08-30-2010, 05:32 PM #1
Reflectors and on camera flash questions
There has been a lot of talk about using flash lately, but after reading the threads, I still have a few unanswered questions in my mind.
Reflectors-does anyone have a diagram or photographic example of how to set up a shot using a reflector? Honestly, how to use a reflector is just not connecting in my brain at this point. I cannot imagine that the proper way to use one is to bounce a direct light source onto your subject as that would just cause squinting. But simply placing it in front of the subject with no light source other than...well, nothing, that does seem to compute either. I am referring to taking a portrait in open shade or on an overcast day when you might need some fill light.
Pop-up flash-I know they are sucky in comparison to off camera flashes or speed lites, but this is all I have right now. I have heard people mention that these can be used just for fill light, but how? Do I need to diffuse it somehow? Does the camera just KNOW that I want it to be fill light not full flash based on my settings? (I mostly use AV or M trying to keep the meter at 0 as often as possible). Do I change the settings to underexpose a bit if I am going to use the flash like this? Or do I still try to acheive 0 on the meter with the pop up flash? can I adjust the pop-up flash power?
So many questions, I know. I am sorry. I just feel the need to master the things on the camera before I go buying other stuff, kwim?
If it helps, I use a Canon T1i.
Thanks so much!
08-30-2010, 06:40 PM #2
Last edited by zona5101; 08-30-2010 at 07:07 PM."They call me Bruce."
08-30-2010, 06:45 PM #3dPS +1000 Club
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
- Sydney, Australia
I have only used them indoors for still life.
For outdoors this may help.
Using Gold Reflectors for Effect | LIGHTING ESSENTIALS For Photographers
BetterPhoto Instructor Insights: Using a gold reflector for faces
Re fill in flash.
See this tutorial from Canon.
Canon Digital Learning Center - Fill-Flash use with EOS cameras and speedlitesFlickr stream.
08-30-2010, 08:19 PM #4
Check out the following link. About halfway down they show a picture of an assistant using reflectors. If you aren't lucky enough to have any unpaid assistants (better known as 'children') you may have to fork out for some stands. The best reflectors are made from cloth and are different on each side, say, white on one side and gold on the other.They are made with a loop of spring wire that holds them on place but allows you to fold them and put them in your bag when you are done. Look on eBay for some great deals.Lee R
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
08-30-2010, 08:50 PM #5
Your pop-up flash is pretty low power but can work in a pinch. I've used mine a couple of times in low light where I just needed a bit of light.
Your camera menu there is an item "Flash exp com". Set that somewhere between -1 and -2. That will make the flash kick in below ambient light. Really good for filling in those racoon eyes.
This is really bad example but shows the idea:
XSI / 100mm f/2
1/50th @ f/2.0 iso 1600
on camera flash set at -1
The idea was to just fill in the front. It was REALLY dark with just some floods a long ways away and a couple lights lighting up the back of the stage. I wanted to keep the backlight and just put some light on the front. I needed a bit more shutter speed to keep it sharp. My camera maxes at iso 1600 and f/2 is as open as the lens gets.
Your camera would probably get the shot, it has better high iso than mine.
08-30-2010, 08:58 PM #6
08-30-2010, 09:00 PM #7
Do I need to diffuse it somehow?
Does the camera just KNOW that I want it to be fill light not full flash based on my settings? (I mostly use AV or M trying to keep the meter at 0 as often as possible).
In P and green-box auto, the assumption is the flash is for main illumination, and you want a shutter speed that lets you handhold.
In M, it's assumed you know what you're doing and can balance the flash/ambient for yourself.
To learn to balance flash against the ambient, the Strobist explains it far better than I can in these two articles:
Do I change the settings to underexpose a bit if I am going to use the flash like this? Or do I still try to acheive 0 on the meter with the pop up flash?
- Strobist: Lighting 102: Assignment - Balance
- Strobist: Lighting 102: 3.3 - Balancing Flash/Ambient Indoors
Whenever you take a photo with flash, you're combining two exposures in one: the ambient exposure, and whatever got lit by the flash. This is additive. Whatever the flash lights up will be lighter than what you'd get by ambient alone. And the flash's light has a specific fall-off pattern and reach (based on the power). The intensity of the light decreases with the distance by an inverse square law: I.e., if you get a certain level of light at a specific distance, doubling the distance gets you 1/4 of the light, and tripling the distance gets you 1/9 of the light.
can I adjust the pop-up flash power?
I just feel the need to master the things on the camera before I go buying other stuff, kwim?
Last edited by inkista; 08-30-2010 at 11:44 PM. Reason: typos
08-30-2010, 11:04 PM #8
I forgot to mention that I was shooting in Av mode. I think it was actually the first time I have ever used the built in flash.
I found the pre-shot flashing extremely annoying which is why I only took one shot.
08-30-2010, 11:46 PM #9
The eTTL preflash doesn't bug me that much (I'm normally shooting things, not people), but what ticks me off the most about the pop-up flash is that I'm stuck in eTTL, and I can't go to manual, yet I do not have high-speed synch. Worst of both worlds. [headshake].
Another (bad) example of fill-flash--with the popup flash (I was just messing around):
The tree was coming out a lot darker, it being in the shade (see the tree behind it? Like that). I just flicked the pop-up flash on, and shot.
Using flash pushes the shadows lighter, and compresses the dynamic range--sort of doing the opposite of HDR.
Last edited by inkista; 08-30-2010 at 11:51 PM.
09-08-2010, 04:12 PM #10Freezing in WI!
- Join Date
- Aug 2010
- La Crosse, WI
Check out amazon.com and search for the Gary Fong Puffer. That is a small diffuser that should work with your pop-up flash. I have even held up a sheet of white computer paper if I am in a pinch.Brand New Flickr