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accord2003
09-04-2007, 12:11 PM
Hello

I have lurking for awhile. I have decided to try out the SLR world. I purchased an used D70s to start. All I have a 50mm F1.8. It seems to be the lens to start from what I gather here.

I do have on question. I am hoping for some advice. I am going to be in a kid birthday party soon. It is in a big hall. I figured I will probably need a flash. I am going to purchase a SB600. I have read using a bounce flash will give better lighting. That said, what happens if the hall is say "20 feet" high. Do I need to change any settings or a bounce flash will not work in this case.

I know this is probably a noob question but I am slowly learning my way through .

p.s. if anyone has some experience in this type of situation, please give.

thanks to all.

Paradox
09-04-2007, 12:56 PM
Well I'm new to flash, but from what I know if the roof is 20 feet heigh, the light has to travel 40 feet to go there and back to your subject. Taking into account absorption and reflection from surfaces, unless you have an incredibly powerful flash, no the light won't make any difference.

erichlund
09-04-2007, 01:05 PM
Your real problem will be having enough power. Flash effectiveness drops dramatically with increased range from your subject. When you increase that range by bouncing the flash off the ceiling (think about it, it will come to you), you may reach a point where the flash is firing at full power and it's still not enough. With a very high ceiling, you may want to consider pointing the flash at a close wall, or directly at your subject using a diffuser. The SB-800 comes with a diffuser, but you would have to purchase one separately with the SB-600. There are several types, and you should discuss this more with your dealer.

Another thing to consider when bouncing flash is the material the light is being bounced off. You know those pebbly, spray on ceilings that are supposed to diffuse sound. Well, guess what? They also diffuse light, rather dramatically. I couldn't understand why my shots bounced off an 8ft ceiling were all severely underexposed, but direct flash was just fine. Then I actually looked at the ceiling and went, "Oh...yeah". This was accompanied by the navigator head slap (an inside joke, older pilots will understand ;) ).

Another option would be to mount the flash on a tripod, relatively close to your subject (but out of view). Face it away from your subject and use a reflector to bounce the light back on your subject. Of course, this may involve more equipment than you have or want to deal with. But it's always good to understand your options. Your D70 supports the creative lighting system and advanced wireless lighting, and you can use the on board flash for direct lighting in support of this solution.

Rooz
09-04-2007, 02:44 PM
Hello

I have lurking for awhile. I have decided to try out the SLR world. I purchased an used D70s to start. All I have a 50mm F1.8. It seems to be the lens to start from what I gather here.

I do have on question. I am hoping for some advice. I am going to be in a kid birthday party soon. It is in a big hall. I figured I will probably need a flash. I am going to purchase a SB600. I have read using a bounce flash will give better lighting. That said, what happens if the hall is say "20 feet" high. Do I need to change any settings or a bounce flash will not work in this case.

I know this is probably a noob question but I am slowly learning my way through .

p.s. if anyone has some experience in this type of situation, please give.

thanks to all.

these were taken in a church with ceiling higher than 20ft. sb600 bounced, but also had a small white business card attached to the back of the flash head with an elastic band to bounce some light directly on the subject aswell, (a technqiue from my old fil days !). just moe the business card up and down the head if you need to in order to deflect more or less light directly onto your subject. in this case i had to use iso400 to improve the light. shots @ f5.6.

the advantage with the sb800 is that it has a built in flash card and has a heck of alot more power so you may not even need it.

w/regard to settings. take some test shots in the hall at the very start and adjust your shutter speed, aperture and iso, from there.

accord2003
09-05-2007, 02:10 PM
Thank very much for those who replied.

Rooz. I like the tip you mentioned. I have a few weeks left. I am going to test it.

thanks again

Hopefully I will be able post some good pics.

tim11
09-05-2007, 05:33 PM
these were taken in a church with ceiling higher than 20ft. sb600 bounced, but also had a small white business card attached to the back of the flash head with an elastic band to bounce some light directly on the subject aswell, .......
I doubt if you would have enough light bouncing off the 20ft ceiling. Looking at the photo I'd say most of the light bounced of the card - see the angle of the shadow of the cross on the priest's face.

swgod98
09-06-2007, 10:01 AM
I've found it's often best to bounce off a wall behind or to the side. Ideally, behind to get the best front light. But, even to the side because you'll probably get a nice side lit image.

Here's an example, flash bounced off the side wall to my left. Keep in mind this was a relatively small room, but these flashes can handle a decently sized room. Just keep your subjects close...and the wall closer :)

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1174/766100226_fdd24bf977.jpg

Not the greatest example to show there is no flash shadow, but it pretty much eliminates flash shadows.

Anyways...short of having a wall/ceiling close by, you'd need some sort of serious flash modifier. There is a technique to building a bounce card that helps diffuse light even better. This guy explains it on his site (www.abetterbouncecard.com). Look at the feather-light product. It's something you can do at home and it seems to work pretty well.

tcadwall
09-06-2007, 12:48 PM
No offense to the posters... but I am wondering how many have shot with the SB600. Rooz has, and with a very high ceiling and minor modifications attained very acceptable results.

Someday I may add an SB-800, but even after I do, I will still be happy that I have the SB-600.

Rooz had the right idea, a simple card to reflect light directly onto the subject, and a straight up or off side wall bounce to minimize background shadows. textbook. The SB-600 is a great tool. To suggest that it can't accomplish the task - makes me wonder if one has tried it - at least correctly.

I apologize but I may have tired of some of these same discussions that seem to repeat themselves. I have done some suprising things with the SB-600, and I am glad that I chose to save the money and go with it over the SB-800. The differences are really not as much as some claim.

Besides, bounce is not the only way to make this happen. Diffusion... A kleenex taped in front of the direct flash might do the trick if you don't have the time to get a chef's hat for it. But really Rooz's trick is normally sufficient unless you are going for a soft-ish glamour shot look.

achuang
09-06-2007, 05:07 PM
No offense to the posters... but I am wondering how many have shot with the SB600. Rooz has, and with a very high ceiling and minor modifications attained very acceptable results.

Someday I may add an SB-800, but even after I do, I will still be happy that I have the SB-600.

Rooz had the right idea, a simple card to reflect light directly onto the subject, and a straight up or off side wall bounce to minimize background shadows. textbook. The SB-600 is a great tool. To suggest that it can't accomplish the task - makes me wonder if one has tried it - at least correctly.

I apologize but I may have tired of some of these same discussions that seem to repeat themselves. I have done some suprising things with the SB-600, and I am glad that I chose to save the money and go with it over the SB-800. The differences are really not as much as some claim.

Besides, bounce is not the only way to make this happen. Diffusion... A kleenex taped in front of the direct flash might do the trick if you don't have the time to get a chef's hat for it. But really Rooz's trick is normally sufficient unless you are going for a soft-ish glamour shot look.

I agree Tcad, I've shot a wedding in a church with a ceiling much higher than 20ft and I was able to bounce the flash off the ceiling. The walls were brown so bouncing off them wasn't going to work. Using ISO 800 allowed me to get enough light after bouncing off the ceiling. This was a very dark church.

swgod98
09-06-2007, 05:24 PM
Good point achuang, I would not recommend using ISO100 indoors. Even with a 1.4 lens (unless it's really bright!). Typically, ISO 200-400 is recommended, sometimes even 800, depending on the lighting conditions, lens aperture, and flash power.

20ft isn't "THAT" high...though it is. Ok, that doesn't make sense. Point being, I think the SB-600 would do fine...however, that is under the assumption that ISO is above 100 (probably 200 to 400, maybe 800), and a good fstop is available (something at or better yet below, 2.8).

At these apertures and ISO values, less flash is needed and hence, less flash shadows occur (at least, they are not as harsh). Not to mention, your flash range (so to speak) is increased, meaning a brighter image overall.

Not too long ago, my friend (20D and his 50mm 1.8) took his little girl to some chuck-e-cheese type of place. He came back with some great pictures. No flash was used (he's one of those anti-flash obsessivists, lol)!! He came back with some really good pictures, too.

I think the SB-600 w/ an F1.8 lens will do just fine in just about any indoor situation. Just keep track of that ISO. Maybe set it to 200 and if things don't quite look right, up it to 400...maybe 800 if required.

And if all else fails, I love the recommendation of tilting the flash forward and powering it through some toilet paper taped in front of the flash :D I'd love to see that one at a wedding someday!!! :eek:

Rooz
09-06-2007, 06:15 PM
there's nothing to take my word for. its clearly a church and the height can be seen. another thing to add here is that the ceiling is not white, it is painted in dark colours the same way the walls are. the idea behind the bounce is as tc mentioned, to minimise any shadows. in the first shot especially you can see that the bounce card wasn't providing all the light because there are still shadows in the ripples of the black jacket which would not have been evident with a a direct flash. also note the even skin tones and lack of hot spots on the faces.

the idea of the card is to reflect some light back onto the subject but only enuf to illuminate them. the iso400 does the rest. if the ceilings were even higher, you just up the iso a tad more. a directflash is too harsh in this circumstance...even with diffuser.

that kind of technique has been around for decades. i used to use the same method on my EOS camera like 10 years ago with flashes much less powerful and advanced. the only reason i didn;t use the sb800 was becasue i didn;t have one at that stage but the 600 did the job just fine.

nap
09-07-2007, 09:57 AM
If your budget only allows you to buy the SB-600, then go get it. Just increase the ISO (yeah, even to 1600 if you want!) to increase effective range of the flash. You can also decrease the shutter speed (upto 1/15s) to get more of ambient light - people in the foreground who are closest to the flash will remain sharp while those in the background may have motion blur.

If necessary, just point the flash directly to the subjects. It's better to have a direct-flash photo than to have no photo at all! BTW, the SB-600 has a built-in diffuser which supposedly helps in wide-angle shots (14mm) because it spreads the light towards the sides. This diffuser can be useful in softening direct-flash.

The business card trick is also useful - you can have direct flash and bounced flash happening at the same time. The bigger the bounce card, the softer and brighter the light will become. I once used a flash (Actually, 3 flashes) with an A4-sized bounce card (made from A4 photo paper) taped to the flash head. It was folded in a way that it will bounce the most light possible with the widest area. But the flashes were mounted on tripods (I was shooting a an organized group shot and not an event) so I didn't look silly with the A4 sticking out behind my flash.