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ETTL vs Manual for fill flash

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samthefish:
I've been experimenting with off camera flash for fill flash in outdoor portraits and have been getting inconsistent results - wondering if anyone could share a workflow that works for them.

My setup - 7D. 580exII, 2x430 exII.  Have both a softbox and umbrella.

What I've been trying is exposing for the background and then generally using the softbox at a 45 degree angle and about a foot above subjects about 8 feet away.  I've found ETTL sometimes works but often seems to overexpose, particularly if the background isn't bright (i.e. overcast day).   I then start futzing with modifying the ETTL to "underexpose" by 1/3 a stop at a time, but futzing to the point that I'm wondering if I should just use manual.  Some of my shots the subjects themselves look OK but they look detached from the background.

Anyone have a method that works for them?  I'm mainly looking to put a little glow/color in my subjects face on grey days.

 

RC:
As a general rule, use manual for static subjects and ETTL for moving.   Try using FEC when trying to change 1 or more ETTL contolled flash. 

Daniel Flather:
Did you try manual, how were the restults?  I have the same three flashes minus any soft boxes.  Once you dial it in in manual it's all good. 

TrumpetPower!:

--- Quote from: samthefish on March 26, 2012, 01:16:41 PM ---What I've been trying is exposing for the background and then generally using the softbox at a 45 degree angle and about a foot above subjects about 8 feet away.

--- End quote ---

Eight feet? With a softbox? And a hotshoe-sized flash?

Really?

Um...you do know that the whole point of softboxes is soft light, and that they really only can do that when they're right on top of the subject? Otherwise, simple geometry causes them to turn into small lit sources, not significantly bigger than the pinpoint of the flash in the first place.

If you're not trying to figure out how to keep the softbox out of the shot, you might as well be using a smaller modifier (if any).

I could maybe see a softbox eight feet away with a monster-sized softbox and a group shot, but I don't think you're going to be lighting up something like that with a hotshoe flash.

Just sayin'....

Cheers,

b&

briansquibb:
Multiple flash in manual are a pain to get right. I use eTTL all the time, I use 7ft umbrellas from about 3ft from the subject to get really nice light. Hardest thing is to get enough room to stick the lens through :D

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