Author Topic: the technique of flashing  (Read 290 times)

Arild

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the technique of flashing
« on: August 09, 2017, 00:59:31 »
This is very important for me. Am I doing this right?
I just bought the SB-910 flash secondhand. On this photo it is 70 cm from the orchid, to the upper right of me. It was eight in the evening, in a dark pine wood, heavy overcast. Surprised that my d750 managed to autofocus this. NB Its fitted with the diffusor dome.
Lens 105 2.8 micro nikkor VR.

NB: I am totally unable to manual focus this 105 micro when it is so dark due to my severe eye "handicapp" (grå stær), and I had forgotten my reading glasses.

I am no pro, just an old and retired botanist taking snapshot of flowers :-)

The photo is straight out of camera NEF. I belive I can do magic with it in my Photoshop :-)
Dryas Anne

charlie

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 06:40:58 »
This is very important for me. Am I doing this right?

You are not doing it wrong.

As far as using the flash goes, the orchid/whites are not entirely blown but I find them a bit over exposed. The background exposure adds a nice ambience.

As for the picture the orchid wavers between being in and out of focus never settling on a solid focal point.

Dialing the flash down a half to full stop would help but focussing in on a more compelling section of the orchid, or the spider, would be most beneficial.



Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 08:15:53 »
The flower (Platanthera bifolia) is about 1/2 stop too richly exposed. Be careful with white flowers, it's all too easy to blow out important fine detail.

Start experimenting with rear synch flash and the power dialled down quite a bit, perhaps to -2 EV. You can use an extension cord for the flash so as to avoid having it on-camera.

Arild

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 08:40:00 »
Bjørn;

Extension cord??


I must have missed something. This is Nikon SB-910 in Remote mode -- it is cordless about one meter away. Dont need any cords do I ??

My Nikon D750 is Commanding it. It is on Command mode / in setup e3 I have set it as Command.
The internal flash on D750 is NOT firing

So what happpened was that only sb-910 fired at one meter away. My cameras flash didnt fire.
Dryas Anne

David H. Hartman

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 08:56:39 »
The flower (Platanthera bifolia) is about 1/2 stop too richly exposed. Be careful with white flowers, it's all too easy to blow out important fine detail.

Start experimenting with rear synch flash and the power dialled down quite a bit, perhaps to -2 EV. You can use an extension cord for the flash so as to avoid having it on-camera.

Do I understand paragraph one says forget exposure to the right with a subject that bright white. It seems to me one is giving up separation in the whites by push them too far to the right even if the whites aren't fully blown. If I'm wrong please let me know.

Something I've seen is one channel, red or blue, is saturated when the white histogram and blinkies don't indicate that bright areas are blown out. I'm speaking of my D800 now. I'm more of an exposure to the center guy. Comments welcome.

Dave the Less
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David H. Hartman

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 09:41:30 »
Bjørn;

Extension cord??


I must have missed something. This is Nikon SB-910 in Remote mode -- it is cordless about one meter away. Dont need any cords do I ??

My Nikon D750 is Commanding it. It is on Command mode / in setup e3 I have set it as Command.
The internal flash on D750 is NOT firing

So what happpened was that only sb-910 fired at one meter away. My cameras flash didnt fire.

Yes and no: the pop-up fires a "fire now" command that can at close range can affect the exposure some. This fire now flash happens when the shutter is open and it can be seen in a mirror or other reflective subject. To solve the problem you need an SG-3IR, IR pass filter that clip into the hot shoe.

Cord? If your SB-910 fires reliably using CLS you don't need a cord. If you have problems you can use an SC-17, SC-28 or SC-29 TTL cord. When ever possible I use the pop-up as commander and speedlight as remote.  There might be problems in bright sunlight getting the remote to respond. In low light at close range bounced pre-flashes are usually read.  The only problem I can think of having is my hat pushing down the pop-up and the pop-up failing to fire because it's turned off easily this way.

Dave
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Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 10:45:45 »
Arild, your setup should be OK if a remote functionality is operating. Just remember rear synch provides more natural fill-in than the standard front curtain method. And the advice of reducing flash output is still valid of course.

You should stop down the Micro-Nikkor to bring more of the plant into sharp focus, but don't overdo this or the background will start to intrude and disturb the clarity of the image you seek. f/5.6 usually works fine unless the background is very close to the plant specimen.

Arild

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2017, 14:17:16 »
Ouch

THIS is soooo god, thank you so much for all this advice!

I will try to remember keep my 105 micro at f5.6 now.

I own that sg-3ir, I choose not to bring it with me in the fields, it will for certain be lost a beautiful day :--)

ANd I will try to read up on rear synch, looks like this might be something for me.

So-- what would be to optimal:
-- distance
-- angle
for the sb-910 in relation to this orchid in this case??

And -- yes I always salute that flower by uncovering my head, which also keeps the built in flash safely up :-)

This is the end result, the photo that shows up at my website:



Dryas Anne

charlie

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 09:00:37 »
Rear sync vs front sync flash only makes a difference when there is movement of subject or camera happening during the exposure. Sync orientation lets you decide if you want the motion blur to lead or trail your subject. Trailing looks more natural.

General rules: If camera and subject does not move during the exposure then front sync vs rear sync does not make a difference.

If the camera is still and the subject moves during the exposure rear sync looks more natural. Example being camera on tripod, long shutter speed, and wind blowing your orchid.

If the camera moves and the subject is still front sync looks more natural, this is less common. An example would be you taking a picture of the orchid from a bike/car/train/plane as you pass by.

I'd suggest to set all cameras to rear sync and only put to front sync when needed.


Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 09:17:51 »
The nearest digital 'equivalence' is multi-exposures done in-camera. If you set the Gain mode to OFF, a strongly exposed part of the image will not materially get much brighter lighter (whilst darker areas do) during subsequent exposures. This leads to a softer and more delicate rendition that becomes more film-like as it were. I find front curtain synch acts more like the Gain ON alternative so tends to deliver harsher and more contrasty rendition, even when the subject is stationary, as long as the flash is used purely as fill-in. If the main exposure is by flash, the synch mode setting is immaterial as long as there is no movement either subject or camera.

All the above realtes to my personal experiences in nature photography. These days, I rarely use flash unless in a studio context, as the dynamic range of modern cameras requires less in terms of a helping hand from flash.

aerobat

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 12:30:56 »
For close-ups it is recommend to use the SG-3IR IR Panel for Built-In Flash:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/410445-REG/Nikon_4905_SG_3IR_IR_Panel_for.html

Even if the internal flash is set to off in the commander menu it will cast some light to the subject.
The IR Panel will only pass through IR light required to command the remote flash.
I use it quite a bit and like it.

Regards, Daniel
Daniel Diggelmann

David H. Hartman

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 16:56:02 »
Even if the internal flash is set to off in the commender menu it will cast some light to the subject.

...and that light can at close-up and macro distance flatten out the subject, cut the directional quality and reduce modeling. David Hobby, "The Strobist" refers to on camera flash as photocopier light. There is a time and a place for on camera fill but I don't think this white orchid is it. I would like to see more modeling of the subject.

With no useful modeling light I try different positions for the fill flash. I try to envision how light from a given angle will model the subject and where the shadows will fall. Then I'll check the LCD and adjust some if I'm not satisfied. If the light is nice without flash then go with it. If the ambient light sucks make your own or walk on.

I bought several SG-3IR(s) and always have one with my D800. 

Dave Hartman

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charlie

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Re: the technique of flashing
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2017, 17:14:15 »
The nearest digital 'equivalence' is multi-exposures done in-camera. If you set the Gain mode to OFF, a strongly exposed part of the image will not materially get much brighter lighter (whilst darker areas do) during subsequent exposures. This leads to a softer and more delicate rendition that becomes more film-like as it were. I find front curtain synch acts more like the Gain ON alternative so tends to deliver harsher and more contrasty rendition, even when the subject is stationary, as long as the flash is used purely as fill-in. If the main exposure is by flash, the synch mode setting is immaterial as long as there is no movement either subject or camera.

All the above realtes to my personal experiences in nature photography. These days, I rarely use flash unless in a studio context, as the dynamic range of modern cameras requires less in terms of a helping hand from flash.

I've never considered the order in which the exposure fills in, so to speak, when using fill flash. It makes sense what you speak of, thanks for brining this to my attention.