Home News Buyers Guide About Advertising
 
 
 
   
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Flash advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    686

    Flash advice

    I have just recived my christmas presant a Yongnuo flash for my Canon 500d and have had a quick play with it - some photos below.

    There are lots of settings on the flash and the camera I can change and have a couple of questions.

    1/ I set the Flash on TTL and left everything as standard on the flash and set the camera to shutter priority of 1/200 which picked F5.6 ( photo 1 below )
    I then tried manual and set 1/200 and F13 to increase the depth of field ( photo 2 ).

    What is the best practice for portrate ?

    ( photos direct off camera )

    2/ I was bouncing the flash off the ceiling is this a good idea or is it best to shoot straight at the subject - I pressume that I would have lost the shadow if I had not bounced off the ceiling.

    3/ Talking of the shadow would the best way of reducing that be to move the subject further away from the background ? This was a problem in this case as the room was so small.

    NOTE: The spots above the eyes are glitter eyeshadow




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Exeter, UK
    Posts
    883
    I'm not an expert on using flash, but a few basic rules would suggest:

    1) Portraits are generally shot at wide aperture for shallow depth of field, making the point of focus on the eyes, letting the rest of the subject get a little soft. Maybe aperture priority at wide open, or possibly a stop down, depending on your lens.

    2) Bouncing flash off the ceiling is usually a good thing, because it helps soften the light - unless the ceiling is a strong non white colour! Direct flash tends to give a very harsh light, which often looks unpleasant, and can make a higher contrast between the subject and the shadow. If you can't use the ceiling, diffusers and reflectors can be helpful.

    3) Having the subject further from the background would be better, but sometimes you have to work with what you've got. Zooming out might help, but too short a focal length gives perspective distortion, which, for example, can make noses look too big.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    756
    That shadow isn't coming from light bounced off of the ceiling. It's coming from some non-diffuse light to the left of the camera.
    Looking to buy a Pentax flash? Check out my Definitive Guide to Pentax P-TTL Flash Options.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    686
    That shadow isn't coming from light bounced off of the ceiling. It's coming from some non-diffuse light to the left of the camera.
    That was probably my fault as I had the camera on its side with the flash to the left. The flash was still pointed at the ceiling but it would have been to the left of the subject.
    The flash has a white reflector that pulls out above the flash lens and that may have had the effect of concentrating the light a bit as well ?

    Thanks for the comments Alex; I will have another go when I can get the "model" to help. I think I will get some material I can use as a backdrop so that I can work in an area with more space and less distractions behind.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    E.Sussex,UK
    Posts
    279
    One thing I have found when using bounce on my 270 EX is that firstly the success rate depends very much on the height of the ceiling,the higher it is the less successful the result.I live in a cottage with ceilings not much above my head so there it works pretty well.

    The other lesson I learnt early on is that it seems you always have to bounce at a steeper angle than you first estimate,a totally unscientific comment but it works for me!

    If successful it produces a definitely less harsh result than face on flash,but if bounce flash is not possible I will go into my flash menu in the camera and reduce the flash strength by 1/3 or thereabouts which seems to help.

    Canon 60D,
    Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.0 DC Macro OS HSM,
    Canon 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS,
    Canon Speedlite 270EX

    Panasonic Lumix DMC GF3,
    Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,428
    A flash diffuser will help soften the shadow.
    If you want to eliminate the shadow, you should shoot in landscape since the flash will be directly on top of the lens; and also get the subject to move away further from the wall. I know you will have to crop and end up with a smaller image but that's one way to eliminate the shadow. Otherwise buy a bracket so you can rotate the flash to directly on top of the lens regardless of the orientation.
    Nikon D90, D80
    Nikkor 16-85mm AF-S DX F/3.5-5.6G ED VR, Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) macro, Nikkor 50mm F/1.4D, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D, Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ||| 2x SB800 | SB600 ||| Manfrotto 190XB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    686
    Thanks for the advice; I did suspect that those could have been the cause of my problems. I will have to practice more but I now have a few pointers.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •