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Old 11-06-2012, 12:39 PM   #16
mom2rtk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hokie98 View Post
Sounds like you've gotten some good advice. I'm a Nikon user, and recently sold my large flash (SB-600) for a smaller external flash b/c to be candid, I hardly used the large one b/c I felt it was so big and clumsy, and if it was hardly coming out of my camera bag, then what was the point? So I sold it and bought a smaller, more compact flash (SB-400)...which to to candid, I think I regret unloading the bigger flash. I had a Gary Fong Lightsphere, and while the combination of that with the flash was really bulky, it worked really well for me. I bought a Stofen Omni-bounce to use on my new flash, and so far, have been unhappy with the results. However, I will say, it could very well be a user error. At WDW, I was unhappy specifically at character meals. I was using a 35mm f/1.8, and had it wide open, but the flash was either over exposing or under exposing, and long-story short, when you're trying to hurry when a character is at your table, it's not time to be fiddling with settings. We had dinner at 1900 Fare with Cinderella & family, and the lighting is awful in there. After getting a few bad shots, I ended up throwing the camera on Auto and letting the pop-up flash do it's thing, and while I have alot of shadows, at least I have sort-of-decent photos. The best character meal photos I got were at 'Ohana's breakfast with Lilo & Stitch. We got lucky and were seated by a window. I sat with my back to the window and DD (my subject) was directly across the table, so lots of great, natural light. We also at at Crystal Palace for lunch, and the lighting was much better in there too. I see someone else recommended a Fong Lightsphere. If you do go that route, I HIGHLY recommend getting the collapsible version (although I would wonder if it would be prone to 'creep'). I had the non-collapsible version and it was a bulky hunk of plastic, but worked great! Best of luck!!
I've sort of been on a similar path. I had the fairly large Canon 430ex and bought the 270ex just becuase it has a smaller profile. It has less flexibility for bouncing, but since I haven't felt comfortable bouncing at Disney anyway, I go with it. I leave the flash on most of the time since we hunt characters a lot, and the larger one just kept seeming to bump me constantly or tip over when I leaned too far one direction. So I'm back to trying to decide once again if it's worth carrying the lager one. I was actually hoping to rig something up on the 270ex (smaller one) that will spread the light for me a bit.

And 1900 PF has ABSOLUTELY been my biggest challenge. I struggle with the lighting and white balance in there in a big way. My greatest improvements came when I started shooting RAW and addressing most of it in LR3 later. CRT has also been a challenge, but that one really depends on where we are seated each visit, in relation to the windows.

I too struggle with wanting to stay in the moment at the character meals and not fiddle with my settings too much.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:00 PM   #17
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Using an on-camera Speedlite flash like the 430EX or any other Speedlite is always a challenge. Even more challenging is most of the time there is no ceiling to bounce the flash off from. This is common for me as I am a wedding photographer and when I am trying to shoot candids outdoors (or bannquet halls with super high ceilings) with nothing to bounce from it is definitely a challenge.

I do recommend using the Stofen OmniBounce but pointed straight forward (What? But what's there to bounce from??) with the following settings:

- Set ISO to 400
- Shutter speed no more than 1/100 (can go low to 1/60) to get a good mix of flash/ambient lighting
- Reduce the FEC (flash exposure compensation) to 1/2 stop
- Aperture can be around f/5.6 (aperture controls how much flash hits the sensor)

Overall you won't have a "flashy" looking photo.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mom2rtk View Post
Since I'm mostly talking about Disney, I'm pretty sure I can't rely on walls. Too far away.... too high..... too wrong color.

The napkin idea seems to make sense. But I have pretty unsteady hands and rely on my second hand holding the lens to help steady the camera. So I don't think I could hold a napkin or even an off-camera flash to the side.
There's another solution if you don't mind looking dorky. Get a Manfrotto Brolly Grip and Tri-Fold umbrella to use as a light modifier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOzt57jKCLM
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:45 AM   #19
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There's another solution if you don't mind looking dorky. Get a Manfrotto Brolly Grip and Tri-Fold umbrella to use as a light modifier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOzt57jKCLM

That actually looks very handy. I'll need to check that out
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:23 PM   #20
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That actually looks very handy. I'll need to check that out
I have it and it's pretty convenient. Instead of the 20" umbrella, I went with a larger 32" model. The brolly grip and the umbrella both collapse to the same size about eight inches in length.

To use it, I tend to cross-over my arms instead of holding them wide apart. I'll hold the brolly grip in my left hand and cross it under my right arm. That lets me support the camera on my left should and control it with my right hand while still getting an off-axis flash from a large soft source.

It works well, but as I said, I probably look like a dork while using it.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by wbeem View Post
I have it and it's pretty convenient. Instead of the 20" umbrella, I went with a larger 32" model. The brolly grip and the umbrella both collapse to the same size about eight inches in length.

To use it, I tend to cross-over my arms instead of holding them wide apart. I'll hold the brolly grip in my left hand and cross it under my right arm. That lets me support the camera on my left should and control it with my right hand while still getting an off-axis flash from a large soft source.

It works well, but as I said, I probably look like a dork while using it.
I was thinking a larger umbrella would work as well.

Hey if it produces flattering light then the dork factor can be overlooked
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:24 AM   #22
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revisiting this thread...

I was at the North American International Auto show in Detroit couple weeks back. Some of the manufacturers did have female product spokespersons (models talking about the cars). So this was a good time to practice some use of flash.
I really didnt get the results I was hoping for.
In a place like that there are really no walls and the ceiling too high to bounce a flash off of. Plus you are on the move alot or the girls were on moving platform so the flash mounted on the camera is basically all you have to work with. I didn't have any diffuser so many of my flash shots were on the harsh side. So I am going to look into these flash diffusers.
Question for those that use flash diffusers, how much do you adjust your flash compensation?
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:08 PM   #23
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Here's my input. Just what I do but this has change a bit since moving to manual.

I use a Joe Demb "saucer" the nice thing about it if you don't have a lower ceiling or a surface that is "close to white" you can bend it more forward on the flash and you will get the look you need. Joe told me to dial down my flash a bit when i did this if needed. worked perfect.

The other nice thing is if you need less bounce you can bend it back a bit according to Joe and it works well also.

Also the size of the saucer vs his others gives a nice amount surface area that is needed to give a more natural look.

I also have the collapsible Steve Fong. It gives nice surface area to give a more natural look but I don't think it's as easy to use as Joe's. Maybe it's me too cause I never really gave it a chance. I just love Joe's product.

I have used it for about 3 years now and love it. It lives on my flash and is very easy to use at disney. folds up nice. Waaaaaay smaller than the Steve Fong piece even pushed down.

It really works, but I will say now that i'm shooting manual 100% time while using it things are even better. Even more control now. Before I had to dial down my flash a bit when pointing it forward when needing more fill flash outside for example. Now I just make a quick change to my aperture or my shutter speed and i get even better results.

jimi

Sorry if my wording is not perfect. I'm not the best at getting my thoughts out via type vs talking. lol
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shutterbug View Post
revisiting this thread...

I was at the North American International Auto show in Detroit couple weeks back. Some of the manufacturers did have female product spokespersons (models talking about the cars). So this was a good time to practice some use of flash.
I really didnt get the results I was hoping for.
In a place like that there are really no walls and the ceiling too high to bounce a flash off of. Plus you are on the move alot or the girls were on moving platform so the flash mounted on the camera is basically all you have to work with. I didn't have any diffuser so many of my flash shots were on the harsh side. So I am going to look into these flash diffusers.
Question for those that use flash diffusers, how much do you adjust your flash compensation?
if you look at my post i have a few answers to your question above. I would adjust my flash output diff for all situations. When i have it bent forward sometimes 1.5 to 2 stops down. and when i don't have a surface to bounce off like outside or high ceilings i bend it forward.

jimi
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