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  • outdoor fill flash Question

    I have trouble using fill flash outdoors and need some help please. So one day i was by the lake with my 7D taking portrait pictures of my wife. in this case i tried using my built in flash to fill the shadows on her face and to blur the background using wider aperture at f3.5. in this case all the photos where overexposed under this settings as i reached the maxed sync speed at 1/200 and i couldn't get my shutter speed any higher. so i had to bring my aperture to like f16 to kill the extra ambient light for the flash to fill in and now i have all clear unwanted background. so how do you correctly blur the background using wide apertures/with fill flash with out overexposing the shot?? thanks in advance.
    <P>Canon 7D | 28-135mm | 24-70<FONT color=red>L</FONT> | 17-55 2.8 | 50 1.8

    flickr

  • #2
    I have also noticed some wedding pictures taken outside in bright day light with settings like 1/200 and apertures at 1.8 wide open using fill flash with out overexposing the shot. how do they do this?
    <P>Canon 7D | 28-135mm | 24-70<FONT color=red>L</FONT> | 17-55 2.8 | 50 1.8

    flickr

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    • #3
      here is a good start:
      http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-pho...lash-outdoors/

      Also if you want higher flash sync speeds some of the external flash units will have high speed sync...
      Last edited by zona5101; 02-01-2011, 03:48 AM.
      "They call me Bruce."
      www.brucebphotography.com

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      • #4
        its funny you sent me this link, cause that is exactly where im at right now and reading it lol.

        but im still a bit confused. there is one person that left unanswered comment on the bottom, its by Adi. it is not explained there and my question is pretty much the same. can someone explain that please?
        <P>Canon 7D | 28-135mm | 24-70<FONT color=red>L</FONT> | 17-55 2.8 | 50 1.8

        flickr

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        • #5
          Originally posted by zona5101 View Post
          here is a good start:
          http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-pho...lash-outdoors/

          Also if you want higher flash sync speeds some of the external flash units will have high speed sync...
          so on 580ex what would be the highest high speed sync?
          <P>Canon 7D | 28-135mm | 24-70<FONT color=red>L</FONT> | 17-55 2.8 | 50 1.8

          flickr

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          • #6
            All the way up to your shortest shutter speed.


            See this.

            High Speed Sync for Flash at Any Shutter Speed
            Flickr stream.
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/34094515@N00/

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            • #7
              the Adi question from Tangents:
              "Neil, I saw on the example above that you always get 1/250th with aperture at 2.8 when you exposed for the ambient. Wouldn’t the shutter will be way high if I took the picture in bright daylight like 1/600th or something higher? In that case what would you do? thanks
              - let me add to my previous post. In the case of bright daylight, what would you do to be able to get 1/250th and wide aperture? Did you move the subject to a shade location or did you usually schedule the session when the sun is not so bright? So that you will be able to use max synch speed and wide aperture?"


              In looking at the images @ 1/250 f2.8 the subjects aren't in full sun. They are in shade, either he has a gobo off camera or a natural structure blocking the direct sun ...or even it was simply a cloudy day. You can also cut down the ambient by using a neutral density filter...but that will cut down your flash as well. I suppose you could up the flash output to compensate...
              "They call me Bruce."
              www.brucebphotography.com

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              • #8
                With my Metz 48 AF-1 unit I've been able to shoot at 1/2000 with no problem; haven't tried faster than that, but I guess it should be no problem.

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                • #9
                  First of all thanks again for all the help guys. i did lots of reading and i think im getting it. so this means that it would be impossible to shoot on a sunny day at 1/250 (max sync speed) at f1.8, 2.0... on a prime lens with fill flash (i will over expose it by a lot). I will have to increase my shutter speed to about 1/800 or even higher to shoot at wide apertures and use high sync speed to accomplish this shot. Does this sounds right, im a on the right path?

                  Originally posted by zona5101 View Post
                  the Adi question from Tangents:
                  "Neil, I saw on the example above that you always get 1/250th with aperture at 2.8 when you exposed for the ambient. Wouldn’t the shutter will be way high if I took the picture in bright daylight like 1/600th or something higher? In that case what would you do? thanks
                  - let me add to my previous post. In the case of bright daylight, what would you do to be able to get 1/250th and wide aperture? Did you move the subject to a shade location or did you usually schedule the session when the sun is not so bright? So that you will be able to use max synch speed and wide aperture?"


                  In looking at the images @ 1/250 f2.8 the subjects aren't in full sun. They are in shade, either he has a gobo off camera or a natural structure blocking the direct sun ...or even it was simply a cloudy day. You can also cut down the ambient by using a neutral density filter...but that will cut down your flash as well. I suppose you could up the flash output to compensate...
                  <P>Canon 7D | 28-135mm | 24-70<FONT color=red>L</FONT> | 17-55 2.8 | 50 1.8

                  flickr

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    TolyD, post a couple examples of your photos and let us see what you're talking about.

                    As for sync speed, maybe I misunderstood, but when I am using flash for fill, I don't worry about sync speed. I use the shutter speed, aperture combination I want -- in your case f/3.5. And, see what the flash does -- in your case it overexposed the shot. So, I would up the shutter speed... even past the sync speed of the flash. Unless you set the shutter to a very high speed, it will still capture some fill light from the flash.

                    Another approach -- If you have a 430 or 580, you can change the power output on the flash itself.

                    You didn't mention ISO. I'm not a big fan of using ISO to change exposure (unless I need lots more light), but if you were shooting at ISO 400 or higher, you might try setting it lower -- to ISO 100.

                    Lastly, play around with EV. Try a -1/2 stop and go from there. (Since I have not seen the photos, I can't really give you a better idea of where to start with EV).

                    I hope some of this helps!
                    CharlieJ RSS Feed
                    Canon 60D and Canon 350D
                    50mm prime f/1.8, M42 135mm f/2.8, 18~135mm f/3.5, 75~300mm f/4, 18~55mm kit & V3500 flash w/ trigger/receiver
                    CharlieJ's Facebook // My Flickr // CharlieJ's Blog/o/Foto

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by el_vago32 View Post
                      With my Metz 48 AF-1 unit I've been able to shoot at 1/2000 with no problem; haven't tried faster than that, but I guess it should be no problem.
                      i think its time for me to buy 580exii
                      <P>Canon 7D | 28-135mm | 24-70<FONT color=red>L</FONT> | 17-55 2.8 | 50 1.8

                      flickr

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                      • #12
                        i don't think i have any samples since they were all over exposed and i deleted them from my memory card, sorry. you are saying that i could ve increased my sutter speed but it wont allow me, as soon as i pop the flash it would give me max SS of 1/250 so i was forced to use aperture of f16 and higher to even out the exposure. my ISO was at the lowest, i don't like the noise that comes with it so i only use iso indoors.

                        Originally posted by CharlieJ View Post
                        TolyD, post a couple examples of your photos and let us see what you're talking about.

                        As for sync speed, maybe I misunderstood, but when I am using flash for fill, I don't worry about sync speed. I use the shutter speed, aperture combination I want -- in your case f/3.5. And, see what the flash does -- in your case it overexposed the shot. So, I would up the shutter speed... even past the sync speed of the flash. Unless you set the shutter to a very high speed, it will still capture some fill light from the flash.

                        Another approach -- If you have a 430 or 580, you can change the power output on the flash itself.

                        You didn't mention ISO. I'm not a big fan of using ISO to change exposure (unless I need lots more light), but if you were shooting at ISO 400 or higher, you might try setting it lower -- to ISO 100.

                        Lastly, play around with EV. Try a -1/2 stop and go from there. (Since I have not seen the photos, I can't really give you a better idea of where to start with EV).

                        I hope some of this helps!
                        <P>Canon 7D | 28-135mm | 24-70<FONT color=red>L</FONT> | 17-55 2.8 | 50 1.8

                        flickr

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CharlieJ View Post
                          .... So, I would up the shutter speed... even past the sync speed of the flash. Unless you set the shutter to a very high speed, it will still capture some fill light from the flash.
                          ??? Only part of the frame would receive any influence of the flash...and the size of the strip would get smaller and smaller the faster you set the shutter. That wouldn't be all that useful...even more troublesome if your shutter was vertical rather than horizontal. Otherwise why bother with designing high speed flash sync?

                          Perhaps I am misunderstanding your technique??
                          "They call me Bruce."
                          www.brucebphotography.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TolyD View Post
                            ...so this means that it would be impossible to shoot on a sunny day at 1/250 (max sync speed) at f1.8, 2.0... on a prime lens with fill flash (i will over expose it by a lot). I will have to increase my shutter speed to about 1/800 or even higher to shoot at wide apertures and use high sync speed to accomplish this shot. Does this sounds right, I'm a on the right path?
                            The key is to get the ambient right then fill light on top of the ambient. If the correct exposure without flash is 1/800 f1.8 then shooting at 1/250 f1.8 wouldn't work well - wouldn't work well with fill flash or without any flash - the underlying exposure would be overexposed by almost 2 stops. Fill flash is all about supplementing the ambient, not overpowering it...but laying it on top and to do that you start with the ambient (and usually underexpose the ambient by a bit to let the fill flash have a bit more snap). The new flashes can sync fast enough to go high speed but they don't produce much power at high sync because what is really happening is the flash is firing like a strobe light, multiple times in rapid succession to cover the image as the shutter travels.
                            "They call me Bruce."
                            www.brucebphotography.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by el_vago32 View Post
                              With my Metz 48 AF-1 unit I've been able to shoot at 1/2000 with no problem; haven't tried faster than that, but I guess it should be no problem.
                              Assume, you have your camera/flash set to high speed sync, or you'd be getting a lot of black bars going across your images
                              Vince "...the law of unintended consequences, sometimes, you get a truly memorable photograph"
                              Gear: Canon G2, Canon 20D, Nikon D300...bunch of lenses
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                              www.montalbanophotography.com

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