my skills enough for that
     

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