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Author Topic: Using (Fill) Flash  (Read 7553 times)

mrsfotografie

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Using (Fill) Flash
« on: August 03, 2013, 07:24:44 AM »
So I've been doing most if not all of my photography over the last 7 years without using a flash. I like ambient light and hate what an external flash does to the weight balance of my camera body.

I'm pretty happy with most of the results but it's time to get more out of my photography and start using fill-flash. The goal however is to preserve as much ambient light as possible; I dislike it when a flash has obviously been used to get a picture.

So my question is: Do you have any recommendations I can start out with? What conditions would typically require which settings?

Note that I would like to use it for general photography because I do very little portraiture.

FWIW I have a Metz 48 AF-1 with a STO-FEN Omni Bounce. I'm not immediately interested in getting more flash gear or reflective screens etc.

Thanks all!
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Using (Fill) Flash
« on: August 03, 2013, 07:24:44 AM »

agierke

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2013, 08:26:02 AM »
What do you mean by general photography?

The size of speedlights on camera is pretty much ideally suited to fill for portrait work when ambient needs to be preserved. Any subject matter larger than that and the usefulness of a speedlight on camera begins to diminish greatly. At that point, getting the speedlight off camera is ideal.

I guess I'm confused as to what you are trying to achieve if portraiture is not a concern to you. More specifics would be useful...maybe a sample image?
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Sporgon

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2013, 08:33:59 AM »
Shoot camera in manual, stick tissue over flash, knock it down -2 stops on exp comp.

privatebydesign

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2013, 09:32:11 AM »
Read every word and study every image on this site.

http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/

This guy is the best user of mixed flash and ambient I have seen. The key, BOUNCE, but do it smart, ETTL and flag, the "black foamie thing" changed my flash photography.
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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2013, 10:21:13 AM »
So I've been doing most if not all of my photography over the last 7 years without using a flash.

1. Buy Syl Aren'as book.
2. Read Syl Aren'as book.
3. For starters, shoot in Av - camera ec controls flash-ambient ratio, and then experiment with ettl flash ec.

RLPhoto

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2013, 10:45:36 AM »
If your mixing flash with ambient, Get some CTO Orange, Blues and Green Gels for balance and effects. After a while, I found I was gelling a-lot of my shots for the better.

Honl Speed strap + Velcoed gels

Marsu42

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2013, 11:22:41 AM »
If your mixing flash with ambient, Get some CTO Orange, Blues and Green Gels

You're actually using blue or green correction gels? I'm using various cto all the time, but for effects I'm about to order "real" effects gels like these: http://flashgels.co.uk/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=98

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2013, 11:22:41 AM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2013, 11:35:14 AM »
If your mixing flash with ambient, Get some CTO Orange, Blues and Green Gels

You're actually using blue or green correction gels?

Why not?

privatebydesign

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2013, 11:52:18 AM »
Well to balance daylight you are not using blue or green correction gels on strobes. But they do have lots of good uses, creating or adding mood or ambiance, though I find the bolder gels more applicable most of the time, you have to print big to get the subtler shades of gel to come out effectively within a scene, IMHO.

Traditionally green correction gels are used to make flash the same colour as some fluorescent lights and blue is used to make tungsten lamps daylight balanced, obviously neither is relevant to flash to daylight correction.

First shot below is a shot with three flashes with different gels, (plus four tungsten lamps, a TV and the car tail lamps) one red, to exaggerate the tail lamps outside, one with both blue and purple to mimic the TV output, and one CTO to match the tungsten lamp light. But it is totally irrelevant to the subject of daylight balancing strobes.

Mid day strobes are pretty close to daylight and need no correction, early and late in the day 1/4, 1/2 and full CTO and CTS are all very useful.

Second shot is a late afternoon strobe to daylight balanced shot. 1/2 CTO on the strobe into an umbrella to match the setting sun.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 02:33:53 PM by privatebydesign »
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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2013, 12:27:18 PM »
Well to balance daylight you are not using blue or green correction gels on strobes. But they do have lots of good uses, creating or adding mood or ambiance, though I find the bolder gels more applicable most of the time, you have to print big to get the subtler shades of gel to come out effectively within a scene, IMHO.

Traditionally green correction gels are used to make flash the same colour as some fluorescent lights and blue is used to make tungsten lamps daylight balanced, obviously neither is relevant to flash to daylight correction.

First shot below is a shot with three flashes with different gels, (plus four tungsten lamps and a TV) one red, to exaggerate the tail lamps outside, one with both blue and purple to mimic the TV output, and one CTO to match the tungsten lamp light. But it is totally irrelevant to the subject of daylight balancing strobes.

Mid day strobes are pretty close to daylight and need no correction, early and late in the day 1/4, 1/2 and full CTO and CTS are all very useful.

Second shot is a late afternoon strobe to daylight balanced shot. 1/2 CTO on the strobe into an umbrella to match the setting sun.

Ambient light comes in many shades of color and many different situations. I simply made a suggestion to add a set of Color correction gels to his order for balancing and FX's. Color correction gels can be used for so much more...

IE: http://strobist.blogspot.com/2013/08/on-assignment-scout-and-shoot-pt-2.html

Below: one 1/2 CTB gelled Key-light makes the Rim lights more warm.


privatebydesign

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2013, 12:39:31 PM »
If your mixing flash with ambient, Get some CTO Orange, Blues and Green Gels for balance and effects.

I was replying to this specific comment, not lambasting or criticising you. Having said that, can you show me a shot where you have used blue and/or green gels to good effect in the manner the OP asked about? That, after all, was Marsu42's reply to your suggestion, how would you use blue and green gels to balance ambient. i showed use of a blue gel, but it was totally against what the OP asked about.
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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2013, 12:50:39 PM »
If your mixing flash with ambient, Get some CTO Orange, Blues and Green Gels for balance and effects.

I was replying to this specific comment, not lambasting or criticising you. Having said that, can you show me a shot where you have used blue and/or green gels to good effect in the manner the OP asked about? That, after all, was Marsu42's reply to your suggestion, how would you use blue and green gels to balance ambient. i showed use of a blue gel, but it was totally against what the OP asked about.

Orange = Warmer. IE: Bouncing Flash in tungsten ambient.

Blue = Cooler. IE: Blue hour after sunset through a softbox.

Green = Greener? IE: Maybe to Direct-fill in shadows indoors with florescent tubes.

Plenty of reasons to have all three. Afterall, Gels are cheap.

Below: I wanted the Ambient light inside to be warmer than my flash. They were daylight balanced florescents so my flash would be the same temp. I used a CT blue and bounced which gave it a nice warm feeling with good skin tones.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 01:04:22 PM by RLPhoto »

privatebydesign

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2013, 12:58:02 PM »


Green = Greener? IE: Maybe to Direct-fill in shadows indoors with florescent tubes.

Plenty of reasons to have all three. Afterall, Gels are cheap.

I haven't used a green gel since giving up film, though I know Greg Heisler uses them to very subtle effect. But back on point, can you answer my question?

"can you show me a shot where you have used blue and/or green gels to good effect in the manner the OP asked about?"
Specifically balancing ambient? I take it from your answers so far, you can't........

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2013, 12:58:02 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2013, 01:00:49 PM »


Green = Greener? IE: Maybe to Direct-fill in shadows indoors with florescent tubes.

Plenty of reasons to have all three. Afterall, Gels are cheap.

I haven't used a green gel since giving up film, though I know Greg Heisler uses them to very subtle effect. But back on point, can you answer my question?

"can you show me a shot where you have used blue and/or green gels to good effect in the manner the OP asked about?"
Specifically balancing ambient? I take it from your answers so far, you can't........

 ??? ??? ???

OP

"So I've been doing most if not all of my photography over the last 7 years without using a flash. I like ambient light and hate what an external flash does to the weight balance of my camera body.

I'm pretty happy with most of the results but it's time to get more out of my photography and start using fill-flash. The goal however is to preserve as much ambient light as possible; I dislike it when a flash has obviously been used to get a picture."

He say's ambient. Ambient is alot of things broski.  XD

I may not use the green gel as much, but I'd always have one.

"Lighting 101: Using Gels to Correct Light" <----- Check that on strobist fyi.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 01:03:21 PM by RLPhoto »

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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2013, 01:21:48 PM »
Below: I wanted the Ambient light inside to be warmer than my flash. They were daylight balanced florescents so my flash would be the same temp. I used a CT blue and bounced which gave it a nice warm feeling with good skin tones.

Sorry, but to me the guy in the Volcom tee shirt looks rather pasty and coolly lit (in the color temp sense, not the 'man, that's cool' sense). I don't call the pasty look a 'good skin tone'.   That's exactly what I'd expect when adding blue light to daylight-balanced ambient - pasty skin tones and cool lighting, not warm.  Blue = cool, might want to do some reading on strobist.blogspot.com yourself...

FWIW, PBD understands flash lighting better than most on these boards. 
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Re: Using (Fill) Flash
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2013, 01:21:48 PM »