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Portable lightning.

gerardo2068

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Hello,

I was shooting a couple of people yesterday in a park, there were many trees in the background that I think looked very good. It was around 4pm in the afternoon. The sunlight was coming from behind the persons. They were standing 10-15 ft. away because I wanted to use the trees as some kind of frame or arc around them.

I was not completely satisfied with the result in that particular set because I just have a SB-400 on camera. I think the persons were to far away for this flash to reach them.

I think I could have shoot without flash, expose for the persons and blow out the background, But my intentions were to keep the background at the right exposure because I like the way the trees look and I think it would make the mood I was looking for.

I've been thinking on getting an SB-900 or SB-910 and place on a stand with an white umbrella closer to the person and shoot wirelessly the flash.

I saw some photographer doing this, I didn't see his photos so I don't know about the results.

What do you think about this situation, about my idea with the SB-900 or what do you think it would be better for situations were the person it's too far for the speed-light to work right but I still want to have the background expose right?

Any advice on portable lightning would be greatly appreciate. I've been thinking about upgrading my SB-400 for a while now. But I have no knowledge on wireless lightning.

Thanks you very much in advance.
 
I can't even begin to judge where you went wrong without seeing an image.
My guess would be that your flash was in TTL mode and your camera told it you didn't need much power because of all of the light coming from your background.
At 15 feet your flash reaches just fine, but if it is in TTL mode your camera is seeing all of that light coming in and thinking that it doesn't need much if any flash. You either need to manually set your flash or use a + exposure compensation
 
I will have to check, but i'm pretty sure I set it to manual and it was at 1/1
 
For the price of one sb900, you can get a whole wireless set up. What camera are you using ? For you know if the pop up can be used in commander mode? I would get some sb24's or 28's. The build quality is good and they recycle about 3 seconds faster than the vivitar 285hv's. Plus they have pc ports and can be adjusted to 1/32 power ( sb 24) and 1/64( sb 28 ). I have them both as well as the 285hv's. They are good bang for your buck. I would look at the cactus v4 or v5's. Check out KEH camera. I've never had any problems with them. You can get three flashes and a wireless set up for under 400 bucks.
 
I'm on mobile right now, the photo is f4.5 1/500 200 iso 35mm (DX) I try to get the flash info, but in Lightroom it just says it Did Fire, and I don't know how to check the metadata in Photoshop, if somebody could tell me how I can see more metadata about the flash it would be great.

I have a D300s (I'm no pro, but when I was looking for a camera I found a deal I could not pass), a SB-400 and 35mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4 and 18-105mm that came with a D90. I've had the camera since 2010 but in the last couple month its when I have started to actually do some reading and actual practicing (lot of work related stuff going on)

Thanks Mach0 I will save this thread and do some research on that.
 
Your problem is 1/500. You can't use flash and have it sync at 1/500 unless you are using rear curtain or high speed sync-which I believe the SB400 won't allow.
I believe your sync speed is 1/250. You can shoot slower than that, but not higher.
 
gerardo2068 said:
I'm on mobile right now, the photo is f4.5 1/500 200 iso 35mm (DX) I try to get the flash info, but in Lightroom it just says it Did Fire, and I don't know how to check the metadata in Photoshop, if somebody could tell me how I can see more metadata about the flash it would be great.

I have a D300s (I'm no pro, but when I was looking for a camera I found a deal I could not pass), a SB-400 and 35mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4 and 18-105mm that came with a D90. I've had the camera since 2010 but in the last couple month its when I have started to actually do some reading and actual practicing (lot of work related stuff going on)

Thanks Mach0 I will save this thread and do some research on that.

You can get sb600s to fire with cls. I'd still go the other route and go with a wireless trigger set up for range. Or if you want to have fun with high speed sync, you can get pocket wizards ( cost money though lol) or if you want to go a cheaper route and get the cybersyncs but you will need at least an sb800 on camera.
 
SB-400 does allow FP sync (high speed) but now that you mention it, I think the output power is reduce when is set to FP sync (not sure how much though)

If this is the case, then I should start thinking about a wireless set up?

Thanks.
 
The sb400 is pretty under powered. I prob wouldn't use it.
 
You can get sb600s to fire with cls. I'd still go the other route and go with a wireless trigger set up for range. Or if you want to have fun with high speed sync, you can get pocket wizards ( cost money though lol) or if you want to go a cheaper route and get the cybersyncs but you will need at least an sb800 on camera.

Thanks I will have to research all this, I have a basic understanding of the CLS stuff but I will have to read more on all those choices. It's kind of overwhelming all the choices out there but I appreciated the name and brands you post so I can go and read up on all those that you said. Thanks!
 
gerardo2068 said:
Thanks I will have to research all this, I have a basic understanding of the CLS stuff but I will have to read more on all those choices. It's kind of overwhelming all the choices out there but I appreciated the name and brands you post so I can go and read up on all those that you said. Thanks!

I like the idea of manual powered flashes. I would only use the auto fp with a wireless system to be able to use a full powered flash off camera. But if you are shooting later in the day, you don't really need it.
 
OP. Start here. Seriously. You mind will be blown.

Strobist: Lighting 101

And don't buy multiple expensive Nikon flashes unless you either need wireless TTL or want some other feature that you can't achieve with a cheaper manual flash off camera.
 
Your problem is 1/500. You can't use flash and have it sync at 1/500 unless you are using rear curtain or high speed sync-which I believe the SB400 won't allow.
I believe your sync speed is 1/250. You can shoot slower than that, but not higher.

Rear curtain won't make the camera's x sync higher. You can cheat an x sync by a few shutter speed steps, but not much. If you're using it for fill or you can sacrifice some frame area, frame your subject to where the black bar won't affect them and shoot. Either crop or have the portion of the frame not exposed by the flash properly exposed by ambient.
 
Village Idiot said:
OP. Start here. Seriously. You mind will be blown.

Strobist: Lighting 101

And don't buy multiple expensive Nikon flashes unless you either need wireless TTL or want some other feature that you can't achieve with a cheaper manual flash off camera.

Thank you very much. I will read this tonight
 
MLeeK said:
Your problem is 1/500. You can't use flash and have it sync at 1/500 unless you are using rear curtain or high speed sync-which I believe the SB400 won't allow.
I believe your sync speed is 1/250. You can shoot slower than that, but not higher.

Sorry you were right. By mistake I thought I had the SB400 but it's the SB600 the one I have.
 

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