Eliminating under eye shadows using flash

cooldude

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I can do it in manual, but using TTL, how do you eliminate under eye shadows. I have a Yongnuo 568 and a 60D.
 

Buckster

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I can do it in manual, but using TTL, how do you eliminate under eye shadows. I have a Yongnuo 568 and a 60D.
Think about what the actual difference is. Are your manual settings much brighter than what TTL gives you? You should be able to tell from how they look before you start post processing them. If the manual settings produce brighter photos out of the camera than the TTL ones do, but they're still acceptable (not overexposed), then just dial your flash to TTL + the amount that works to get you back to the brightness levels you'd set with manual.

The bottom line is: You have to light shadow areas to defeat the shadows in them. So start nudging up the power as described above, if manual settings get you there.

Also worth discussing: Are you using any light modifiers to make the source larger, like umbrellas, softboxes, etc? That certainly works best to fill in shadows. Or you can get the light lower, or tilt the model's head up, or use a reflector from below. One trick that works pretty well is to place a reflector on the floor and point a second light down at it so that it bounces back up toward the model - just keep it toned down enough to provide the fill you want, not horror lighting, and far enough from the model that it's not lighting the heck out of their lower half in order to provide a fill to the shadows.
 

KmH

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The larger light modifiers get, the more the light 'wraps' around edges.
Put another way, shadow edges become softer and more diffuse as light source apparent size is increased.

Light angle and apparent size determine where shadows fall, and how sharp or soft the shadow edges are.
Light Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting

LumiQuest® Photographic Accessories | How Light Modifiers Work
Comparing Light Modifiers: Part I « The Lighting Academy
Light Modifiers-AdoramaTV from Adorama Learning Center
 
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TCampbell

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Are you "bouncing" your flash? Commonly, if you bounce the flash and also if your flash is close to your subject then the light from the ceiling will create these shadows. You can fill them in by feathering some light.

1) If your flash doesn't have a "bounce card" built-in (many flashes have a white plastic card that slides up) then you can attach a white card to the top of the flash. Even a white 3x5 index card strapped on with a rubber band will do the trick. This kicks some light forward toward the subject's face even though most light goes up and bounces off the ceiling. I think the Yongnuo 568 has a slide-up slide bounce-card / catch-light-card.

2) You can slightly tilt the flash-head forward rather than pointing it straight up. This "feathers" some of the light forward to fill in those shadows.

If you're farther away when bouncing then the light reflecting off the ceiling is far enough forward of your subject that the shadows usually aren't bad.

There are lots of light modifiers designed to feather some of the light forward... in fact most of the diffuser caps that go on the top of a speedlite are designed to do this.
 

Gitarzan

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For bounce; I cut a small piece of a Kodak grey card to fit the flash. Attach it with a rubber band, white side forward. Slide up when needed.

Its heavy duty, lasts forever, and the back is a grey card, just in case you'd like to use one.
 
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cooldude

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Thanks for the great responses. All of my photos were turning out under exposed. I guess I just need to push the +/- button to get my exposure correct. I just assumed that in ttl, it would automatically expose the subject correctly, but apparently not.
 

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TTL is notoriously inconsistent.

Manual flash control offers more consistent results because the human, not the camera/flash unit program, is making the decisions.
 

Buckster

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That's perfect for studio work or other work where the photographer can take the time necessary to work that out from shot to shot. For modern photographers, such non-time-constraining situations allow to simply chimp their way to a good exposure in a couple of shots.

Otherwise, not so much, with probably the same or worse failure rate as modern TTL. As an example, that gets especially tricky in run-and-gun situations where each shot counts and there's no time to do a lengthy setup and calculations for each one, where everything can be changing pretty rapidly, from camera distance to subject, to flash(es) distance to subject, to lens focal length, to aperture requirements, to shutter speeds, to backgrounds, and so on. The photographer shooting flash in manual in such situations needs to be able to take all of that into account when setting their flash manually for each shot, on the fly, in order to get "perfect" exposure for each shot. Some few can do that consistently. Most can't.

By contrast, modern TTL does those calculations in a fraction of a heartbeat, measures the actual light before taking the shot, again, in that same fraction of a heartbeat, takes it's educated guess and, 99.9% of the time gets it right. At the very least, it gets you in the ballpark so that IF it's not exposed to 100% satisfaction, it can at least be saved in post processing with a slight exposure adjustment.

Like anything else, you need to learn how to work TTL properly to take best advantage of it. It's not just "any settings, point and shoot, and it magically works perfectly 100% of the time".

Check this out:

 
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cynicaster

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Thanks for the great responses. All of my photos were turning out under exposed. I guess I just need to push the +/- button to get my exposure correct. I just assumed that in ttl, it would automatically expose the subject correctly, but apparently not.

The most perfect TTL in the world can’t properly expose a photo if a flash is underpowered for the situation. It sounds like your flash might not be powerful enough for the shots you’re trying to take and the settings you’re using.

When bouncing, you can hit the limits of your flash surprisingly quickly, because the light has to travel all the way to the ceiling/wall/whatever, at which point it is reflected back with less than 100% efficiency, and then has to travel all the way to the subject. So, a situation where the subject is standing, say, 10 feet in front of you may require that the light from the flash travel several times that far to get there. This is made worse when you’re trying to get more DoF with smaller apertures. Unfortunately, most of the time, if moving to more “flash friendly” environs is not an option, your only play is to crank the ISO.

The photographer shooting flash in manual in such situations needs to be able to take all of that into account when setting their flash manually for each shot, on the fly, in order to get "perfect" exposure for each shot. Some few can do that consistently. Most can't.

Exactly what I was going to say. TTL flash metering is just a better recommendation than full manual in certain situations. Flash photography, with all of its additional complexities, can be hard enough for a typical hobbyist to grasp even if the camera is setting the flash power automatically; the last thing they need is to be fumbling with power settings on a shot-by-shot basis and ruining good photo-ops.

Don’t get me wrong, I think manual flash should be learned if one wishes to maximize their potential, but only so that it may be applied in situations where it’s the right answer.
 

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