Flash reflection showing up in photos...Pic Included

Discussion in 'Sony Cameras' started by TheBot, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. TheBot

    TheBot TPF Noob!

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    When shooting interiors, I use a Sigma 610 DG ST Flash unit. TTL Mode. I have the unit pointing at the ceiling, not using the wide diffuser/bounce card(Correct word?). But I'm getting flash reflection off things, IE:cabinets, and I'd like to not get that reflection. 1-It's adding time to my editing 2-It doesn't look professional. I do have a flash dome, but I haven't used it enough to be efficient with it or know when to use it. Maybe this is the time?

    Any tips in how to remove it while shooting? I'm 5'6", shooting eye-level or middle chest level. Thanks in advance!

    [​IMG]
    DSC01874 by Bradley J Ather III, on Flickr


     
  2. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    Please read : Light Science and Magic..... it will explain angles of reflectivity for you!

    Get the flash off camera... and diffuse it..... looks like it bounced off the ceiling on to the cabinets.... back into your lens. Think of shooting pool.. and the light is your ball.. and your lens is the pocket you don't want the ball to go in....
     
  3. kassad

    kassad TPF Noob!

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    Good advice from cgipson1.

    Is that Sigma flash compatible with the a350 wireless tll mode? If it is that makes getting it off camera that much easier. At shutter speeds up to 1/160th Second the pop up will contribute to the exposure above that speed it will go into HSS mode and the pop up will only trigger the off camera flash.

    If the sigma flash isn't compatible with the wireless mode try altering the angle of the bounce try walls or even behind you.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Slightly off-topic, but something that will add greatly to the polished appearance of your images is correctly dealing with the ambient light, which for interior shots is essential. Gel your strobes to match the ambient and reduce the output so that the under-cabinet lighting, which currently looks like an orange glow on the backsplash tiles, clearly illuminates the counter surface, and don't forget to include a white-balance target so that you can correctly adjust the final colours.
     
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  5. TheBot

    TheBot TPF Noob!

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    I will check with Sigma to see if its compatible. I shoot real estate as a side job at a real estate company. I try not to take too long to shoot because I'm off the clock at my real job. If I had a flash to move around I may be adding 30min to an hour onto my 1.5hr shoot already. But maybe I can figure out an efficient way. If I have the external flash setup, where would I be placing it to avoid the reflection? Should I try to diffuse it more(Flash attachment like a softbox?) before going wireless?

    tirediron - Thank you for the tips! I totally appreciate them because I want to give my photos a better look. While I have tried to shoot w/o the flash before, I found it was difficult to use white balance and try to figure out what lights were in the house and still keep my time to shoot down.(This kind of goes w/ how much I charge because if I take too long, I'm losing money. While I could increase my prices, I will lose people who want me to shoot their homes.) I also found I got a lot of yellow most of the time. Tungsten bulbs? I suppose I need to practice at home since I have both tungsten and fluorescent bulbs in place already. Currently I just use my camera and flash, no other light units. I don't get all day to shoot so I have to make due with what I have and the time I have available.

    I knew I would find help here. This is great, glad I made an account. Anymore tips would be appreciated. Especially from anyone who shoots real estate. I've shot 19 houses and counting over a year span so far and I think I've done pretty good since the first one.
     
  6. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    use a filter on your flash to match it to existing lighting... that way you can correct WB in post and have it all the same. That is what TiredIron was getting at.

    using a single light on a lightstand should not increase your shoot times at all... on how to shoot it, it will vary. Read the book! It will help! :)
     
  7. TheBot

    TheBot TPF Noob!

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    FA-HS1AM under Sigma Flash Unit
    +
    PocketWizard Plus II on Camera hotshoe
    =Remote flash?
     
  8. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    point the flash to the wall at 4 o'clock or 8 o'clock from you. What you see is the reflection of the flash bouncing from the ceiling above/behind you. So just make sure you cant see where the flash is bounced.
     
  9. TheBot

    TheBot TPF Noob!

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    Should I be using a flash dome to help fill the light in the room?

    Thanks for the tip Schwettylens! I'll go home tonight and try this out.
     
  10. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No, dont use any modifier. Just pretend the cabinet is a mirror. Point the flash head somewhere outside the view of the mirror.


    OR, dont bother using flash. Use low ISO on a tripod. It may need to be a really low shutter but you are on a tripod.
     
  11. fjrabon

    fjrabon Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I shoot real estate as well. getting the flash units placed correctly is probably the only thing that can be difficult (other than knowing what the agents expect as far as types of shots, but you get used to that really quickly).

    Few of things I've found:

    1) Shoot your flash on manual, and whatever setting you think is right, you probably want to go down one step on your flash from that. I can count on one hand the number of times I thought "man, my flash wasn't bright enough for this shot."

    2) A lot of times HDR, or even just shooting exposure bracketing and using a layer mask takes care of it. On particularly difficult to light rooms, (oddly shaped, large contrast in tones of walls, etc) I'll usually shoot one with the flash pretty bright, one with the flash powered way down, and one with no flash. Then blend these in using a layer mask brush in photoshop (I usually take the two flashed images, blend those together, and then save that image, and blend in the unflashed images to get out those last few unsightly areas). Now this can be a bit time consuming,especially as you learn the technique at first. So I don't do this on all my shots, but usually only the nicest properties. It also depends on how you get paid. I get paid a bit more for higher end properties with more rooms, so I feel a bit of a need to do a better job on those. Which more often than not means more time in post and more time setting up lights (taking multiple shots takes just a matter of minutes total, but setting up multiple shots can easily add 30 minutes to your shoot, especially on a large property.

    3) Gotta get your flash off camera and bounce it. With a small softbox (I usually think even the tiniest softboxes work better than the plastic dome covers for real estate work). I also usually try to bounce off the most matte surfaces I can find. Those cabinets seem really reflective, you'd never want your flash point at them, or if you had to, you'd want the flash pointing at them at a very oblique angle.

    4) Turn on every light you can find in the house. THe one caveat being if they have different types of lights (ie some tungsten, some (crap, can't think of the blue tinted one)). Usually my agents are super picky about making sure all of the light bulbs give off the same light (makes a huge difference when showing the house to have consistent lighting, they're nazis about this, but some agents aren't). You want to use your flash only when you have to, and when you have to, you want it to make up as little of the lighting equation as possible.

    5) Clamps that you can attach your flash to are all kinds of awesome. I believe they are called justin clamps, though when looking for them you find them go by a variety of names. They're essentially just little clamshell clamps with a stud on one side that you can attach your pocket wizard receiver and flash. You want your flash to come down on the image as much as possible, in most situations. If you can find something to clamp onto up high, you get a lot more control of your flash. If you have to flash from down low, you're stuck bouncing it in a very limited number of ways. On one recent shoot, I was able to clamp my light about a foot away from a corner that was just out of view. I then bounced the light right into that corner and got this perfectly awesome spread of light.

    6) flash dropoff enhances a sense of depth. When I first started, I tended to want to light everything so perfectly even. However, one of the agents showed me a picture they saw in a competitor's site, and was like "how can we get that shot where the den just looks massive. What i realized was missing was that while I was shooting a really wide angle, the perfectly even lit interiors were sort of compressing things back to 'normal'. If you want to show a huge sense of depth, try letting the lighting fall off in the far ends of the picture. In some ways it's almost a bit dishonest, because when you combine it with a wide angle lens, you can make a mid sized room look cavernous. But my job is to give the agents pictures that get people to actually view the house, so it is what it is.

    7) Gels are invaluable as well. If the natural light is very tinted blue or yellow, a light gel on your softbox or flash allows you to more easily correct it in post. You can run into all sorts of problems if you have two different tints of light, because as you fix one, the other gets worse. If you get this wrong on location, you'll probably need to do layer masks with different white balance corrections in post, which is A) really time consuming to get right and B) even when you get it right, it still looks off.

    edit: Also, you gotta get those dish towels off the appliances. Totally detracting. And I'd probably clone out the plug on the lamp, if not flat out crop it out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  12. TheBot

    TheBot TPF Noob!

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    I have taken a bunch of your tips and shot a 6,000+ sq ft home today using a lot of natural light, and at times w/ some flash and slow shutter speeds. I'm about to look at the results but I wanted to say thanks for the tips. I appreciate them greatly.

    I practiced last night turning the flash to 8 oclock or 4 oclock, or directly behind me and it worked great!!
     

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