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View Full Version : Flash / Strobe Topics Flash technique problem...very upsetting !



bbodine9
05-13-2007, 07:16 AM
If anyone can tell me what I did wrong please fire away ! I used EB's flash techniques for indoor flash settings with the FL50 at my daughter's graduation yesterday ( she is the one on the left ) and totally blew out what should have been my best photo op of the ceremony, very upsetting to lose this shot. I had "a better bounce card" diffuser mounted to the flash which meant the flash was pointing towards the arena ceiling ( obviously no bounce here ) but am wondering now if the flash did not receive any feedback in the TTL auto mode to adjust itself properly. EB's techniques have and are still the best in my opinion but I think it was my error using the diffuser. Should I have used a stofen in direct flash mode ? Really frustrating to say the least. Thanks for any help you can share !

Bill_Turner
05-13-2007, 09:06 AM
I think it's salvageable.
What was your metering mode? As the surrounds and the gowns were quite dark, it appears that your flash/TTL overcompensated for that blowing, a bit, the skin tones.
I noticed in the EXIF that the ISO was 400. Did you set that or was in done via Auto ISO?

bbodine9
05-13-2007, 10:57 AM
Bill I hope you are right about saving the shot, just have to figure out how ??? The camera was on auto ISO as I was using EB's indoor flash technique with the bounce card, so I am not sure where I messed up but just need to learn from it and hopefully someone might have an idea on how to save this shot as College graduations are not an everyday event.

Michael Meissner
05-13-2007, 01:23 PM
If anyone can tell me what I did wrong please fire away ! I used EB's flash techniques for indoor flash settings with the FL50 at my daughter's graduation yesterday ( she is the one on the left ) and totally blew out what should have been my best photo op of the ceremony, very upsetting to lose this shot. I had "a better bounce card" diffuser mounted to the flash which meant the flash was pointing towards the arena ceiling ( obviously no bounce here ) but am wondering now if the flash did not receive any feedback in the TTL auto mode to adjust itself properly. EB's techniques have and are still the best in my opinion but I think it was my error using the diffuser. Should I have used a stofen in direct flash mode ? Really frustrating to say the least. Thanks for any help you can share !
I would have used center spot metering (metering on your daughter's face) rather than matrix metering. With matrix metering, the flash is going to try and illuminate the whole room.

In looking at the EXIF information, I don't see the flash model number (ie, FL-36/FL-50). Perhaps the flash wasn't securely attached. I've had times when my FL-50 wasn't firmly attached, and only the center pin connected, which meant it fired in auto mode. Auto mode fails when you have a subject not near a wall, since the flash has no idea what needs to be illuminated. You should probably get into the habit of checking the LCD on the flash to make sure it is in TTL mode.

I also would not have used the flash modifier for that photo, and instead just used the flash firing directly, since the purpose of most modifiers is to soften the shadows, but being out there, you don't have much shadows.. If your daughter had been nearer to a wall, then I would have used a flash modifier.

I also think the photo can be rescued by people with good photoshop skills.

JonasB
05-13-2007, 02:01 PM
I ran the jpg you posted through Lightroom and this is a quick fix straight out.
So the image might not be optimal, but you can still make a usable image out of it i think.

I saw from the EXIF that your exposure was 1/90 at f2.8 at ISO 400. I would say from experience that to get the ambient light into this shot, if that was the purpose, you would have had to shoot at around 1/15 or 1/8sec with that aperture and ISO. Also it seems from the shot that you havenīt had the flash metering set to "slow".

Sometimes i have had problems with flash over exposure in TTL because shooting at ISO 400 or 800 with aperture at f2.8, the subjekt has been to close and the flash isnīt able to reduce the power outputt enough. This, judging from the fact that you have the two ladies framed with space to spare at 50mm, isnīt the case here. At ISO400 and aperture f2.8, my FL50 gives a minimum shooting distance of 2,5meters. I think the girls were at a safe distance for that.

I myself have gone more and more to using manual flash for this kind of shots. Then i know what i get and the guesswork is out of the game.

Hope any of this is usefull: Jonas

bbodine9
05-13-2007, 02:29 PM
Thanks everybody for your contributions ! Yes I learned several things from this and hope to apply them in the future. The other thing I should have done was taken a test shot of some of the preceding graduates and at least I may have been alerted that a problem was lurking.

Also appreciate the Lightroom editing, was that done using the Recovery slider ?

Thanks again !

JonasB
05-13-2007, 02:38 PM
Thats what i did. I didnīt work on the colors, just had a quick look what could be done.

Jonas

Bojan Volcansek
05-13-2007, 08:20 PM
Here, problem can also be that because of dark/black overall robe, metering was simply fooled and thought yeah gray, hence overexposure.
have you applied some exposure compensation to compensate for black robes?

Yours Bojan

cstirlingbartholomew
05-14-2007, 10:47 AM
There are some lighting situations that are almost guaranteed to cause problems with any sort of auto exposure technology. Two small pale faces on a sea of black is ideal for overexposure. I don't use a strobe with my Olympus but I assume you can set both the strobe and the camera on manual exposure and calculate the distance with guide numbers. This will dramatically improve your results.

Trying to find the ideal combination of auto mode settings for the camera and strobe for a situation like this one isn't going to lead to results you can count on. It may work now and then but if you need to have it work every time then go manual all the way and test the procedure at home until you get it down so it is something you can do without thinking about it.



Clay

bbodine9
05-14-2007, 06:37 PM
Thanks to everyone for all the various tips and hints. I think next time I would spot meter, use the Flip It with diffuser to soften the light and experiment on prior graduates to see how the settings work. I have attached a quick redo of my own from Lightroom and think it may be the best I can do for now. Thanks again everyone !

eelect
05-30-2007, 08:54 PM
Black Dresses Low light, gotta use spot meter mode. Do an exposure lock on the face and attach a Gary Fong Whale tail diffuser and you'll be in business.
On such occations shoot Raw and Jpeg just to be safe