WOO NEW FLASH! 430EX II

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by prodigy2k7, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, I have received a new flash, finally!
    Trying it out, I am confused with some stuff...
    ATM I am just trying to use it as a better flash to fill in shadows and whatnot from candid shots, (maybe some bouncing), and I am not sure exactly how to set the correct camera exposure. I understand there are two exposures, background and the subject (flash exposure). I think the flash exposes the subject but how do I expose for the background if its somewhat dark (inside a house at night, with normal lights on) - the shutter will be open pretty long.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction please? Maybe some basic reading that isn't too confusing with numbers or something
     
  2. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    Canon cameras usually work this way:

    Mode,,,, foreground,,,,,, background,,,,,,, Feature

    P ,,,,,,,,,,Lit ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,not lit ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,faster shutter speed 4 handheld

    Tv ,,,,,,, Lit ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Lit ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Aperture usually wide open

    Av ,,,,,,,,Lit ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Lit ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,slow shutter speed, may need tripod

    http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Direct flash will suffer from fall off due to the inverse square law. Bouncing is usually superior for a nice even coverage in doors. You can put the flash on TTL mode, and aim up and since you're making the ceiling into a light source, that allows a much great coverage as opposed to having just the area of the flash head as the light source.

    Check out "Light Science and Magic" by Phil Hunter.
     
  4. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    I too like bounce flash. Try bouncing and start with about plus 2/3 to 1 stop of FEC.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    You are correct, to expose for the background (ambient light), in a situation like that, you will likely need a longer shutter speed. This is commonly called 'dragging the shutter'.
    The good news is that the flash may freeze the subject, keeping them fairly sharp, even though the shutter speed is slower than you are used to using when hand holding the camera. The background may get blurry though, so you need to gauge what speeds you can get away with....or use some support (tripod etc).

    Also, turning up the ISO will give you more ambient exposure and require less power from the flash.

    What I usually do, when using flash in a situation like this, is to put the camera into manual mode. I choose an aperture that will give me the DOF that I want (keeping in mind that a larger aperture make the flash work less hard), then I set the shutter speed for the background exposure I want, but making sure I don't get too slow as that might cause too much blur in the ambient lit parts. Sometimes I turn the ISO up, to get more ambient exposure and to use less flash power, but if I want to maintain the cleanest image, I'll just keep it low.

    Lastly, I'll use FEC to adjust the flash exposure.
     
  6. nateMN

    nateMN TPF Noob!

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    BigMike, when "dragging the shutter" do you put the flash onto 2nd curtain so the subject is more crisp because it fires at the very end of the exposure?
    Is there ever a time you wouldn't want 2nd curtain on?
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    Whether first or second curtain, that shouldn't effect the 'crispness'. It will only affect how the blur looks in comparison to the sharper image created by the flash. In 1st curtain sync, it might look weird because any motion blur will appear to be moving in front of the sharper subject...while in 2nd, the blur appears behind them, if they are in motion.

    The amount of blur will depend on the shutter speed, the motion of the subject and the amount of ambient light. If there is a fair amount (or a lot) of ambient light, then dragging the shutter will give you motion blur in addition to the sharper subject. The amount of exposure of the subject, compared to the amount of exposure on the background, will determine if the flashed image of the subject, is dominant enough to appear fully sharp in the photo.

    So yes, I do sometimes have the flash set to 2nd curtain sync. Although, unless I'm specifically looking for motion blur, I won't use a slow enough shutter speed to get much (if any) motion blur.

    The main disadvantage of using 2nd curtain sync is that it separates the preflash from the actual flash. Usually, the preflash & actual flash fire so fast, nobody can tell it fired more than once...but when you lengthen the time between them, it becomes more obvious. This can cause problem when shooting people because they may blink, or make a face or even start to walk away, after the first flash...thus ruining the photo when the actual flash fires.
     
  8. nateMN

    nateMN TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the detailed reply on the two curtains.
     
  9. Timothy

    Timothy TPF Noob!

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    aweeeeeeee i was going to say that you should use 2nd curtain and drag the shutter

    :(
     
  10. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    check Strobist for all your flash questions. HUGE community with lots of nice tutorials.
     

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