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Quality of light - and using on camera flash
Old 05-24-2006, 10:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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One thing I have learned from JT is that it isn't the AMOUNT of light you work with, but the QUALITY of that light. For me, one of the more difficult light sources to work with is on-camera flash. Using on-camera flash inevitable. At one time or another we have all used it as a primary source or as a fill, and I will wager most of us haven't been pleased with the result.

Here's a snapshot of the receptionist at my office - straight on on-camera flash shot with a D70 and an SB600 using TTL.

Even with the camera's computer controlling the output, the quality of the light isn't great. So what do we do? Well, one of the techniques I was taught is bounce the light off a ceiling or wall. So I did. Same gear as above - D70, SB600, all TTL:

A little better, certainly softer and no hot spot on her face, but there are distracting shadows under her brow and even her chin. In the studio, I could fix this with ease, but this is an on-camera flash issue... What to do??

How about this? Again - D70, SB600, TTL, flash in the bounce position:

I like this shot MUCH better than the other two. What made the difference, you ask? This thing did! This is one of the few gadgets that has lived up to the hype.

Here's a shot with the LightSphere in place and shot straight on - no bounce:

I haven't put it through a lot of work yet, but so far I'm very pleased with the result. For those times when you absolutely positively must shoot with on-camera flash, this is seems to be an indespinseable tool.
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Re: Quality of light - and using on camera flash
Old 05-24-2006, 10:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing, Ed. I think that's going to be a nice tool!
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Re: Quality of light - and using on camera flash
Old 05-24-2006, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice shots from an on camera flash Ed.

One trick I learned last week at a David Ziser seminar is to use bounce flash, but bounce against a wall instead of the ceiling. that way you don't get racoon eyes and you get a some shadow on the face so it isn't totally flat.
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Re: Quality of light - and using on camera flash
Old 05-24-2006, 01:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ziser is right, bouncing is the way to go, but ask him what he does in a church where he can't bounce from the ceiling.

Fongs dong rock. I use it all the time. Here is a trick if you want to control your light a little better. Pull up the reflector from your flash inside the dong or place a piece of duck tape on the back, so the light only reflects to the front of the camera.
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Re: Quality of light - and using on camera flash
Old 05-24-2006, 01:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Funny you should mention Gary Fong’s flash system. I just ordered mine yesterday…

I too shall see if it makes a differance in my photos using the on camera strobe.

I think I will still use my swing arm bracket with it though, even though he says you don't need to.
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Re: Quality of light - and using on camera flash
Old 05-24-2006, 01:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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"fong's dong"????
ROFLMAO!!!
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Re: Quality of light - and using on camera flash
Old 05-24-2006, 02:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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LMAO, I wasn't gonna say it, but since you did, that's one of the funniest things I've ever read!
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Re: Quality of light - and using on camera flash
Old 05-24-2006, 03:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I went to his seminar and I saw 3 of his followers wearing t-shirts that said that.
All the wedding photogs know it by that name.
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Re: Quality of light - and using on camera flash
Old 05-24-2006, 03:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Light Sphere! Mine cost less than 3 bucks! I shoot a lot of pets, so I'm not concerned about how something looks. Regardless, I've used mine with executives, all they want is results.

I took 2 of the GladWare small bowls. I cut the bottom of one to accept my flash. I then glued another bowl rim to rim w/the first one and let it dry. It works great in or out. Horizontal or vertical!

E
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Re: Quality of light - and using on camera flash
Old 05-25-2006, 09:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ed,
I think you might get something from this link.

http://www.planetneil.com/faq/flash-techniques.html


It's long but has a lot of information.
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