Flash Photography

Rampage

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This one is for anyone from NYC. Does anyone know of a place where they actually teach the basics and concepts on flash photography? I'm thinking of buying about 2 more flashes and piecing together a portrait studio for in house use. Any help would be greatly appreciated
 

KmH

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Contact NYC photographer Neil Van Niekerk, or just get a few of his inexpensive books.
How much can you spend on a workshop or workshop series? The good ones are not inexpensive, particularly in NYC.
Don't forget to check out posing workshops/books too.

Lighting & Design for Portrait Photography: Direction & Quality of Light
Off-Camera Flash: Techniques for Digital Photographers
On-Camera Flash Techniques for Digital Wedding and Portrait Photography

Here is an online resource you might want to check out:
Strobist: Lighting 101
 
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Thanks guys I really appreciate it

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Ok so today I was just tinkering around with the flash at home off camera and I noticed that whenever the camera would feel i needed flash the popup flash would try to popup with the radio transmitter thingy in the hotshoe and on. The transmitter and receiver thats connected to the flash were on the same channel and group. I noticed that it mainly happened when I was on auto mode. When I hit test on the transmitter on the camera the flash did fire off camera so i know its getting the signal. So why is the camera popup flash still trying to come up. I did try messing with some of the settings. I had put the flash on i-ttl and the popup still came up. I tried messing with the master and slave settings and I had no luck but at the same time I'm brand spanking new when it comes to flash so please help me out guys, lol. Thanks in advance.

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tirediron

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The camera doesn't know that a 'dumb' trigger is in the hot shoe (it will recognize TTL flashes, because they communicate with the body, but a regular radio trigger doesn't), so when you were in Auto, the camera sensed that it needed the flash and because it "knew" there was no flash in the hot shoe, it tried to pop-up the built in flash. Your best bet will be to work in Manual mode only for off-camera flash.
 
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Ooh ok gotcha. Manual will help me learn more anyways am I right? Might be abit rough at first but in the long run. Will work out. Also ordered 2 20" white umbrellas with universal swivel holders. Next up on the hunt for some stands for them

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20" is ok for small objects, but to small for portraits.

I would not use less than 32" for a head shot, and 60" for a 3/4 body shot.
For a full length shot it's best to go with a tall narrow softbox.

The bigger the light modifier the softer the light and the more diffuse shadow edges are.
I aways bought convertible umbrellas so I could use them both shoot-through and reflected with the black backing on.

Here is a decent starter kit:
Impact Digital Flash Umbrella Mount Kit
 
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20" is ok for small objects, but to small for portraits.

I would not use less than 32" for a head shot, and 60" for a 3/4 body shot.
For a full length shot it's best to go with a tall narrow softbox.

The bigger the light modifier the softer the light and the more diffuse shadow edges are.
I aways bought convertible umbrellas so I could use them both shoot-through and reflected with the black backing on.

Here is a decent starter kit:
Impact Digital Flash Umbrella Mount Kit

Good looking out. I really appreciate the support
 

Derrel

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You do NOT need to use massive light sources like 60 to 72-inch modifiers for a 3/4 body shot; this is a common, modern-era mind set, and it is utterly era-specific. A SMALL light can EASILY light a human figure: The idea that a full-length shot is best shot with a tall, narrow sodftbox? Meaning, with a modifier that has basically been around less than 10 years, only once cheap, made in China boxes like this brought the price down to $100 or so?

Sooooooo much new-age nonsense coming into the world these days via the web. If you like flat, dull, uninteresting, omni-directional, mushy, no-shadow lighting, then yeah, knock yourself out with the trendy new 60-inch and 72-inch umbrellas that have found favor with internet and YouTube people within the last few years. The idea that a guy needs a 60-inch umbrella to shoot a 50-inch tall segment of a single, human body? Only in the internet age!

It's true though: the bigger the light, the softer, the mushier, and less-interesting it is, and the bigger the light, the less shape it conveys, the less-interesting the light's fall-off is, and the bigger a pain in the A$$ it becomes, in every way....light stand needed, ceiling issues, wind-sail issues, sandbag issues, tip-over issues,portability issues, in-the-damned-way-all-the-fricking-time issues, and so on.

Here: SEE for yourself how BIG an area even a small umbrella can ****actually*** cover. I mean, literally SEE the beam spread capability of the Photoflex 30-inch diametere white-interior-black backed umbrella: across a 12-foot wide span, the light loss is a mere 0.5 EV at the other 3-foot swath on both sides; the center area to 3-feet out on both sides is a 0.25 EV loss. As J.P. Morgan says, "It's a broad source." (1:50 time to 2:30 or so).


Let's put it this way: a 12-foot-by 12 foot, evenly-lighted circle of light is cast with the light unit a measured EIGHT FEET from the wall, with a 30-inch diameter Photoflex umbrella. And yet, somehow photographing a 19-inch wide by 50-inch tall 3/4 human form requires....a 60-inch modifier? Seriously? This is utterly 2007-era talk here. This simply does NOT square with the entire history of photographic lighting history, tradition, or technical knowledge. Using oversized modifiers is merely an ***option***, a new fad...and is in NO WAY good advice to the beginner.
*****

Shoot ALL of your flash work with the camera in MANUAL exposure control mode; YOU pick a shutter speed, and YOU select the f/stop--that is the way professionals have made flash exposures since flash powder was invented, since 1929 when flashbulbs hit the scene, and since the 1950's when electronic flash came onto the scene in a semi-widespread sense: full,100% manual, photographer-determined camera and lens settings for all flash shots.
 
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I will definitely shoot flash in manual from here on out


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Rampage said:
I will definitely shoot flash in manual from here on out

Yes, shooting flash photos in totally, fully MANUAL modes it is simply the easiest way to get predictable results, and to be able to shoot a photo with a digital camera, and to then LOOK at the photo and the in-camera histogram, and to then be able to make a change in the exposure or the flash, in order to get the desired exposure.

The thing is--a flash shot may be (not always, but may be) a picture that is affected by the flash exposure AND also may be affected by daylight or ambient light exposure--all in the same frame! A slow shutter speed of say 1/15 second at f/11 with the sun going down over the ocean might make a beautiful Flash + slow-speed Ambient light picture; a shot done indoors in front of a black velvet background 10 feet behind the subject might look almost the same with the shutter at 1/15 second as it does with the shutter at 1/200 second--with a pure, detail-free, black background.

Elevating, or lowering, the camera's ISO setting, that can make say a half-power manual flash burst be either very powerful (ISO at 3,200) or fairly weak (ISO set to 100) with the lens set to f/11.

Flash photographs are affected by the ISO level, the size of the lens aperture, the power the flash is set to, the angle of spread the flash unit's light beam is set to, by flash exposure compensation that has been set by the photographer, the distance of the flash to the subject, and in some cases, the length of time the shutter is open also has an effect on a flash photograph; there are many,many different specific flash models, and ways to regulate their power output or to modify their beam-spread (zoomed, set to normal, set to wide, wide+ the 14mm diffusing panel, bounced off a surface, etc).

Because there are so many variable that determine the way a flash photograph turns out, the easiest way to get the exact, right, desired look is to take control of everything: ISO, f/stop, shutter speed, and to then use various ways of making the flash deliver just the right amount of light. As to delivering the right amount of light--that too has multiple ways of control: there is manually-selected power output levels (like Full, Half, Quarter-power, alllllllll the way down to 1/64 or 1/128 power levels); Auto-Thyristor control where you set an f/stop and the flash delivers the "right" amount of power for that f/stop value; as well as TTL, and even Balanced TTL mode.

It's an odd thing, but going to Manual camera setting mode, and manually picking ISO, shutter speed, lens f/stop, and a manual power level like say 1/2 power or 1/4 power, can actually end up being verrrrrrrrrrrry simple, and verrrrrry easy to make a tiny change or two and BOOM! You have exactly the look you want.
 

manaheim

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That's a whole hell of a lot to learn in one step, though. Talking about someone going from auto (and not realizing that's why his flash pops up) to full manual. He loses ALL the benefits of TTL at that point.

My recommendation would be to start with aperture priority, or maybe even program mode. Never Auto, though. I seriously have never seen a case where I felt auto is a good idea, and I'm a big fan of "use every tool available".
 
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It may be alot to take in but I know the basic concept about that stuff (iso, aperture, shutter). I never worked with external flash though. But i know i have a loooooong way to go as far as photography goes.

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manaheim

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Take it slow. Taking on too many things at once can be veeeeeeeeeeeeery frustrating.
 

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