little help


TPF Noob!
Jun 20, 2010
Reaction score
Vancouver, Washington
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Since ive been on this site, ive read many times people have recomended that so and so get the book "understanding exposure". So figured id give it a read, what a tremendous difference it has made, if your a newbie to photography, its a must read. Now im curious if someone can point me in the direction of good books, or videos, or self explanations on lighting. Whats the difference in uses of flashes or strobes or just lights that are constantly on. I have a d90, and bought an sb600, and a 5in1 reflector, and still cant get a good pic with it, just seems so bright and its on 1/64th. so i bounced it off the reflector, and it was a huge shadow, so shot it through the white 1 and same thing. how far back should the flash be? should i get an umbrella or softbox? whats best for indoor vs. outdoor? I dont expect anyone to answer all these or make me completly understand thats why im asking for a book or an explain all site for beginners or something. Or feel free to just throw in any pointers you mite have. I appreciate any and all the help.
If it is so bright then just increase your shutter speed. If you are already maxed out (due to the flash.. probably 1/200 sec) then just decrease your aperture.
Actually, as far as I know, you want an aperture somewhere in the f/8 - f/11 range for the most part. It depends on focal length and what look you're going for.

If you shoot "wide open" (whatever the maximum aperture--smallest number--is for your lens) you will have a very shallow depth of field (what's in focus), so your subject's hair, ears, etc. may be out of focus.

A lot of aperture is artistic.
Light: Science and Magic will help answer your questions.
As will Strobist: Lighting 101

With flash being so brief, only the aperture controls the exposure of the illuminated subjects, and the shutter controls the ambient light exposure. You have to be a bit more creative to change the depth of field, so use the focal length or distance between subject and background to help.

If you're using manual flash and not using TTL, I would suggest starting with the shutter set to the maximum flash sync speed for your body (1/200?) and then setting the flash power and aperture for a correct subject exposure. You can then work from there on balancing the flash with ambient light by adjusting the shutter speed and flash power / distance to subject . The "huge shadow" might also have been due to shutter speed exceeding the maximum sync speed.

Does the SB600 have a zoom control? That will affect the width of the beam.

If you're really keen, read up on the "inverse square law" to determine light fall-off.
Right on, thanks for the help, the light and science book seems a little much talking about physics and math and all but ill give it a go, and the strobist 101 sight is on the money, im digging that already.

Most reactions