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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #60230
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Subject: "Flash on family?" Previous topic | Next topic
davidset Platinum Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 29th Oct 2010Sat 15-Dec-12 06:08 PM
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"Flash on family?"


Los Angeles, US
          

Would some of you fine folks please tell me how to take a decent picture of my extended family over the holidays.

Usually take the pics in a small living room (13x20)
2 to 3 rows of people on the end of the room
1 sb800 speedlight-usually on camera
The problem is always, 1st row too bright,2nd row pretty close to nice,and 3rd row underexposed.
Straight on flash is the worst.
Ceiling bounce helps but still is not great.
Wondering if a Gary Fong would help cover all three rows, or is this strictly a studio light situation?

All advice is greatly appreciated

Thank You
David S.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Reply message RE: Flash on family?
kj_fi Silver Member
15th Dec 2012
1
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JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
15th Dec 2012
2
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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources
15th Dec 2012
4
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davidset Platinum Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
15th Dec 2012
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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography
16th Dec 2012
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davidset Platinum Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources
17th Dec 2012
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20th Dec 2012
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davidset Platinum Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
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Drbee Silver Member
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21st Dec 2012
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kj_fi Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jul 2007Sat 15-Dec-12 06:20 PM
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#1. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 0


Vantaa, FI
          

Hi,

I understood that you need to shoot in a small room but can you shoot from a position further away from the people? Then the relative difference between the distances to your 1st and 3rd row subjects would be smaller and you would have less difference in the applied light.

Actually, it would be enough to have just the light source farther away but it might be difficult to shoot between the light and the subject. Having light far away makes it also very directional which causes harsh (sharp) shadows, though.

How about shooting without a flash? Pump up the ISO and ask them not to blink their eyes...

Best regards,
Kari

  

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JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004Sat 15-Dec-12 06:51 PM
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#2. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 0


New York, US
          

You might try getting the first row sitting or kneeling, the second row hunched down (hands on knees kinda thing). This will increase the ceiling-bounced flash to subject-to flash distance for those rows, to some extent equalizing the distance for the three rows.

Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberSat 15-Dec-12 07:21 PM
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#4. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 2
Thu 20-Dec-12 02:30 AM by jrp

San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Yo da man! Jon

I just tried exactly that this past Thursday on an art gallery, long chapel-like stage where my wife's group was performing a concert.
Unprepared, I only had a single speedlight, however with its Lighsphere Universal upwards.
It worked great.
Depending on the distance and aperture needed, you may need to pump up the ISO quite high.
I'll show a sample if I get the time to download from the camera

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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davidset Platinum Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 29th Oct 2010Sat 15-Dec-12 07:07 PM
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#3. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 0


Los Angeles, US
          

Thanks!
I will try both ideas.
It can be tough to hold this family still enough for available light ,
Stacking them like a church choir may help too.
We Shall see...

David

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSun 16-Dec-12 12:55 PM
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#5. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Would some of you fine folks please tell me how to take a
>decent picture of my extended family over the holidays.
>
>Usually take the pics in a small living room (13x20)
>2 to 3 rows of people on the end of the room
>1 sb800 speedlight-usually on camera
>The problem is always, 1st row too bright,2nd row pretty close
>to nice,and 3rd row underexposed.
>Straight on flash is the worst.
>Ceiling bounce helps but still is not great.
>Wondering if a Gary Fong would help cover all three rows, or
>is this strictly a studio light situation?
>
>All advice is greatly appreciated
>
>Thank You
>David S.
>

You can do a wonderful job with a single SB800 using a Fong Light Sphere. Point the LS straight up and let it bounce off every wall and the ceiling. It will make nice soft light.

Try to use two rows instead of three. Not only will the lighting be better, but more people will be sharp. Tell them to be really friendly and get the two rows as close to each other as possible, with the shorter people on the front row. Keep the rows straight. If you curve them, you can get fuzzy people at the ends.

Use f/8 if possible (ie, if you have enough flash power). This will keep everyone as sharp as possible. F/5.6 may be necessary if the room is big.

If you don't have enough flash power, remove the LS and point the flash backwards, angled up. It will bounce off everything behind you and still make pretty soft light, but it will be slightly more powerful than with the LS.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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davidset Platinum Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 29th Oct 2010Sun 16-Dec-12 03:27 PM
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#6. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 0


Los Angeles, US
          

Thanks All,
You have given me great ideas to get hopefully the best family Christmas pictures possible.
I really appreciate the advice.

David

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberMon 17-Dec-12 06:37 AM
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#7. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 6
Mon 17-Dec-12 06:41 AM by jrp

San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

OK.
Here is an image made with the Lightsphere straight upwards



Nikon D700 handheld, 14-24mm f/2.8G ED IF AF-S @ 24mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO 400
Note the ISO is not that high in this one shot above, simply because the ceiling was low. I have made images there with the full choir in three rows.

Not the case in the recent one I mentioned before:



Nikon D700 handheld, 14-24mm f/2.8G ED IF AF-S @ 21mm, f/10, 1/60, ISO 3200
Ceiling very high.
Keep people in two rows at the most and if using a wide angle lens, make sure it is very perpendicular to the wall to avoid distortions on the people at the sides

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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Clarktmc Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Nov 2008Thu 20-Dec-12 10:18 PM
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#11. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 7


Killeen, US
          

With the 14-24mm how far away was you from the front row?

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 20-Dec-12 10:41 PM
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#12. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 11


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>With the 14-24mm how far away was you from the front row?

I'm betting the room was small, and he was forced to use a wide angle like that.

You can clearly see the expansion distortion on the people at the ends of the rows.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberFri 21-Dec-12 07:01 AM
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#15. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 11


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

I was at about 12-15 feet (2nd shot).
The room was very long but very narrow and the ceiling very high with a nasty green light coming down.
And there were benches on both sides, like in a church.
So for this shot I had to step in front of the benches.

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberFri 21-Dec-12 10:54 PM
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#23. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 15


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>I was at about 12-15 feet (2nd shot).
>The room was very long but very narrow and the ceiling very
>high with a nasty green light coming down.
>And there were benches on both sides, like in a church.
>So for this shot I had to step in front of the benches.

I've had a few like that. I always tried to avoid using a lens as wide as 21mm, but sometimes that was the only way to get the shot.

To avoid the perspective distortion (expansion of people on end) you have to be able to be far enough away from your subject to use about 30mm or more (on an FX sensor).

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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davidset Platinum Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 29th Oct 2010Mon 17-Dec-12 07:17 PM
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#8. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 0


Los Angeles, US
          

Now I'm anxious to get home for the holiday and try and duplicate these!
Lumisphere and a low white ceiling , there is hope!
David

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004Mon 17-Dec-12 10:11 PM
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#9. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 18-Dec-12 03:24 AM by Drbee

US
          

Hi David,

Just to support what's already been said, but my strobe solution is typically to flag the strobe so that no direct light from the strobe hits the subject. My strobe (SB800) is camera mounted and typically pointed at an adjacent wall or ceiling, but behind my location. If I can reach a side wall (hopefully white), you can add some direction to the light and thus get some modeling. If you point the strobe forward, you often end up with hot-spots on the top of people's heads, especially is one of the rows of folks are tall.

I don't have quick access to any group images, but here are some with my family using this technique. I put this gallery together to illustrate the saga of trying to get a family photo with two turbo charged children. It's more about the story than the final result.

http://snappix.smugmug.com/Family/2012-Christmas-RM/26726532_fcSXF3#!i=2236560874&k=K6gpHVp

BTW: I use just a piece of 2-3mm black foam from an art-supply shop (or craft shop) about 6x8" to act as the flag (blocks direct light from the strobe). I have a very high-tech blue rubber band from a head of broccoli that attaches the foam to the strobe.

Best Regards,

Roger
It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?

  

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davidset Platinum Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 29th Oct 2010Tue 18-Dec-12 03:20 AM
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#10. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 9


Los Angeles, US
          

Thank You Roger
Very nice,,and the kids smiled the whole time.
David

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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RimaB Registered since 02nd Oct 2011Fri 21-Dec-12 04:37 PM
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#18. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 9


New York, US
          

Roger, now I like that hi tech gobo idea of yours. Is it kind of like the black foamie thing that Neils V. uses? Would love to see a snap shot of your set up.

  

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Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004Fri 21-Dec-12 06:07 PM
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#20. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 18
Fri 21-Dec-12 06:27 PM by Drbee

US
          

Rima, it's pretty simple....

It would work even better if the SB-800 had a 360 head rotation, but with a little futzing you can usually achieve the light placement off a side wall or ceiling behind you when desired.



The foam just helps keep the direct flash, thus harsh shadows off the subject. I also have a commercial gobo product but this one is so simple to use, it usually finds it's way onto the camera.


Roger
It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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RimaB Registered since 02nd Oct 2011Mon 24-Dec-12 03:17 PM
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#25. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 20


New York, US
          

Thanks for the photo Roger. I have that little black foamie thing But the broccoli band is so much more colorful than my black hair band! Probably works better too.

  

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RimaB Registered since 02nd Oct 2011Fri 21-Dec-12 04:46 PM
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#19. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 9


New York, US
          

>... but my strobe
>solution is typically to flag the strobe so that no direct
>light from the strobe hits the subject. My strobe (SB800) is
>camera mounted and typically pointed at an adjacent wall or
>ceiling, but behind my location. If I can reach a side wall
>(hopefully white), you can add some direction to the light and
>thus get some modeling. If you point the strobe forward, you
>often end up with hot-spots on the top of people's heads,
>especially is one of the rows of folks are tall.
>
>... but here are
>some with my family using this technique. I put this gallery
>together to illustrate the saga of trying to get a family
>photo with two turbo charged children. It's more about the
>story than the final result.
>
>http://snappix.smugmug.com/Family/2012-Christmas-RM/26726532_fcSXF3#!i=2236560874&k=K6gpHVp


Hi Roger,

In the gallery of images you shot there is so much lovely window light. I'm wondering how you used your flash in that situation. I'm guessing you used it for fill?

I've tried the BFT (black foamie thing) but often find I'm losing too much light or it becomes too directional. Haven't perfected that. I have to shoot a fundraiser event in February and want to get the flash thing down. I hate seeing hot spots or obvious flash on faces so this thread is interesting to me.

Thanks so much,
Rima

  

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Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004Fri 21-Dec-12 06:27 PM
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#21. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 19


US
          

Rima, the EXIF on these images doesn't reflect how I usually work. It was fortuitous in a way that I was able to select an aperture that put the shutter speed in a range to give a reasonable outside exposure. Since shutter speed doesn't really matter that much for the strobe portion of the exposure, I was just luck in this case. Typically I manually expose the background for the effect I want. The the strobe is set to TTL (as it was in this case). I reserve fill (BL-TTL) for outdoors. Indoors, it's usually manually exposed for the background and let the Nikon CLS do it's magic as the main light (TTL).

If at all possible, I choose my bounce location to support any heavy ambient source. If the room isn't overly large, what typically happens is that the strobe provides enough bounced but semi-directional illumination that even the ambient shadows are somewhat mitigated.

I've also been gelling my strobe for tungsten when needed. I've been using 1/2 CTO gel, but I have a sheet of 1/2 CTS sitting in a shopping cart for when I have something else to order; it's an awkward product to order by itself. .

When dealing with window light, sometimes I have to let that exposure go 1-2 stops over exposed in order to keep a large enough aperture so as to not "strangle" my strobe output. If I control the overexposure to that range, I'm often able to bring those highlights back into range quickly with a post processing localized adjustment (This works better if you shoot RAW). I think once you start getting the hang of controlling the ambient light with manual exposure, the interactions of aperture, ISO and the relative insignificance of shutter speed starts to make sense and this all gets very easy, very quickly.

Best Regards,
Roger

Roger
It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?

  

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cwils02 Gold Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2012Fri 21-Dec-12 07:15 PM
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#22. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 21


HIXSON, US
          

Roger,

Thanks for the photo. The setup is so much different than I imagined from your words only.

Charlie

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004Tue 25-Dec-12 01:37 AM
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#29. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 22


US
          

Charlie,

Your're welcome. In my case a picture is often more valuable than a 1000 of my words.

Happy Holidays,

Roger
It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?

  

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RimaB Registered since 02nd Oct 2011Mon 24-Dec-12 03:13 PM
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#24. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 21


New York, US
          

>Typically I manually
>expose the background for the effect I want. The strobe is
>set to TTL (as it was in this case). I reserve fill (BL-TTL)
>for outdoors. Indoors, it's usually manually exposed for the
>background and let the Nikon CLS do it's magic as the main
>light (TTL).
> If the room isn't overly large, what
>typically happens is that the strobe provides enough bounced
>but semi-directional illumination that even the ambient
>shadows are somewhat mitigated.
>
>I've also been gelling my strobe for tungsten when needed.
>I've been using 1/2 CTO gel, but I have a sheet of 1/2 CTS
>sitting in a shopping cart for when I have something else to
>order; it's an awkward product to order by itself. .
>
>When dealing with window light, sometimes I have to let that
>exposure go 1-2 stops over exposed in order to keep a large
>enough aperture so as to not "strangle" my strobe
>output. If I control the overexposure to that range, I'm often
>able to bring those highlights back into range quickly with a
>post processing localized adjustment (This works better if you
>shoot RAW). I think once you start getting the hang of
>controlling the ambient light with manual exposure, the
>interactions of aperture, ISO and the relative insignificance
>of shutter speed starts to make sense and this all gets very
>easy, very quickly.


Roger, this is all great information. Thank you!! I'm not working from my home computer - so for now just one quick questionn. I'm sure I could talk a bit more about other points you mention.

Could you please explain the diff. between BL-TTL and TTL? I read it in the manual but don't see the benefits to using BL-TTL.

I am very comfortable shooting raw. Once I add flash to the mix, that's where I start to get slowed down. It stops my flow to figure out where to bounce (if I'm moving around in a room) while also adjusting the power of the flash :/

Your help is great.

VERY HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND TO ALL WHO ARE READING THIS THREAD.

Best,
Rima

  

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Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004Mon 24-Dec-12 04:18 PM
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#26. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 24


US
          

Hi Rima,

The benefit of BL-TTL is realized in my style of shooting mostly outdoors, when I want to place just a bit of fill flash to soften say shadows on a subjects face. I often put a -.7EV compensation on the STROBE to make sure it isn't a "perfect" fill. If you use BL-TTL indoors the strobe/camera logic tries to balance the background illumination and strobe exposure to make these two exposures roughly equal. The possible low-level illumination in the background will often drag down the shutter speed below reasonable hand hold limits.

Using TTL indoors tells the strobe that it is the main light and weigh the calculations for the foreground subject. To my way of thinking it takes the shutter speed calculation out of the mix. So however the scene is metered, the metered portion (or matrix calculation) is illuminated sufficiently by the strobe to make the overall tone of that metered area a neutral gray in intensity and the rest of the scene falls where it may.

I'm going to try this another way with an example.

Take a strongly backlighted subject. If you expose that subject with your strobe set to BL-TTL, the strobe/camera integration will try to match the exposure on the subject to that of the background. I find that calculation to be a bit more aesthetic if I reduce the strobe output a bit.

If you expose that subject with TTL, the strobe will become the main light (usually failing to overcome the strength of daylight). You generally loose control over any modeling of light on the subject, any of the beneficial effects of the backlighting and I generally find the overall results of on-camera strobe a bit less pleasing than when using BL-TTL in this situation.

The Nikon strobe integration system is a whole class in itself and I find a few portions very useful and reliable, but my overall understanding is at a working level. I'm continually learning how to make better use of the system.

My flash images have improved greatly now that I'm thinking more about how I want the flash to add light to a scene rather than illuminate the scene.

BTW, I'm constantly twisting the head on my SB-800 to place the light where I want it. I'm beginning to know more instinctively what doesn't work. The SB-800 head doesn't swivel a full 360 degrees and I find I'm frequently caught in that range where I have to flip the head over (front to back) to get it where I want it (and that most frequently happens in vertical format (shutter button up). I'm seriously thinking about a SB-910 which I think will get me around that problem (however I have yet to try it out to verify that statement).

Roger
It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?

  

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RimaB Registered since 02nd Oct 2011Tue 25-Dec-12 09:44 PM
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#30. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 26


New York, US
          

HI,

So here are some of my comments on your wonderfully helpful answer Roger, and the quotes to which they relate.

>subject with your strobe set to BL-TTL, the strobe/camera
>integration will try to match the exposure on the subject to
>that of the background. I find that calculation to be a bit
>more aesthetic if I reduce the strobe output a bit.
>
>If you expose that subject with TTL, the strobe will become
>the main light (usually failing to overcome the strength of
>daylight). You generally loose control over any modeling of
>light on the subject, any of the beneficial effects of the
>backlighting and I generally find the overall results of
>on-camera strobe a bit less pleasing than when using BL-TTL in
>this situation.


So, given your examples I'm understanding that TTL is the setting that I tend to dislike on subjects and compensate for by lowering the flash power as much as possible while still getting a proper exposure on the subject's face. It's also the only setting I have ever used. I never tried TTL-BL.


>My flash images have improved greatly now that I'm thinking
>more about how I want the flash to add light to a scene rather
>than illuminate the scene.


Yes - I agree with you about ^^this statement. Have you ever seen and tutorials by Mark Wallace. He gives some great info on speed light shooting and controlling light with OCF and on camera flash.


>
>BTW, I'm constantly twisting the head on my SB-800 to place
>the light where I want it. I'm beginning to know more
>instinctively what doesn't work. The SB-800 head doesn't
>swivel a full 360 degrees and I find I'm frequently caught in
>that range where I have to flip the head over (front to back)
>to get it where I want it (and that most frequently happens in
>vertical format (shutter button up). I'm seriously thinking
>about a SB-910 which I think will get me around that problem
>(however I have yet to try it out to verify that statement).


UGH turning the SB800 while shooting just adds more things to think about. Hence my love for natural light. I can search for light, compose something I love and shoot. The bloody flash at an event just seems to add anxiety to getting the shot right. Practice, practice, practice. I guess that's the answer.

Cheers.
Rima

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberMon 24-Dec-12 05:54 PM
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#27. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 24


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>>Typically I manually
>>expose the background for the effect I want. The strobe
>is
>>set to TTL (as it was in this case). I reserve fill
>(BL-TTL)
>>for outdoors. Indoors, it's usually manually exposed for
>the
>>background and let the Nikon CLS do it's magic as the
>main
>>light (TTL).
>> If the room isn't overly large, what
>>typically happens is that the strobe provides enough
>bounced
>>but semi-directional illumination that even the ambient
>>shadows are somewhat mitigated.
>>
>>I've also been gelling my strobe for tungsten when
>needed.
>>I've been using 1/2 CTO gel, but I have a sheet of 1/2
>CTS
>>sitting in a shopping cart for when I have something else
>to
>>order; it's an awkward product to order by itself. .
>>
>>When dealing with window light, sometimes I have to let
>that
>>exposure go 1-2 stops over exposed in order to keep a
>large
>>enough aperture so as to not "strangle" my
>strobe
>>output. If I control the overexposure to that range, I'm
>often
>>able to bring those highlights back into range quickly
>with a
>>post processing localized adjustment (This works better if
>you
>>shoot RAW). I think once you start getting the hang of
>>controlling the ambient light with manual exposure, the
>>interactions of aperture, ISO and the relative
>insignificance
>>of shutter speed starts to make sense and this all gets
>very
>>easy, very quickly.
>
>
>Roger, this is all great information. Thank you!! I'm not
>working from my home computer - so for now just one quick
>questionn. I'm sure I could talk a bit more about other
>points you mention.
>
>Could you please explain the diff. between BL-TTL and TTL? I
>read it in the manual but don't see the benefits to using
>BL-TTL.
>
>I am very comfortable shooting raw. Once I add flash to the
>mix, that's where I start to get slowed down. It stops my
>flow to figure out where to bounce (if I'm moving around in a
>room) while also adjusting the power of the flash :/
>
>Your help is great.
>
>VERY HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND TO ALL WHO ARE READING THIS
>THREAD.
>
>Best,
>Rima

I second all of what Roger wrote.

However, ther is one requirement that I didn't see mentioned, that very few people realize.

In order for the TTL-BL processing to work properly, the light meter must be centered (zeroed). TTL-BL bases its power setting on an assumption that the meter is zeroed.

This is why I often recommend using camera P mode in conjunction with TTL-BL. P mode will center the meter much faster than you can manually, and it also sets the shutter as high as possible before setting the aperture. This is exactly what you might do manually, so why not do it with P mode?

Of course an advantage of using camera Manual Mode is that you can emphasize or deemphasize the flash by changing the amount of ambient included by adjusting the aperture or shutter.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004Tue 25-Dec-12 01:35 AM
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#28. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 27


US
          

Hi Russ,

Thanks for the info on "P" mode. I hadn't made that connection between the "P" operation and CLS. I used "P" mode with shift program and exposure-compensation on my F100 and F6 as an extension to manual mode (often with CW or spot metering) but missed full strobe implications.

Happy Holidays,

Roger
It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?

  

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RimaB Registered since 02nd Oct 2011Tue 25-Dec-12 09:47 PM
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#31. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 27


New York, US
          

hmmm? Not sure I totally get this Russ. I have to play around more with what happends with metering if shooting in TTL-BL. :/

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberWed 26-Dec-12 12:11 AM
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#32. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 31


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>hmmm? Not sure I totally get this Russ. I have to play
>around more with what happends with metering if shooting in
>TTL-BL. :/
>

In TTL-BL mode, the camera sends its metering information to the flash computer. The metering information is basically the ambient brightness.

The flash computer then uses this information to calculate the flash power required to make the brightness of the subject to equal to the ambient.

However, this will only work properly if the camera is set to properly expose the ambient; ie the camera aperture and shutter must be set to zero the built-in light meter.

The flash computer always assumes the camera meter is zeroed, but it has no way to tell if it is or not. That is up to the photographer.

The fastest way to zero the meter in the camera is to use one of the auto modes. P mode is the easiest and quickest. Don't try to use camera A mode in bright light, or you can totally blow out your images, because the shutter is limited to the flash sync speed (usually 1/200th or 1/250th). This forces you to use a much smaller aperture than you might want to use. The only way around this is to use Auto FP High Speed Sync, but then the maximum flash power available is less than 1/2 of what is available with normal flash sync. The bottm line is that most professionals use P mode in bright light to be sure to get a usable shot and avoid costly mistakes.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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RimaB Registered since 02nd Oct 2011Wed 26-Dec-12 10:02 PM
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#33. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 32


New York, US
          

Russ,
Thank you soooo much. Great explanation and I get it. Why do I feel an allergic reaction when you tell me to set camera to "P" mode. I get afraid I'm losing creative control. But then again, it makes sense to assure you get the shot. That is far more important in a situation when folks are running around and you have to nail it the first time!

Really appreciate the time you took to explain to me.

Best,
Rima

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberWed 26-Dec-12 11:33 PM
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#34. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 33


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Russ,
>Thank you soooo much. Great explanation and I get it. Why do
>I feel an allergic reaction when you tell me to set camera to
>"P" mode. I get afraid I'm losing creative control.
>But then again, it makes sense to assure you get the shot.
>That is far more important in a situation when folks are
>running around and you have to nail it the first time!
>
>Really appreciate the time you took to explain to me.
>
>Best,
>Rima

Just to make sure you understand. You should only use P mode when shooting fill flash using TTL-BL in bright light, like outdoors in daylight.

Indoors, in low light, you should use camera Manual mode and Regular TTL.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006Thu 20-Dec-12 11:26 PM
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#13. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 0


Rural Virginia, US
          

I'm afraid I just cheat and fix it in post. Using Lightroom I adjust exposure for the middle row and then use either the brush or gradient tool to increase exposure on the back row and decrease it on the front row. I try to get it as close as possible in camera but getting the same light on multiple rows of subjects is not always possible.

Places We Have Been

www.peppermill-multimedia.com

  

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Clarktmc Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Nov 2008Fri 21-Dec-12 12:11 AM
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#14. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 13


Killeen, US
          

Boy I wish I knew how do do that in Photo Shop....

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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ctadin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2008Fri 21-Dec-12 01:59 PM
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#16. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 14


St Louis, US
          

>Boy I wish I knew how do do that in Photo Shop....
You can If you click your heels 3 times and repeat "I wish I knew how to do that in Photo Shop".
Happy and Healthy Holidays

Cheryl

  

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Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006Fri 21-Dec-12 02:05 PM
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#17. "RE: Flash on family?"
In response to Reply # 14


Rural Virginia, US
          

>Boy I wish I knew how do do that in Photo Shop....

In Photoshop I would use layers and layer masks to achieve the exposure adjustments on each row of subjects. Not quite as simple as Lightroom, but the results would be the same.

Places We Have Been

www.peppermill-multimedia.com

  

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