Wirelless Flash - what do you think?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Splouff, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. Splouff

    Splouff TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,

    I'm a beginner when it comes to flash photography. I suck at it...

    My friend bought a old movie theater and is restoring it. I wanted to take a picture of him and his daily environment. I'd like the picture to look "modern", hard to explain what I'm really looking for...
    I want it too "pro".
    I put my SB600 nikon on a wireless mode on the left of the model and set it at -2 or something like that.
    ISO 640. SS1/320 f2.8

    I'm not so happy with the result because:
    -it's grainy
    -his face is quite dark on one side
    -his pants are to bright
    it's doesn't pro at all - because I'm not a pro maybe ;)

    I'm going to go back to this place until I get it right.
    What would you suggest to improve this shot?

    I was thinking: a diffuser on the flash?
    A reflector on the right side of the pic?

    Help, please...

    Thanks heaps for looking!!!!!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Shoot at ISO 100 or 200, the SB-600 has more than enough power for this. Expose your subject 1 stop lighter than the background, use a fill card or reflector for fill.


    Shoot in color.
     
  3. Splouff

    Splouff TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your answer.
    I actually shot in color and did the conversion in Lightroom.
    I will use a reflector, just have to DIY a massive one...
    Ok, for the lower ISO. Newbie question (sorry), how do I expose my subject more than the background? Is that something you do on your flash?
    Thanks.
    i'm lot when it comes to flash. I ordered a book but it's going to take 3 weeks before it arrives where I am. Bummer...
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No the exposure of the background is dependant on aperture and shutter speed. The exposure of the flash is dependant on aperture and flash power (shutter speed does not influence this).

    I suggest asking him to stay still and slow-syncing it. Btw grain isn't all around bad unless you look at something full zoom on a computer screen. I have done a few weddings at ISO640 and they have been just fine after a quick noise reduction and printed out.
     
  5. Splouff

    Splouff TPF Noob!

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    OK I'll give it a go with slow-syncing even if I have no idea what it is :)
    The grain is very bad, believe me, if I zoom a tiny bit more it's very very obvious and makes his face look funny.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Slow-syncing is basically firing the flash and leaving the shutter open for longer than the normal 1/60th or so of a second. It allows the flash to freeze the motion while the background light can still come in. If the subject stays still enough and with a tripod you can drop your iso a bit and slow-sync to bring the brightness up which will get rid of noise.

    I can see the grain, just, unless it's going to be printed larger than 12x8 does it matter? The important thing is not how it looks on the screen zoomed in. It's how it looks as a whole. Mind you if this goes on a poster it'll be noticeable.
     
  7. Splouff

    Splouff TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I went back to try different things. I wanted to try low-sync but I forgot my manual and couldn't find out how to use it! :)

    As suggested I lowered my ISO a bit & used a tripod. Camera in manual.
    I metered for the background and underexposed a bit with a faster shutter speed.
    All pics 400 ISO - 1/160 F2.8
    Still a bit grainy but nothing as bad a previously!

    Flash at 1/8 or 1/16 (it's a shame the metadata don't give info on the flash output)
    I put a piece of tracing paper on the flash to diffuse the light, seems useless.

    #2
    The flash is pretty much in front of him. Big reflector on the side (probably quite useless.. a huge piece of grey gib).
    [​IMG]

    I don't like it, I find it boring. Background foreground seem to have the same light.
    #3
    This one is very similar to the previous one, the flash is a bit more on the side.
    [​IMG]


    #4
    I kind of like that one, face is not too bad (maybe my gib-reflector is working). Flash completely on his side
    [​IMG]

    #5
    OK, this one is closer to what I'm trying to achieve. The background is darker which I like. But it's a bit too "flashy". Don't know if I like it or not actually.
    [​IMG]

    I'm going to go back since I want this picture with the dog next to the guy.
    Any feedback, comment, instructions are very very welcome!!
    Thanks,
    Delphine
     
  8. DeepSpring

    DeepSpring TPF Noob!

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    I like the last one the most. Is the flash low pointing up? The only thing I dont like is the brightness on the bottom of his elbow.
     
  9. Remi M.

    Remi M. TPF Noob!

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    To me it looks like it just needs a big softbox and photoshop work. A little dodging and burning.

    I played around with one, added a quadtone on top of the dodging and burning.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Tracing paper on the flash does nothing. You need to increase the size of the light source to make it diffuse. A 20x20 sheet of tracing paper about 15cm from the flash is what you want to achieve this affect. It will make the light a bit more flattering.

    #5 is definitely the best so far but I still think it needs something to make his other side bright. Maybe set your on-camera flash to fill slightly. If you can't remember how to set the flash to slow-sync, just switch the camera to M mode. It'll do it automatically then.

    All in all good work. It's great to see you quickly moved the flash off the camera axis to give the subject some real depth.
     
  11. Splouff

    Splouff TPF Noob!

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    Remi M. thanks, you did a good job on the picture!
    I definitely need a good reflector. The grey gib board wasn't that great after all... not suer what to use as I can't afford a massive reflector.

    What's "quadtone"?

    thanks!!
     
  12. Remi M.

    Remi M. TPF Noob!

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    Quadtone is a version of a "technique" called Duotone. Duotone is simply a 2 color version of a image. (quadtone is 4). It's really easy to load up in Photoshop.
     

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