Most common PP for portraits?

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stsinner

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I am just wondering, did your Nikon flash fire the pre-flash?
The optical slaves may fire with the pre-flash.

The manual says that the SB600 fires "imperceptible pre-flashes" to determine the power output required, but I think the Quantarays fired with the main flash.
 

NateWagner

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I just don't get it.
How is it you are shooting at 1/15, ISO 800 and aperture of f5.6, and you're using flash and you're STILL not getting enough light?
Crazy.

well, I don't think it's that there isn't enough light. More, I think the main problem is that he(?) is using too much ambient light, which results in the slow shutter speeds and thus the lighting being off.

With the lighting through the umbrella I would think it would be a better idea to primarily use the flash and as little ambient light as possible. Thus you would be looking at more of a f/11-f/16 with a 250 shutter speed, and an ISO of 100. In the original posts the flash was blowing out the details because a. it was over exposed, and B. the ISO was way too high.

If you (ststinner) could try some shots around the area I was suggesting I would be really curious how they would turn out.
 
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Nate, I will try those settings and provide the results. Thanks. I'm beginning to think that the Quantaray's are simply living up to the old adage-You get what you pay for....
 

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The manual says that the SB600 fires "imperceptible pre-flashes" to determine the power output required, but I think the Quantarays fired with the main flash.


If the SB600 fires the pre flash, then it could be the problem.

The Quantaray MS-1 will fire with the pre-flash. And the other model (found from Amazon) QMS-D1 works better with pre-flash setup


Quote from Amazon for the QNS-D1 model:

"S: The QMS-D1 will be activated instantly when it detects a flash light which could be a pre-flash from the camera's built-in flash or external flash. ( The activation at this setting is exactly the same as that of the QMS-1 slave flash unit (53-166-0769)) . This slave setting is to be selected for traditional cameras or flash units that do not fire any pre-flash.

S1:
At this setting, the QMS-D1 can detect the pre-flash light of the digital camera's built-in flash or external flash unit with single pre-flash function and delays the activation and synchronizes with the actual main flash light emitted after the pre-flash."



So you may want to deactivate the pre-flash and see if that make a difference.
 

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One thing I have no idea about is flash sync.. I'll have to go searching for a blurb about that in layman's terms.. I did notice that when I have my flash turned on in Manual mode and scroll the wheel, I can select red-eye correction or "rear." What does Rear do?

Here you go...this can explain it better than I can.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/syncspeed.htm
 

Dao

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Check out the reviews in Amazon

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/MS-1-Wireless-Flash-Booster-Slave/dp/B00009V38V[/ame]

You will find some reviewers talked about the pre-flash issue.
 
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So, since I seem to have white balance issues constantly, is it a photographic crime to use Auto White Balance while in Manual?
 

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So, since I seem to have white balance issues constantly, is it a photographic crime to use Auto White Balance while in Manual?

Well firstly, shooting for faster shutter speeds will give more favor to the clean white light of your flash.

Secondly, shooting in RAW mode will give you the flexibility to fix white balance more easily in your computer and also compensate for shortcomings in exposure. Doing this with a JPEG ends up losing tonal range (something you can ill afford in digital), whereas with RAW you get to preserve the quality of the image while adjusting the exposure and white balance.
 
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Well firstly, shooting for faster shutter speeds will give more favor to the clean white light of your flash.

Secondly, shooting in RAW mode will give you the flexibility to fix white balance more easily in your computer and also compensate for shortcomings in exposure. Doing this with a JPEG ends up losing tonal range (something you can ill afford in digital), whereas with RAW you get to preserve the quality of the image while adjusting the exposure and white balance.

I'm shooting everything in RAW as of yesterday, unless I go somewhere where 274 pictures isn't enough, then I'll switch to JPEG, where I can save 3.7 thousand on my 2 gig card.

The reason you're seeing them in JPEG is because nothing recognizes .NEF, or Nikon format, so I convert them prior to uploading them to Photobucket.. I have all the RAW files, but they're >5 Meg in size.
 

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I look at it this way: having a JPEG out of the camera is like having a print. You can scan a print into your computer and retouch it but you've got a limited amount of image data to work with so playing with brightness, contrast, color saturation, etc is going to push values in one area while pulling them in another.

But having a RAW file is like having a negative to work with, where you have MUCH more image data to work with, far more than you can display in the final print (or on-screen image). You can choose how to express those bits in a way that isn't necessarily lossy in any way.

So it's a good thing that you're shooting in RAW.

Next thing to do is to get the exposures nailed down more solidly. Faster shutter speeds and lower ISO's. This may require more light. I'm a bit confused by what your actual light setup is.and whether or not you're being hoisted by your own petard (pre-flash triggering the optical slave before the shutter release).
 
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I think I finally got some idea... I was all the way up at 1/500 on shutter speed, f/18 on aperture, and I had the SB600 mounted and pointed straight up at 1/64 power. Two umbrellas with flashes shooting through. It's getting closer to good lighting.. My poor daughter is going to go blind from the flashes before I get good...

Here's the setup:

12_08_2008_5306.jpg


And here's the results:

12_08_2008_5305.jpg


12_08_2008_5310.jpg


BTW, I put the white balance on Auto. Please let me know what you think of these with regard to lighting and exposure. No PP was done, but they were converted from RAW to JPEG using Nikon ViewNX. Should I go to a step slower shutter speed, or a lower aperture to brighten them up for portraits? I'm thinking they may seem a little underexposed, but the white balance looks much better IMHO. Thanks.
 

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These look pretty good! What ISO were you using for this latest set? If you're still on ISO 800, I'd work towards getting down to ISO 100 or 200 tops. That might mean opening aperture up a bit or jacking up the flashes some.
 
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These look pretty good! What ISO were you using for this latest set? If you're still on ISO 800, I'd work towards getting down to ISO 100 or 200 tops. That might mean opening aperture up a bit or jacking up the flashes some.

Well, you just exposed the problem and the one thing I didn't pay attention to...ISO was at 1600, which means they'll be noisy if I try to brighten them up... Dang it!! I'm going to try again.. I thought f/18 seems a little unrealistic.

Let me go try again. Remember, I can't just the flashes up, because they have only an on/off switch due to only costing $15 each.. And the lower limit of my camera is ISO 200. Let me go play some more..
 

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OK here is something to try.

Set your camera for ISO 200, f/8, 1/125. Don't change any of the exposure settings on the camera after this! Now just adjust your flash output up or down as needed, maybe move the umbrellas closer or further away, until you get a good exposure.
 
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There we go-ISO 200, Shutter speed 1/320 and f/8. That seems more realistic, right?

12_08_2008_5317.jpg


12_08_2008_5318.jpg


Now I need to figure out what the heck metering is, because the background we will use for portraits won't be that ugly couch, and people are always talking about what my camera is, "metering off of.." If we use a dark or black background, it will throw everything off, right?
 

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