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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    Not from my sister.

    Ill simply say watch the news on oct. 25th.
    thatll tell you what happened.


     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    In my experience most animals have almost no reaction to flash.
    I've also noticed that many events ban flash for equine photography until you're at the big leagues and then the huge and loud stadium can be full of flash. Furthermore horses born and raised today are more likely to have been flashed with phones and point and shoots almost before they are fully out of the mare in todays' world.

    THAT said they can also run a hundred miles if they see a rock looking at them the wrong way. Horses are almost all flight animals. Their reaction to fear is to run. It might not be the light of the flash, it could be the slight pop of the flash when it fires that sets them off. Or any one of a million other things happening at the same time. With unknown animals in a new situation with people riding who might be wearing abnormal clothing and not suited to riding a sudden bolting horse its just adding risk to consider using flash.

    The only time you MIGHT consider it is if you knew the horses and practised with them extensively. Then you at least lower (not remove) the risk.
    For horses you don't know in a situation you don't know and don't control and with riders and people around who are not going to be prepared for risk just turn the flash right off. Also don't bring a reflector or such either (in fact a bit moving white reflector is EVEN MORE likely to spook horses than a flash).


    Your best bet might be to rent a top end camera body a few days before so that you've a body with top end ISO performance and likely something from Nikon with their ISO Invariant sensors to give you the best possible dark restoration of light data.
     
  3. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    So far at this moment I talked with her and she is telling me that the horse thing is not set in stone.
    something with some drama took place and she is reconsidering some things.
     
  4. texxter

    texxter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I took photos at my sister's wedding in 2006. I flew across the Atlantic to be there that day. But I wasn't the official photographer of the wedding. I did take some portraits of her and a few were keepers, but many photos were bad because the light was horrendous and I just didn't know how to deal with it. If my sister had asked me to be the photographer I would have told her that I loved her too much for my poor photos to memorialize the event. Someone with the experience and know-how did it and she was happy with them.

    I realize there is no way out of this now, and you may not even consider it, so do as much preparation as you can, including photograhing there days before if possible, and testing different approaches. Best luck!
     
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  5. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    And here is my problem.... This was taken today, Oct. 14th at 5:15 PM. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Regarding the above two photos, if you zoom in and just focus in on the couple and the officiant, then you should have a very minimal amount of sky. As was mentioned above by our fine British member and moderator, today's new ISO invariant sensors can handle a tremendous amount of Shadow recovery in post-processing when files are shot in raw mode.

    Regarding flash I think the idea that horses
    are bothered by flash quite possibly dates way back to the flashbulb era. A flashbulb is a long-duration, slow-peaking output of light that typically leaves one with a sense of retinal burning, whereas electronic flash is as brief as one ten thousandth of a second in duration, but more typically around one one thousandth of a second. It is gone like that!

    The simplest way to set your exposure would be to use a fast shutter speed and a lens aperture and an ISO that gives a good exposure for the brightest part of the scene, and then illuminate the foreground with flash and keep the flash to subject distance constant so that the flash exposure does not deviate between frames. If the flash is on camera, then keep your subject distance the same and merely zoom in with a zoom lens to get the framing you desire.

    A couple of issues should be discussed first off. If your flash is at 20 ft from the wedding scene, then there is very little fall off in light intensity across the entire width of a horizontal frame. If the flash is 50 feet away there is so little fall-off that we could call it no fall-off. The closer the flash is, the more rapidly it will fall-off in intensity with distance, as per the inverse Square law,so my suggestion is to set your flash around 15 to 20 feet away and no closer. I am advocating that you set your flash unit on a light stand off to the side of the area of the ceremony, and that you use a wireless trigger.

    The second issue is flash power needed. if we set the camera to 100 ISO we need twice as much flash power as we would if the camera were to have been set at 200 ISO. at 400 ISO we need just a little bit of flash, while at 800 or 1000 ISO, the amount of flash needed is truly negligible. Of course you need to be mindful of your ISO as it relates to the exposure for the sky. I am assuming that the Metz 50-series is a traditional flash and that you cannot do a high-speed synchronization with it. Some people will point out and rightfully so that when you do high speed sync with a flash, that cuts the flash power down, but I would counter that when you are doing fill-flash you want to be two-and-a-half to three stops under the ambient light, so the loss of flash power is in effect, negligible

    We also need to consider whether we're using flash as the main illumination, which we would be in my shooting method described above, where you set the camera to expose correctly for the highlight areas and you fill in the dark areas with flash. This is called flash as main light, or flash as key light.

    If the ceremony is in full sunlight, and you are using flash as shadow fill-in, then the amount of flash should be approximately 2.5 or or 2.7 or even 3.0 stops less than the main exposure. With a TTL flash my normal practice is to set the exposure control for the flash at -2.7 EV, which I think looks good. With a more traditional flash unit, this might just as easily be accomplished by setting the ISO level on the flash to a higher-than-actual-ISO-in-use value.

    In a fixed setting you might find that somewhere around 1/4 or 1/8 power manual flash output is adequate for fill-in light on your shadows, depending upon the iso the camera is set to, and the power and distance of your flash unit.

    Over the past half-decade or so the amount of shadow recovery that has become possible with ISO invariant sensors is incredible to me. What were once impossibly underexposed raw files are now completely and totally recoverable. We now are back to almost black and white film levels of scene dynamic range which can be handled with the best sensors of today.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
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  7. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Try metering for the shadows. Use "spot metering" on the main subject, and lock exposure for the shot.

    To maximize the sky detail, make sure your camera is set to its maximum dynamic range. If the sky is somewhat washed out, so be it, but you need to get the exposure correct on your main subject (the people).
     
  8. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Good point to consider.
    The horse is out, but a mini-pony with the ring bearer is in.
    So I dodged that bullet.
    There may be some other changes.

    Drama apparently.
     
  9. texxter

    texxter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This confused me. I was under the impression that main or key light refers to the light that illuminates the subject, i.e., the couple, which is the subject of the ceremony photos. The couple receives most of its light from the key light. If we say that flash is the key light, then the flash is what determines the value of the diffused value on the people. Other sources of illumination, like ambient, provide contrast control, by increasing the shadow value. In other words, a key flash light is not filling shadows, but determining the exposure on the people getting married. The ambient could add to that by adding illumination to the background or to the couple itself.

    On the other hand if ambient is the key light, then the exposure value is determined by ambient, and metering should be done for ambient. The flash can then be used to reduce contrast by raising the value of shadows. This would be fill flash.

    Please forgive me if I misunderstood.
     
  10. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I often use flash outdoors in HSS mode. Mostly when someone is under a cover, in the shade, or backlit. I will meter the background in manual mode which normally will take you out of the camera's sync speed range, consult you camera manual to enable HSS if available. I use the flash on the camera on and off, off typically is more appealing. I literally hand hold it and have it corded so I can flip over my shoulder as I adjust the exposure, I then grab it and hold it off to the side and higher then the lens axis. I really prefer the increase in image fidelity and color saturation that a flash provides. As far as indoors, I have no issue shooting at ISO800 and TTL mode as long as the scene is not back lit from a window. I use flash at least 50% (if not more) of the time these days, that includes film as well. Most of my film cameras don't have TTL, so I shoot them mostly in automatic (Nikon). The ones that have TTL, I still shoot them in automatic mode, mostly.
     
  11. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well one thing that is going ok is that she is not worried about uber specific detailes.

    I am now structuring the equipment used for the situation with a plan B, C and D.

    and if I know my sister well enough, plan F.

    the Blad is out because it simply wont record anything under daylight illumination w/o the Metz. The Metz blinds everyone for about a half mile.

    So I am going to shoot the Canons for this and use longer lenses. (trying to stay out of the way.)

    I am not sure as of yet but there is a possibility that there may be lighting outside. Poss. portable HEI.
    which will def. change the situation.
     
  12. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No, I think the big question is, why did you ever agree to this in the first place? But what's done is done.

    For the photos posted, I often aim the camera somewhat downward to meter the subject/scene in front of me (like the playground equipment) so the camera's meter isn't reading that sunlight coming in from the background/at a distance. I usually take 2-3 pictures to make sure I've got a decent exposure.

    I've done lots of sports and events indoors in existing light, much of it in lousy lighting where flash wasn't an option, but I can't tell you everything I've learned and practiced and done over the years in one post on a message board. Probably not any more than experienced portrait/wedding photographers can teach you everything they know how to do when faced with challenging lighting or other unexpected circumstances.

    If you may need to use the existing light I'd say go early, ahead of time for a test run if possible, and notice where the light at least looks best (avoid dark corners of a room, etc.). Outdoors I tend to frame lower if the sky/light is problematic (hazy, glare, etc.); I include more sky when it's blue with puffy white clouds.

    I guess this will be like cramming for a test in the next week and a half.
     

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