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Thread: off camera flash use..?

  1. #1
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    Default off camera flash use..?

    start off with the mounting position of the flash unit whetther it be a 430 or 580 ex series, most common mount would be in the hotshoe :roll: this position annoys me (can't wear my cap revert to turning it around like a homey ).
    have looked at some mounts from really right stuff and wemberly that mount off the lens collar tripod mount plate...?
    allowing the flash unit to be mounted forward and angled as needed, will this give better light and get rid of flash eye..?
    better beamer, is a flash extender ? unit only has sides enclosed, top and bottom are open and attaches via velcro ?
    exposing for flash work, find this pretty hit and miss myself less is better or depends on the lighting situation at the time ?
    any help or tips will be greatly appreciated. regards

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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    Jan, who recently joined the forum, has a very useful blog and an impressive website. The link below will take you to his blog on which he has written a few words about flash use. Very interesting reading.....

    http://vogelfotografien.wordpress.co...h-photography/
    Cheers,

    George

    Life List : 481 (Southern Cassowary, Etty Bay, QLD, Oct., 2016)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    thanks george suss that out later.

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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    I use a 580EXII on a wimberlet bracket, it's universally set at ETTL II and high speed sync enabled. I use a beamer most of the time. I just dial the fill ratio up and down, -1 2/3 is standard, -1 to -1/3 in bright sunlight or strongly backlit situations.

    Exceptions are if the subject is blowing out, it will often do that with small in frame subjects, first try is to dial down the fill ratio, otherwise switch to manual. Also for close macro I add a small ball head and place it forward and angle the flash in from the LHS. without a beamer, the thing with that is to get the head close to the subject, so the light source is larger (or more accurately is a larger angular size when viewed from the subject) which leads to less harsh lighting.

    The bonus with the Wimberley is when mounted on LHS of the lens it makes a great extra handle to steady the lens.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    I personally would'nt bother with a bracket for the flash. I know others will disagree but you are still going to have steel eye and red eye problems if the flash is on a bracket anyway. Keep wearing your hat backwards I reckon, I do it too when the flash is attached
    Better beamer, is a flash extender ? unit only has sides enclosed, top and bottom are open and attaches via velcro ?
    Thats right mate, sounds flimsier than it actually is. It will increase the distance that the flash light will travel. I have been able to illuminate subjects from up to 15 metres away with the 430ex
    Exposing for flash work, find this pretty hit and miss myself less is better or depends on the lighting situation at the time ?
    The basic settings for fill flash are as follows (not always applicable for all situations)
    Use your cameras flash exposure compensation (FEC) to control the amount of flash output
    Flash exposure compensation set to:-

    -1 1/3 to -1 2/3 for middle toned subjects (grey or brown birds)

    -2 to -2 1/3 for white birds

    -2/3 to -1/3 for black birds

    Can take a bit of experimenting to get right though

    Good luck

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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    exellent thanks very much great info and just what i was looking for, ok so firstly don't use high speed sync so will in future, thinking about trying a beamer and would imagine adorama or b&h would be the go?
    unit is not expensive but was wondering if you know can i use the same unit on both the 580 ad 430 ex or would you need two ? flash brackets i have looked at are a bit pricey which is not a problem cause you get what you pay for just would'nt want to puchase and not use the bracket, so i'll give the better beamer a go.
    info on exposing from all is very helpful and something to get my head around. regards

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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    I bought my better beamer from "birds as art.com" and it was pretty cheap and came quick smart in the post.
    You would have to by it for the specific flash you want to use it with (430 or 580ex). The brackets are different sizes for each

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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    My experience is certainly different to yours Paul, I use my Wimberley bracket quite a bit, seems to generally work on both red eye and steel eye for me. Also comes in super handy for macro stuff where getting the flash off camera makes a huge difference. I bought mine from the NSN store, they have the wimberley brackets and better beamers. the thing with the beamer is they are not too dear but the postage min cost stings a bit. I'd also suggest getting a spare lens, they're only a few bucks.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    The bracket might help a bit when working with subjects in rainforest and dense dark places thats for sure. The birds that live in those conditions have eyes that are really prone to severe steel eye.
    With night birds like Owls it seems that a bracket does'nt really help a great deal with red eye and the process to get rid of it in photoshop is so easy that it seems easier to just do that.
    Please note that I pretty much take shots in/with natural light and don't use fill flash that much. In fact, since I have had the 600mm I have not used my flash once. I also like to travel very light and don't like fiddly things like brackets etc. I'm definitely not the best one to advise you on the use of a bracket but if you sound like me (natural light, travel light, fear of fiddly things 8-) ) then this may help

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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    Personally I am not a keen user of fill-flash photography but I must say that there are circumstance where a fill-flash is critical even to get a photograph. I use fill-flash mostly in very low light conditions, such as the rainforest. Generally,
    I am not keen for (off centre) fill-flash as it makes the images looks rather un-natural (in my opinion) with a slight colour and details changes, and I hate the flash-reflection seen in the eyes of some birds (which requires me to edit them off in PS for a more naturally-looking eye). On the other side, filling the shadows helps improve the image.

    Below are some examples..

    No fill-flash

    Details in shadows lost but I feel overall more natural looking

    Fill-flash

    Good details in shadows. I had to clone away the flash reflection in the eye of this bird. Colours overall is different and to me is less natural.


    another example..

    No fill-flash

    No shadow details

    Fill-flashed

    Colours brought up but too unnatural to me and too much details (agian not natural looking)
    Eric SJ Tan
    Mountains & Beyond

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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    great examples eric... understand about the tradeoff and agree no fill flash on these pics looks a lot more natural, in regards to the birds eye even after shop the eye tends to look unatural.cheers

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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    Great flash tips here. I'm a natural light person myself if possible but am gearing up to buy a flash and thinking about all the issues canvassed above. Mountain man, I have a bit of a feeling that the problem in your examples (apart from the flash-eye, hate that happening ) is that maybe you used a bit too much fill flash? I only like flash when it is hard to spot if it was used at all (except for night and rainforest shots). Just my 2c.

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    Default Re: off camera flash use..?

    I've just purchased my first external flash as well as a Better Beamer (and a few high grade rechargeable batteries).. hoping they will arrive in time for my Christmas break! Lookijng forward to applying some of the tips from this thread.

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