Daylight flash use v. natural light

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by Soocom1, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    So one item that I had struggled with for years was the problem of daylight flash use including fill flash and other aspects that until recently came out looking horrible. So I have been an avid "natural light" shooter for years.

    I have a Metz 50MZ 5 and a canon speedlite along with a PixleKing flash on its way.
    So what techniques can some share in using them?


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If your flash and camera work together to enable TTL flash, then just use that function. Your flash will send a preliminary flash to measure how much light is needed, then calculate the flash power for the secondary flash, which in most cases will be enough for "fill" in ordinary daylight.

    If you want to be more precise, get a flash meter, and measure the flash striking your subject to set your aperture. This is the preferred method if you wish to create a special lighting mood for instance, or if you are using more than one flash for the shot.
     
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  3. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    It depends on the light, and the look, but a lot of times a little flash adds some pop on portraits. For casual use I'll mount my speedlight on camera with a small on flash softbox/diffuser. I set the camera meter to a couple marks underexposed then add flash to bring the exposure back. For an actual portrait I go off camera on a stand and meter the shot. I've thought about TTL but without spending $$$ for a camera compatible speedlight it wont work.
     
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  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are tens of thousands of videos on this subject on YouTube, much easier to watch a 5-10 minute clip than to try and explain the concepts of fill light in text. That said, the first step is to be able to trigger the flash OFF of the camera; on-camera flash is not terribly useful; you can bounce it, and get some benefit, but that's limited. Step two is to get some sort of modifier; a run-of-the-mill 42" reflecting umbrella is a great start. Step three? What do you want to do with the light from the flash? Generally, you want to fill in or lift shadows, sooooooo... placing it on the shadow side when using the sun as key makes sense.
     
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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Bounced Flash is extremely versatile, and a 50 series Metz is a very powerful tool outputting much more light than 95% of all speedlights ever made. As was mentioned YouTube has lots of videos. I would look for videos dealing with bounce Flash as well as using a small bounce card or plastic spoon to make a combination of Bounce light off of the ceiling or wall, as well as using the small card or spoon to direct a portion of the light beam straight ahead. Strobist website has lots of lessons on using flash off camera.

    Keep in mind that with a modern camera it is easily possible to shoot fill flash or all flash shots at ISO levels of 800 to 1000 with perfectly acceptable results.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    One technique that you might look into is commonly called dragging the shutter, and this means that you slow the shutter speed way down when shooting Flash, into the 1/40 to one fifth of a second range at most
    Times. This allows whatever light is present at the scene to be recorded by the sensor and this does two things. The first thing it does is it makes light fixtures and on scene lights register, and it can also add a warmer glow in many cases.

    The difference between shooting at maximum synchronization speed which is usually 1/250 or 1/200 of a second and between let's say 1/20 of a second is quite often a huge difference, and in the dragged shutter shots it will usually be a much more realistic-looking portrayal of the lighting that was present at the scene. You might think that you run the risk of blurry shots, but my experience is that it is not that big of a problem. I often like 1/15th to 1/6 of a second in many lower light indoor locations.
     
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  7. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    part in part of this is my niec's wedding.

    The Metz may be slated tot he Blad (I found a setting that changed the whole affair from previous issues) and the speedlights for the reception.

    There are specific concerns to the daylight that I most concerned about.

    Weather permitting, the intent is to have the wedding at the Santa Ana Star Casino on the other side of the street from Bernalillo.

    This is significant for several reasons:

    1: The wedding starts at 4:30 pm.
    2: The ceremony is to be held in a special location NE of the Hotel on an area the tribe built specifically for such events, including games. So there is greenery that may be turning brownish. That I cant control.
    3: The hotel (If you look on Google Earth) is in just the right spot where at 4:30-5:00 pm on Oct. 25th during the ceremony there is going to be a longed shadow of the Casino Hotel tower reaching the grounds where the ceremony is at. Ergo: silhouetted ceremony with a nasty shadow.
    The guests are facing east so they wont be blinded, BUT, to get a good image of the vows taking, I have to (I have no choice) face the sun and Hotel.
    4: I also have to consider the blinding effect on guests and making sure I am not distracting.
    5: And then comes the horses. She is insisting on horses at the end of the ceremony to ride back to the casino with, and I have to consider (I've talked with the pueblo) about the horses freaking over the flash, and they have never done this before so they don't know.

    Outside all of this, I am also taking photos of items in the out of doors with flash witht he sun at diff. angles and positions. The effects so far are positive.

    The big question now is blowout.
     
  8. texxter

    texxter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are you the official photographer of the event, or just a relative trying to get additional photos for the couple. If the former, and you anticipate the need for flash and you have no experience with flash for events, I would say this is a problematic situation. Normally for weddings you hire people who know what they are doing because a reshoot is not possible. If it is just for fun, then I would rely on high ISO and optionally some TTL flash. The higher the ISO the less flash power is needed, and the less annoying the flash will be. If you have fast lenses and a steady hand you may be able to shoot without flash. Good luck! It certainly looks challenging!
     
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  9. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This is actually something that basically got thrust on me.
    I had originally been asked to do the wedding about two years ago, but then she popped up and told me that her friend, who is the daughter of a pro photographer that she went to school with would shoot it. OK, no issues, Ill show up with my cell phone and catch a few quietly.

    Then she comes back to me 4 months ago to tell me that the money she is spending is only for specific family shots. (Dont ask, I dont know).

    The details of what she was setting up was given to me only that 4 months ago so its now a game of catch up.
    I spotted the shadow problem when we visited the site in early July. Then she told me about the horses.

    I honestly thought this would be indoors and easily dealt with using gels and a speedlight.
    But apparently she really played specific details for this wedding that caught even the pro end planners at the Pueblo off guard.
     
  10. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    My experience has been it's generally frowned on using flash during the ceremony. After/before no problem, however the horses creates a serious issue IMO. That would really put a damper on things fast and cause a lot of really bad feelings (not to mention legal issues) if the horses were to freak and cause injury to themselves or others at the wedding.
     
  11. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I pointed this out to her.

    I may have to insist on the issue.
    But the flash may be a necessity because of the silhouetting issue and the shadow. That I cannot avoid, unless snow comes in.
     
  12. texxter

    texxter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Can't you just say "no" with some excuse? Run while you can...
     
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