Please help me with my new flash

Started Jan 28, 2004 | Discussions
Amit Chugh Regular Member • Posts: 144
Please help me with my new flash

Hi,

Recently I purchase a Promaster 5750DX with a Standard FTM5000 module to hook up my V1. I have also purchased Lumiquest ProMax System with it. The camera and flash are mounted on a Flash Flip Bracket.

I am basically interested in Indoor flash photography. Very soon I am going to be a father of a daughter and that's the only reason I spent some money to go Digital so that I will be able to better capture some of the most precious moments with my baby.

I have gone through lot of flash photography tips from Mike & Yehuda but still I am far far away from taking a good decent picture with my setup.

The problem that I am having is that most of the pictures either get overexposed or underexposed.

The way I take a picture is I set the flash to GREEN AUTO mode which is F5.6 at ISO 100 and then I set my camera to Aperture mode. I set the lowest aperture I can use with my camera, which is F4.0 and use the full zoom. At full zoom V1 only gives me f4.0. Although at full wide I get f2.8.

Based on the information posted here as well as at the back of the lumiquest, it was said that using a bounce flash will loose 1 stop of light. So, I set my camera 1 stop below i.e. f4.0 and flash at f5.6 but I am not happy with the pictures.

Can someone provide with some more information on indoor flash photography? Any help in terms of a web site link or a good practical book on indoor flash photography will be appreciated. Also, I am looking for some information on INFANT photograhpy so that when the time comes I am all ready.

Thanks in anticipation,
-Amit

jr60004 Senior Member • Posts: 2,181
First I thought "T" 1...hehehe

That would look hilarious! A big 5750 on a T1.
Can't help with indoor flash. Sorry. I am still struggling with it.
Mikeeee

Amit Chugh wrote:

Hi,

Recently I purchase a Promaster 5750DX with a Standard FTM5000
module to hook up my V1. I have also purchased Lumiquest ProMax
System with it. The camera and flash are mounted on a Flash Flip
Bracket.

I am basically interested in Indoor flash photography. Very soon I
am going to be a father of a daughter and that's the only reason I
spent some money to go Digital so that I will be able to better
capture some of the most precious moments with my baby.

I have gone through lot of flash photography tips from Mike &
Yehuda but still I am far far away from taking a good decent
picture with my setup.

The problem that I am having is that most of the pictures either
get overexposed or underexposed.

The way I take a picture is I set the flash to GREEN AUTO mode
which is F5.6 at ISO 100 and then I set my camera to Aperture mode.
I set the lowest aperture I can use with my camera, which is F4.0
and use the full zoom. At full zoom V1 only gives me f4.0. Although
at full wide I get f2.8.

Based on the information posted here as well as at the back of the
lumiquest, it was said that using a bounce flash will loose 1 stop
of light. So, I set my camera 1 stop below i.e. f4.0 and flash at
f5.6 but I am not happy with the pictures.

Can someone provide with some more information on indoor flash
photography? Any help in terms of a web site link or a good
practical book on indoor flash photography will be appreciated.
Also, I am looking for some information on INFANT photograhpy so
that when the time comes I am all ready.

Thanks in anticipation,
-Amit

-- hide signature --

We want fun 'cos we medically need it! A.W.K.

OP Amit Chugh Regular Member • Posts: 144
Re: First I thought "T" 1...hehehe

It looks hilarious even on V1. But I am not after looks. I am after quality that I can afford within my budget. Also I need to justify my wife all this spending and this LOOK.

Before all this gear it LOOKED cute to my wife. Now its a giant beast that still doesn't perform the way I convienced her. So, now all this equipment is a constant point of a war/fight going between us. Everytime I take out this camera with all its gear either she laughs or she gets angry that its not doing what it was supposed to do....

Please help guys... I am in great trouble here...

-Amit

jr60004 wrote:

That would look hilarious! A big 5750 on a T1.
Can't help with indoor flash. Sorry. I am still struggling with it.
Mikeeee

OP Amit Chugh Regular Member • Posts: 144
bump

Anyone, please contribute...

Amit Chugh wrote:

Hi,

Recently I purchase a Promaster 5750DX with a Standard FTM5000
module to hook up my V1. I have also purchased Lumiquest ProMax
System with it. The camera and flash are mounted on a Flash Flip
Bracket.

I am basically interested in Indoor flash photography. Very soon I
am going to be a father of a daughter and that's the only reason I
spent some money to go Digital so that I will be able to better
capture some of the most precious moments with my baby.

I have gone through lot of flash photography tips from Mike &
Yehuda but still I am far far away from taking a good decent
picture with my setup.

The problem that I am having is that most of the pictures either
get overexposed or underexposed.

The way I take a picture is I set the flash to GREEN AUTO mode
which is F5.6 at ISO 100 and then I set my camera to Aperture mode.
I set the lowest aperture I can use with my camera, which is F4.0
and use the full zoom. At full zoom V1 only gives me f4.0. Although
at full wide I get f2.8.

Based on the information posted here as well as at the back of the
lumiquest, it was said that using a bounce flash will loose 1 stop
of light. So, I set my camera 1 stop below i.e. f4.0 and flash at
f5.6 but I am not happy with the pictures.

Can someone provide with some more information on indoor flash
photography? Any help in terms of a web site link or a good
practical book on indoor flash photography will be appreciated.
Also, I am looking for some information on INFANT photograhpy so
that when the time comes I am all ready.

Thanks in anticipation,
-Amit

windoze
windoze Veteran Member • Posts: 8,291
when i need help I ask Andy Williams n/t

Amit Chugh wrote:

Hi,

Recently I purchase a Promaster 5750DX with a Standard FTM5000
module to hook up my V1. I have also purchased Lumiquest ProMax
System with it. The camera and flash are mounted on a Flash Flip
Bracket.

I am basically interested in Indoor flash photography. Very soon I
am going to be a father of a daughter and that's the only reason I
spent some money to go Digital so that I will be able to better
capture some of the most precious moments with my baby.

I have gone through lot of flash photography tips from Mike &
Yehuda but still I am far far away from taking a good decent
picture with my setup.

The problem that I am having is that most of the pictures either
get overexposed or underexposed.

The way I take a picture is I set the flash to GREEN AUTO mode
which is F5.6 at ISO 100 and then I set my camera to Aperture mode.
I set the lowest aperture I can use with my camera, which is F4.0
and use the full zoom. At full zoom V1 only gives me f4.0. Although
at full wide I get f2.8.

Based on the information posted here as well as at the back of the
lumiquest, it was said that using a bounce flash will loose 1 stop
of light. So, I set my camera 1 stop below i.e. f4.0 and flash at
f5.6 but I am not happy with the pictures.

Can someone provide with some more information on indoor flash
photography? Any help in terms of a web site link or a good
practical book on indoor flash photography will be appreciated.
Also, I am looking for some information on INFANT photograhpy so
that when the time comes I am all ready.

Thanks in anticipation,
-Amit

-- hide signature --

Windoze can be written at windowsxx1@aol.com or see my 'stuff' at http://www.windoze.smugmug.com

 windoze's gear list:windoze's gear list
Sony RX10 IV Canon EOS 80D Canon EOS 90D Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM +1 more
OP Amit Chugh Regular Member • Posts: 144
Re: when i need help I ask Andy Williams

I think Andy himeself was asking for help with flash stuff from Mike Fitzgerald & Yehuda in one of the thread.

Still waiting, anyone ....

-Amit

Jose Maria Simoes Regular Member • Posts: 341
Hands on

May I sugest this ?
In your leaving room, choose a subject to photograph.
Make the 100 ISO selection
Put your camara in Aperture priority and choose the F3.5

point the camara to the subject and press the the shutter button alfway down, see the number of the shutter speed ?
Now, change the aperture to F3.

Point again the camara to the same subject and again, press the button alfaway, see the number of the shutter speed become a litle faster ?

Well, you did open a litle the diafragma and the camara compensate the change by choosing to fast a litle more the shutter speed, this way the camara is having the same quantity of light.
Now, trie the F4, see what apened to the speed ? Yes, it become a litle slower.

So, by changing F3.5 to F3 the F number is smaller but the aperture is grater, right ? But changing F3.5 to F4 give us the inverse.

Now, mount the flash on the camara and switch on. Ready to do some more experiments ? Lets go to the funny part.

Put your camara in manual mode.
Choose F3.5 and 1/60 s.

Point the camara to the subject and get the picture. What hapened ? Did the photo comes nice ? Yes ? No ? Oh well, lets go fix this litle problem.
Review the picture, see the histogram ?
If the photo is dark the histogram shows a underexposed picture.

So, to fix this you need more light. That's very easy, open the diafragma by shoosing a smaller F. Take another picture and see if now it came right.

If the photo have to much ligth the histogram shows a overexposed picture. In the review mode o can see the histogram

So, you have to close the diaframa to have less ligth by choosing a greater F

Let's go PRO, by playing with the light of the flash.

Changing the direction of the flash's head you are changing the path of the light. Bouncing the head in the direction to the ceiling we will get a very beautifull light. But wait. Change to F2.5 and experiment. Got what you pleased ? No ? Well, open or close the diafragma as needed and you will have fantastic photos. Please, don't make your fotos too close to the subject.
Have a lot of fun and beautiful photos.

Amit Chugh wrote:

Hi,

Recently I purchase a Promaster 5750DX with a Standard FTM5000
module to hook up my V1. I have also purchased Lumiquest ProMax
System with it. The camera and flash are mounted on a Flash Flip
Bracket.

I am basically interested in Indoor flash photography. Very soon I
am going to be a father of a daughter and that's the only reason I
spent some money to go Digital so that I will be able to better
capture some of the most precious moments with my baby.

I have gone through lot of flash photography tips from Mike &
Yehuda but still I am far far away from taking a good decent
picture with my setup.

The problem that I am having is that most of the pictures either
get overexposed or underexposed.

The way I take a picture is I set the flash to GREEN AUTO mode
which is F5.6 at ISO 100 and then I set my camera to Aperture mode.
I set the lowest aperture I can use with my camera, which is F4.0
and use the full zoom. At full zoom V1 only gives me f4.0. Although
at full wide I get f2.8.

Based on the information posted here as well as at the back of the
lumiquest, it was said that using a bounce flash will loose 1 stop
of light. So, I set my camera 1 stop below i.e. f4.0 and flash at
f5.6 but I am not happy with the pictures.

Can someone provide with some more information on indoor flash
photography? Any help in terms of a web site link or a good
practical book on indoor flash photography will be appreciated.
Also, I am looking for some information on INFANT photograhpy so
that when the time comes I am all ready.

Thanks in anticipation,
-Amit

-- hide signature --

Jose Maria

Jose Maria Simoes Regular Member • Posts: 341
Re: Hands on

Well ... when you get some litle more experienced and fill a litle easyer with your camara, why not to start taking photos from your wife ? You want to take portraits, don't you ? So .... take portraits, take several portraits of you wife ... so, one day you can show them all to yours kids, ..... hehehe .... don't forget to tell then that you have been allways the family photographer ....

Jose Maria Simoes wrote:
May I sugest this ?
In your leaving room, choose a subject to photograph.
Make the 100 ISO selection
Put your camara in Aperture priority and choose the F3.5
point the camara to the subject and press the the shutter button
alfway down, see the number of the shutter speed ?
Now, change the aperture to F3.
Point again the camara to the same subject and again, press the
button alfaway, see the number of the shutter speed become a litle
faster ?
Well, you did open a litle the diafragma and the camara compensate
the change by choosing to fast a litle more the shutter speed, this
way the camara is having the same quantity of light.
Now, trie the F4, see what apened to the speed ? Yes, it become a
litle slower.

So, by changing F3.5 to F3 the F number is smaller but the aperture
is grater, right ? But changing F3.5 to F4 give us the inverse.

Now, mount the flash on the camara and switch on. Ready to do some
more experiments ? Lets go to the funny part.

Put your camara in manual mode.
Choose F3.5 and 1/60 s.
Point the camara to the subject and get the picture. What hapened ?
Did the photo comes nice ? Yes ? No ? Oh well, lets go fix this
litle problem.
Review the picture, see the histogram ?
If the photo is dark the histogram shows a underexposed picture.

So, to fix this you need more light. That's very easy, open the
diafragma by shoosing a smaller F. Take another picture and see if
now it came right.

If the photo have to much ligth the histogram shows a overexposed
picture. In the review mode o can see the histogram

So, you have to close the diaframa to have less ligth by choosing a
greater F

Let's go PRO, by playing with the light of the flash.
Changing the direction of the flash's head you are changing the
path of the light. Bouncing the head in the direction to the
ceiling we will get a very beautifull light. But wait. Change to
F2.5 and experiment. Got what you pleased ? No ? Well, open or
close the diafragma as needed and you will have fantastic photos.
Please, don't make your fotos too close to the subject.
Have a lot of fun and beautiful photos.

Amit Chugh wrote:

Hi,

Recently I purchase a Promaster 5750DX with a Standard FTM5000
module to hook up my V1. I have also purchased Lumiquest ProMax
System with it. The camera and flash are mounted on a Flash Flip
Bracket.

I am basically interested in Indoor flash photography. Very soon I
am going to be a father of a daughter and that's the only reason I
spent some money to go Digital so that I will be able to better
capture some of the most precious moments with my baby.

I have gone through lot of flash photography tips from Mike &
Yehuda but still I am far far away from taking a good decent
picture with my setup.

The problem that I am having is that most of the pictures either
get overexposed or underexposed.

The way I take a picture is I set the flash to GREEN AUTO mode
which is F5.6 at ISO 100 and then I set my camera to Aperture mode.
I set the lowest aperture I can use with my camera, which is F4.0
and use the full zoom. At full zoom V1 only gives me f4.0. Although
at full wide I get f2.8.

Based on the information posted here as well as at the back of the
lumiquest, it was said that using a bounce flash will loose 1 stop
of light. So, I set my camera 1 stop below i.e. f4.0 and flash at
f5.6 but I am not happy with the pictures.

Can someone provide with some more information on indoor flash
photography? Any help in terms of a web site link or a good
practical book on indoor flash photography will be appreciated.
Also, I am looking for some information on INFANT photograhpy so
that when the time comes I am all ready.

Thanks in anticipation,
-Amit

-- hide signature --

Jose Maria

OP Amit Chugh Regular Member • Posts: 144
Re: Hands on

@Jose,

Thanks for the info. I have tried everything you said. What I am not good at is how far away I need to be from the subject to get a good exposure when:

1) Using Lumiquest 80-20/Pocket Bouncer
2) Using just the Ceiling as a Bounce.

Also what numbers to start playing with?

On a side note on V1 one can only go upto F2.8 max. So the lens is not as fast as Sony's F series cameras.

What I have tried is to use the Lumiquest 80-20 with white insert which makes it a pocket bouncer. Set the Flash at GREEN which is F5.6 @ 100 ISO. Set the camera in Aperture Priority mode (Assume the external flash is connected and is turned ON at this momemt). Half press the Shutter to focus the camera. The camera gives my a Shutter speed which is usually 1/30sec or near by at F2.8 inside my house. Without releasing the shutter, completely press it to take the picture. I even told my family to sit in front of me and wave their hand pretty fast when the camera was showing F2.8 at 1/30 sec at the half press of the shutter the picture did not show any motion blur. So my test revealed that the camera takes another exposure reading just before taking the picture when the flash fires and that's the reason it did not show any motion blur. The conclusion of this test is that I cannot realy on the camera reading when using external flash.

Now V1 does offer AE LOCK which I haven't tried yet. I think that will LOCK the exposure and will show me motion blur.

Hope this small test I did will help others in understanding this camera's operation and others will share their finding here so that all of us can use our small little gizmo much better than we could have thought.

Here's what I am looking forward to learn:

1) How far I need to be from the subject to use bounce flash photography. If I stay 4-5 meters away, I am not able to zoom enough to fill the frame. If I move closer I am either overexposing them or underexposing them. The picture gets underexposed when I match the camera and flash Aperture and I over expose when the camera has lesser F number than what was set on the flash.

-Amit

Jose Maria Simoes wrote:
Well ... when you get some litle more experienced and fill a litle
easyer with your camara, why not to start taking photos from your
wife ? You want to take portraits, don't you ? So .... take
portraits, take several portraits of you wife ... so, one day you
can show them all to yours kids, ..... hehehe .... don't forget to
tell then that you have been allways the family photographer ....

Jose Maria Simoes wrote:

May I sugest this ?
In your leaving room, choose a subject to photograph.
Make the 100 ISO selection
Put your camara in Aperture priority and choose the F3.5
point the camara to the subject and press the the shutter button
alfway down, see the number of the shutter speed ?
Now, change the aperture to F3.
Point again the camara to the same subject and again, press the
button alfaway, see the number of the shutter speed become a litle
faster ?
Well, you did open a litle the diafragma and the camara compensate
the change by choosing to fast a litle more the shutter speed, this
way the camara is having the same quantity of light.
Now, trie the F4, see what apened to the speed ? Yes, it become a
litle slower.

So, by changing F3.5 to F3 the F number is smaller but the aperture
is grater, right ? But changing F3.5 to F4 give us the inverse.

Now, mount the flash on the camara and switch on. Ready to do some
more experiments ? Lets go to the funny part.

Put your camara in manual mode.
Choose F3.5 and 1/60 s.
Point the camara to the subject and get the picture. What hapened ?
Did the photo comes nice ? Yes ? No ? Oh well, lets go fix this
litle problem.
Review the picture, see the histogram ?
If the photo is dark the histogram shows a underexposed picture.

So, to fix this you need more light. That's very easy, open the
diafragma by shoosing a smaller F. Take another picture and see if
now it came right.

If the photo have to much ligth the histogram shows a overexposed
picture. In the review mode o can see the histogram

So, you have to close the diaframa to have less ligth by choosing a
greater F

Let's go PRO, by playing with the light of the flash.
Changing the direction of the flash's head you are changing the
path of the light. Bouncing the head in the direction to the
ceiling we will get a very beautifull light. But wait. Change to
F2.5 and experiment. Got what you pleased ? No ? Well, open or
close the diafragma as needed and you will have fantastic photos.
Please, don't make your fotos too close to the subject.
Have a lot of fun and beautiful photos.

Jose Maria Simoes Regular Member • Posts: 341
Re: Hands on

It apears to me that you are doing very well, you are a very fast learner.
I suspect that you in no time you will able to make very good photos.
Now, one or two more thinks that you could trie.

1. in the Mode dial turn it to the mark "M" (manual Mode) (in the suplieded manual -> pag 45 )

2. in the jog dial make the selection for the Aperture (F stop) and the speed (see pag 40 of the manual) , let's say F5.6 and 60 s)

3. in the menu for ISO of the camara select 100 ISO (see pag 39 of the manual)

3. Set the Flash at GREEN which is F5.6 @ 100 ISO (that is the same as the camara)

Now, let's have a litle of fun playing with the camara.

4. have a distance of 2 metres (+ -) from the subject

take a photo, review the picture, see the histogram and open or close the diafragma of the camara as needed.

If is underexposed, open the diafragma, decrease F (F5.6 -> F5)
If is overexposed, close the diafragma, increase F (F5.6 -> F6)

When the Flash lights, is only for a very very tiny period, thats for that reason that the picture doesn't come blured when you have of family wave theirs hads. The diafragma could be open for a greater period, but does not have the ligth it needs to record the movement. So, the movements freezes.

Have a lot of fun and have a lot of good pictures

jr60004 Senior Member • Posts: 2,181
Sorry to see you suffering like this!

You mentioned distance to the subject while trying to fill the frame. Get a good picture first. Then it is possible, and very easy, to crop the photo with your favorite editor.
MIkeeee

-- hide signature --

We want fun 'cos we medically need it! A.W.K.

PinHole Regular Member • Posts: 110
Try this

You may be losing one F value to the ceiling when bouncing flash, but the flash is compensating for this with more power by metering the light reflected back from the subject. Therefore I don't think it is correct to use a lower F-stop value on the camera than the flash. If the flash is set to F 5.4, then put the camera in manual mode and set the aperture to 5.4 and set the ISO to 100 so it all matches. This is true whether you are using direct flash, any lumiquest configuration or bouncing from the ceiling.

Now there are only two variables left to set. One is the shutter speed, and this is not such a critical value with flash photography, but you can experiment and find something that gives good results. Start out with 1/125 or faster and see how that works. Experiment up to about 1/1000. The other variable is the bounce angle. You need to consider how high your ceiling is, what color it is and how far from your subject you are. If you have a normal residential ceiling height of 2.5 meters from the floor, the ceiling is white and flat, and you are about 3 meters from your subject, then you should be bouncing off the ceiling at about 90 or 75 degrees as indicated on the flash's bounce angle indicator. If you have a significantly different ceiling geometry, you are on your own.

You should be aware that this is a powerful flash and you may not be able to avoid overexposure at close range with the flash pointed directly at the subject. For this reason is also might be smart to disable the auxiliary fill flash until you get this sorted out.

If you do not have strong backlighting and are still not getting good exposures, then make sure that the meter on the front of the flash is not obstructed in any way. Also make sure that the camera's flash settings in the menu are set to normal (I think the V1 has such a setting). If this still doesn't work, then there may be a problem with the flash.

Oh yeah: of course I am assuming you have fresh high-quality batteries installed in the flash and you are allowing it sufficient time to charge between flashes.

OP Amit Chugh Regular Member • Posts: 144
Re: Try this

@PinHole & @Jose

Thanks for all your input. I will try each one of your suggestions one at a time and post back my result here.

@PinHole

Your theory of flash compensating the 1 stop appears more correct. However how much of it applies in practice will be known shortly once I go back home and test it. Yes, I am living in an appartment with low ceiling. I never measured it but I looks pretty low. I will measure it also. To get the feel of how far 3 meters from the subject is, I will measure that too so that when taking real pictures I have an idea how far I am away from the subject.

Can't wait to get back home and try all this. Talk to you guys pretty soon.

Once again thanks for the help. I will post my results back on this same thread so that others can get some help too.

-Amit

PinHole wrote:

You may be losing one F value to the ceiling when bouncing flash,
but the flash is compensating for this with more power by metering
the light reflected back from the subject. Therefore I don't think
it is correct to use a lower F-stop value on the camera than the
flash. If the flash is set to F 5.4, then put the camera in manual
mode and set the aperture to 5.4 and set the ISO to 100 so it all
matches. This is true whether you are using direct flash, any
lumiquest configuration or bouncing from the ceiling.

Now there are only two variables left to set. One is the shutter
speed, and this is not such a critical value with flash
photography, but you can experiment and find something that gives
good results. Start out with 1/125 or faster and see how that
works. Experiment up to about 1/1000. The other variable is the
bounce angle. You need to consider how high your ceiling is, what
color it is and how far from your subject you are. If you have a
normal residential ceiling height of 2.5 meters from the floor, the
ceiling is white and flat, and you are about 3 meters from your
subject, then you should be bouncing off the ceiling at about 90 or
75 degrees as indicated on the flash's bounce angle indicator. If
you have a significantly different ceiling geometry, you are on
your own.

You should be aware that this is a powerful flash and you may not
be able to avoid overexposure at close range with the flash pointed
directly at the subject. For this reason is also might be smart to
disable the auxiliary fill flash until you get this sorted out.

If you do not have strong backlighting and are still not getting
good exposures, then make sure that the meter on the front of the
flash is not obstructed in any way. Also make sure that the
camera's flash settings in the menu are set to normal (I think the
V1 has such a setting). If this still doesn't work, then there may
be a problem with the flash.

Oh yeah: of course I am assuming you have fresh high-quality
batteries installed in the flash and you are allowing it sufficient
time to charge between flashes.

Shay Stephens Forum Pro • Posts: 12,091
Re: Please help me with my new flash

Hello Amit,

When doing flash photography, you will want to use manual exposure on the camera.

Amit Chugh wrote:

The problem that I am having is that most of the pictures either
get overexposed or underexposed.

The way I take a picture is I set the flash to GREEN AUTO mode
which is F5.6 at ISO 100 and then I set my camera to Aperture mode.
I set the lowest aperture I can use with my camera, which is F4.0
and use the full zoom. At full zoom V1 only gives me f4.0. Although
at full wide I get f2.8.

If you set the flash to auto f/5.6, then set the camera manually to use aperture f/5.6. Don't have two different auto modes running at the same time.

Based on the information posted here as well as at the back of the
lumiquest, it was said that using a bounce flash will loose 1 stop
of light. So, I set my camera 1 stop below i.e. f4.0 and flash at
f5.6 but I am not happy with the pictures.

If you are using manual output of the flash then yes, yu will need to compensate. But if the flash is controlling the output automatically, then you don't also need to compensate with the camera. Let the flash handle the that.

Can someone provide with some more information on indoor flash
photography? Any help in terms of a web site link or a good
practical book on indoor flash photography will be appreciated.
Also, I am looking for some information on INFANT photograhpy so
that when the time comes I am all ready.

You would be better off just practicing on your own. If you continue having difficulty, consider getting a flash meter and control the output of the flash and camera manually.

-- hide signature --

As long as the Lomo exists, it doesn't matter what camera you use.

Alan Mitchell New Member • Posts: 9
Thanks, Jose and Pinhole!

Amit Chugh wrote:
@PinHole & @Jose

Thanks for all your input. I will try each one of your suggestions
one at a time and post back my result here.

@PinHole

Your theory of flash compensating the 1 stop appears more correct.
However how much of it applies in practice will be known shortly
once I go back home and test it. Yes, I am living in an appartment
with low ceiling. I never measured it but I looks pretty low. I
will measure it also. To get the feel of how far 3 meters from the
subject is, I will measure that too so that when taking real
pictures I have an idea how far I am away from the subject.

Can't wait to get back home and try all this. Talk to you guys
pretty soon.

Once again thanks for the help. I will post my results back on this
same thread so that others can get some help too.

-Amit

PinHole wrote:

You may be losing one F value to the ceiling when bouncing flash,
but the flash is compensating for this with more power by metering
the light reflected back from the subject. Therefore I don't think
it is correct to use a lower F-stop value on the camera than the
flash. If the flash is set to F 5.4, then put the camera in manual
mode and set the aperture to 5.4 and set the ISO to 100 so it all
matches. This is true whether you are using direct flash, any
lumiquest configuration or bouncing from the ceiling.

Now there are only two variables left to set. One is the shutter
speed, and this is not such a critical value with flash
photography, but you can experiment and find something that gives
good results. Start out with 1/125 or faster and see how that
works. Experiment up to about 1/1000. The other variable is the
bounce angle. You need to consider how high your ceiling is, what
color it is and how far from your subject you are. If you have a
normal residential ceiling height of 2.5 meters from the floor, the
ceiling is white and flat, and you are about 3 meters from your
subject, then you should be bouncing off the ceiling at about 90 or
75 degrees as indicated on the flash's bounce angle indicator. If
you have a significantly different ceiling geometry, you are on
your own.

You should be aware that this is a powerful flash and you may not
be able to avoid overexposure at close range with the flash pointed
directly at the subject. For this reason is also might be smart to
disable the auxiliary fill flash until you get this sorted out.

If you do not have strong backlighting and are still not getting
good exposures, then make sure that the meter on the front of the
flash is not obstructed in any way. Also make sure that the
camera's flash settings in the menu are set to normal (I think the
V1 has such a setting). If this still doesn't work, then there may
be a problem with the flash.

Oh yeah: of course I am assuming you have fresh high-quality
batteries installed in the flash and you are allowing it sufficient
time to charge between flashes.

Thanks for the fine discusiion and graphics- this is a help to many.
Alan

OP Amit Chugh Regular Member • Posts: 144
Re: Please help me with my new flash

@Shay

Thanks for your input. I agree with you that I should use AUTO mode on either Flash or Camera. How stupid of me to set both to auto....

Since the manual control on flash is limited to either 1/16 or Full power I think I will use AUTO on flash and use the manual on camera. The V1 gives quite a lot of manual controls and flexibility.

Not sure about the flash meter stuff as I am new but from what I have read I think, I will need a much professional/sophisticated flash which can give me lot of manual controls to really be of any use with a flash meter. Now I may be wrong on this as I am totally new to photography and this is my first digital camera.

-Amit

Shay Stephens wrote:
Hello Amit,
When doing flash photography, you will want to use manual exposure
on the camera.

Amit Chugh wrote:

The problem that I am having is that most of the pictures either
get overexposed or underexposed.

The way I take a picture is I set the flash to GREEN AUTO mode
which is F5.6 at ISO 100 and then I set my camera to Aperture mode.
I set the lowest aperture I can use with my camera, which is F4.0
and use the full zoom. At full zoom V1 only gives me f4.0. Although
at full wide I get f2.8.

If you set the flash to auto f/5.6, then set the camera manually to
use aperture f/5.6. Don't have two different auto modes running at
the same time.

Based on the information posted here as well as at the back of the
lumiquest, it was said that using a bounce flash will loose 1 stop
of light. So, I set my camera 1 stop below i.e. f4.0 and flash at
f5.6 but I am not happy with the pictures.

If you are using manual output of the flash then yes, yu will need
to compensate. But if the flash is controlling the output
automatically, then you don't also need to compensate with the
camera. Let the flash handle the that.

Can someone provide with some more information on indoor flash
photography? Any help in terms of a web site link or a good
practical book on indoor flash photography will be appreciated.
Also, I am looking for some information on INFANT photograhpy so
that when the time comes I am all ready.

You would be better off just practicing on your own. If you
continue having difficulty, consider getting a flash meter and
control the output of the flash and camera manually.

Mike Fitzgerald Veteran Member • Posts: 9,542
Re: Try this

Hi Amit --

What you're hopefully getting out of this is that there are several variables you need to consider, and your best asset is your obvious willingness to experiment. Here are my thoughts on a few aspects of this:

1) "Compensation" for bounce

PinHole has described perfectly what goes on with any competently designed auto bounce flash in theory; i.e. the metering sensor stays aimed directly at your subject (assuming "normal" mounting of the flash unit in the accessory shoe or flash bracket) while the head moves independently to set your bounce angle.

For semi-direct, diffused flash using the LumiQuest Pocket Bouncer (= 80-20 with an insert in place), exposure should therefore be virtually identical to what you'd get with direct frontal flash (without the LQ). Naturally there will be subtle subjective differences in the "look" of the image because of the softer shadows the LQ produces.

With ceiling bounce there are two additional factors you need to consider: one of them the nature of your subject, the other mathematical:

(a) Strong overhead lighting gives you a considerably different mood, relative to direct frontal flash, especially with standing people as your subject. There’s greater shadowing of facial detail, clothing and accessories and, even though the shadows are soft, the image will have less "punch" than a direct flash shot.

That alone may be why a bit more exposure can often improve a bounce shot. As you'd expect, the closer you are to your subject, the closer to vertical is the downward light coming from the ceiling and the greater the effect of shadows in producing a sombre looking result.

(b) Ceiling-to-subject geometry. Forgetting about shadows for the moment, let's look at the light fall-off from top to bottom of your subject. Imagine a 6 ft tall person standing under an 8 ft ceiling, shot at such close range that the patch of light (effective bounced source) on the ceiling is almost directly overhead. The distance from that bright patch on the ceiling to the top of the subject's head is 2 ft, while the distance to their feet is 8 ft. Subject illuminance decreases with the square of its distance from a given spreading light source, so in theory there will be a 4 EV (!) fall-off in brightness from head to toe. This is obviously an extreme case, which also ignores both the size of the ceiling patch and secondary bounce from walls and other light coloured objects nearby, but it helps to illustrate an important effect.

Now consider the same subject shot from 8 feet away, with the flash aimed vertically at the ceiling, directly above the camera. Again, to simplify things I'll ignore the size of the patch of light on the ceiling, and we'll assume that most of the light is coming from a point on the ceiling at that distance. This time, the distance from the effective light source (ceiling patch) to the subject's head is 8.25 ft, and to their feet it is 11.3 ft. A much smaller difference in light path.

Here's a post containing two bounce shots taken from considerably differing range. (Note that the other person's images I refer to in that post appear to be no longer available.) --
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=7230973

Bottom line: Start by matching the flash and camera aperture, but expect that you’ll probably need to increase exposure somewhat (smaller aperture, i.e. higher f/number, on the flash, or the opposite on the camera) with ceiling bounce alone. The amount of exposure bias will change with subject distance because of the factors described above. The 20% frontal contribution from the 80-20 Bouncer will become more important at closer ranges.

2) Shooting mode

(a) For flash only shots (i.e. where you want to basically avoid any effects from ambient light), Manual (camera) gives you the best control, taking irrelevant variables out of the equation. It also makes learning easier when you’re only changing one thing at a time. My own recommendation for shutter speed is that you initially keep it up a bit – say 1/125s to 1/250s – until you are comfortable with the cause/effect relationship in your flash experiments. When you’ve achieved that, you may wish to play with lower shutter speeds so as to allow the ambient light to contribute more to the exposure. If you look at Shay’s current wedding photos thread you’ll see that he quotes a shutter speed of 1/30s for the bulk of his shooting on that occasion. A low speed like that has the potential to provide more balance lighting of the surroundings, beyond the main flash-to-subject range. The mixed colour temperatures can often be used to good artistic effect in such a setting, as sometimes can deliberate background subject movement; but you should initially regard that as an advanced technique and start with higher shutter speeds, even though you believe you’re freezing your subjects adequately at slower ones.

(b) For outdoor fill-in shooting you’re best off using Aperture Priority. That allows the camera to change the shutter speed freely (within available limits) to expose the background correctly, while the fixed aperture leaves the flash to take care of the main subject.

3) Overexposure at close range

I don’t know what to expect from the Promaster in non-dedicated mode, save to say that it should be able to throttle itself back without any trouble for quite close subjects. Naturally, average subject reflectivity will have a significant effect on the result, but from an electronics viewpoint – both componentry and design technique – getting this to work properly is really old hat. The technology has been there for decades and there’s just no excuse these days for the poor design we seem to be seeing so often:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=4476053

Mike

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