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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #39583
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Subject: "Flash settings for indoor car show" Previous topic | Next topic
56chevy Registered since 05th Oct 2008Thu 19-Feb-09 01:17 AM
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"Flash settings for indoor car show"


Austin, US
          

Hi
This weekend I get to go into a classic car museum before the doors open and take a bunch of shots of their cars on display.
There will be very high ceilings -- and indoor lighting
I plan to take my flash (SB900) and use it with my D90 -- will probably use both my Nikon 24-70mm and the Sigma 10-20mm lens

My questions are:
1) Since the ceilings are so high -- it won't really be possible to bounce the flash -- so where should I point my flash head -- straight up, 45 degree angle or straight at the car ?
2) Should I still use a defuser on the flash ?
3) I want to use flash AND take advantage of the ambient light in the place -- so what flash mode should I use (rear, slow sync, etc)

As you can tell, I don't have much experience using my flash -- so any help and suggestions would be appreciated

Thanks in Advance
Art

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberFri 20-Feb-09 05:45 PM
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#1. "RE: Flash settings for indoor car show"
In response to Reply # 0


Phoenix, US
          

Art:

Shiny automobiles are always a problem due to their very reflective surfaces and all of the curves. They are tough to illuminate with an on-camera speedlight. Without the use of large softboxes or umbrellas, you will always get some very bright, specular reflections and highlights that cannot be avoided.

Without seeing the ambient illumination, it is hard to tell what you will run into. Just in case, plan on taking a tripod if you expect to include an ambient contribution to the exposure because you may be using very slow shutter speeds (1/30 second or slower, depending on selected aperture).

The following manual approach is what I would use given the time and absence of people.

Set your aperture for the required depth of field. Then pick a shutter speed that brings the ambient illlumination up to the desired level. Then, leaving aperture and shutter settings alone, turn on your speedlight and experiment with various power settings on the popup and SB900 units until the speedlight contribution is where you want it.

If possible, take an assistant along who can hold your SB900 off camera someplace and trigger it with your D90s popup speedlight. Set the now-remote SB900 to the SU-4 mode and a fairly wide zoom setting to cover as much area as possible. Then set your D90 speedlight to Manual instead of TTL, which will eliminate the preflash pulse that would occur, causing your remote SB900 to trigger prematurely. Be sure and have the assistant point the small round sensor on the SB900 at the camera. If an assistant is not available, take a lightweight light stand for the SB900.

Since there will be no moving subjects in these images and you are in full manual mode, leave your speedlight sync at normal, or front curtain.

One you get the shutter, aperture and SB900 power settings and placement figured out, they should be fairly constant for other shots. The two greatest variables that you will be adjusting for will be the color of the cars and the ambient light levels. In this approach, shutter speed controls ambient illumination and SB900 and popup power settings control their contribution to the exposure.

There are other approaches. This is the one that I use almost all the time, as I have control over all variables.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Go here for a list of membership upgrade benefits.

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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56chevy Registered since 05th Oct 2008Fri 20-Feb-09 07:07 PM
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#2. "RE: Flash settings for indoor car show"
In response to Reply # 1


Austin, US
          

HBB
Thank you VERY much -- sounds like some GREAT advise
I will have a buddy along with me -- so I can ask him to hold the flash for me

Wish me luck
Art

Art
"Feels so good feeling good again"

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberFri 20-Feb-09 09:08 PM
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#3. "RE: Flash settings for indoor car show"
In response to Reply # 2
Fri 20-Feb-09 09:10 PM by HBB

Phoenix, US
          

Art:

I have asked the speedlight gods to shine a light on you this weekend.

I would suggest practicing this prior to getting to the show, to be sure everything is working as expected.

Post an image or two when you return.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Go here for a list of membership upgrade benefits.

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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