Originally Posted by R_Fredrick_Smith
In addition to the remarks already made, I would note that when using these kinds of flashes, which basically try to guess what might work in the photo based on a set of exposures values that the photographer may not be in full control of, that one often gets a surprise when viewing the end result. That's why its often better, especially with digital, to just change to manual mode across the board. Then you can control the flash and the exposure and values yourself. Making good use of the histogram in this process will aid in this kind of manual shooting.
Agreed. I am experimenting to find a quick method where I can dim the ambient and accentuate the model slightly. Using either a target, camera meter, or light meter, I can get determine the ambient exposure. Then reduce the ambient and just use trial and error with the flash.
Rolando wrote an article where he suggested reducing the ambient by at least one É stop.
Another trick, especially if youíre using on-camera flash, with the camera set at fully-manual, take your flash power down to a fraction of itís power, or if you use TTL then set your flash to underexpose the image by at least one-stop. I recommend you make tests ahead of time and find the right starting combination, you certainly donít want to go out in the ocean and take a ďwhimĒ shot at it like I did unless you know what youíre doing and can work really fast.
Others have recommended that I just meter the ambient to determine my manual settings and then use FEL for the flash. That is, focus on the subject, use FEL to determine flash exposure, recompose and shoot.
Speaking of FEL, I have a couple of questions for you.
According to the Canon's 20D manual on page 95 -
1) Check that the flash icon is lit.
2) Focus on the subject. Press shutter halfway. Keep pressing the shutter button halfway until step 4.
3) Press the FEL button. The speedlite will fire a preflash and the required flash output is retained in memory for 16 seconds.
In the viewfinder, "FEL" is displayed and the FEL symbol will light.
Each time you press the FEL button, a preflash is fired and the required flash output is retained in memory.
4) Take the Picture
Compose the shot and press the shutter fully.
The flash is fired to take the picture.
My question is, do you have to keep the shutter pressed halfway while hitting the FEL button as the manual seems to indicate? And can you "adjust" the FEL by increasing or decreasing exposure?