Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-28-2007, 05:38 PM   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Portland, Oregon
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 475
I'm a flash idiot - any help out there?

In 20 plus years of having SLRs and DSLRs, I've never learned how to use a flash. I bought a 540 flash at the same time as my K10D a few months ago. I now have over 10,000 shots on the K10D, and another 60K plus on my two other DSLR bodies, but ZERO shots using the flash.

Are there any good, really basic - "this is how you get started" - tutorials or informative threads out there for flash photography (on camera - I'll move to off camera and strobist once I've figured out the on camera use)?

Thanks.

betsy(I've got a $300 flash gathering dust)pdx

07-28-2007, 05:45 PM   #2
Veteran Member
MJB DIGITAL's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: st. louis
Posts: 1,170
betsy come on.

put your flash on and go have fun!!

thats it

here is how to do it:

1) slide flash onto the hotshoe

2) turn your stuff on

3) press the shutter button

otherwise, betsy, its going to gather too much dust.
i think that the first flash blast you do will blow the dust off of it 8)
07-28-2007, 06:02 PM   #3
Veteran Member
bdavis's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: 'Burque, NM
Posts: 309
I started with the manual for the flash (dust that sucker off too!), and worked through it. Round up a stuffed animal or something, because even the dog won't sit through page by page, feature by feature treatment.
07-28-2007, 06:08 PM   #4
Veteran Member
MJB DIGITAL's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: st. louis
Posts: 1,170
hmmm

im thinking that you might have an easier time on a turtle...

my two cents

07-28-2007, 06:15 PM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Owego, NY
Posts: 976
strobist.blogspot.com has LOTS of info on flash usage, but be forewarned that they focus on one specific type of flash photography - off-camera flash. (Also, Dave at Strobist is not a big fan of any form of TTL, but he has a lot of information on learning how to use a flash in manual mode intuitively.)
07-28-2007, 10:12 PM   #6
Veteran Member
LaRee's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,226
I understand completely Betsy. I don't use flash much either, preferring natural light for the most part. But using flash effectively can make a big difference. Using it off camera is even easier than on camera actually.
I swear these days I feel like my brain is like a sieve. I've always learned best in a hands on way. But there is a ton of stuff out there. I just did a google for "flash photography tutorial" and drew 27,900,000 hits so I can understand the desire to get some feedback for good tutorials. It'd take a bunch of time to wade through all those hits.
I did have to suffer through the 540 manual though. To get it to work off camera took me about 15 minutes of manual in hand to figure out. I swear it is like that manual is written in another language for heavens sake! ;-)
I haven't figured out using flash that well yet. There is a lot to learn, but hey, experimenting is fun. With all of the creative photography I've seen you produce, keep doing what you do and throw in a flash. I bet in no time at all you could write a manual for the k10d flash and make a mint.
07-29-2007, 07:09 AM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dayton, OH
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,545
Betsy,

I'm like you, I just bought a new flash (Sigma 500 DG Super) and I have to force myself to use it. Initially, I tried the “Better Bounce” card featured here [ABetterBounceCard.com]. Not bad but I always had to curve it forward a bit.

Then I found this site and made the diffuser out of foam [DIY Reflector-Diffuser]. I glued the pieces together instead of using staples and it doesn’t look bad for something that takes less than $3 worth of material from Walmart. However, it was too big to store in my camera bag so I downsized it. Below are examples with straight flash (Sigma 500) and with the bigger diffuser. The lighting is much nicer with the diffuser.

Straight Flash


With Diffuser



Here is the smaller version next to the original as posted on the web. I used the better bounce card for this image.



Here is an image from my father-in-law's retirement function using the smaller diffuser.



Hope this helps a little.

Tim

Last edited by atupdate; 07-29-2007 at 07:33 AM. Reason: I spell like an engineer
07-29-2007, 08:22 AM   #8
Veteran Member
LaRee's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,226
The best flash information that I have at the moment is from the Magic Lantern k10d book. It has an extensive section on flash with the k10d both internal and external is covered. It is a really good book all the way around.
Here is the link to a chart that is handy too:
Flash settings on camera and flash: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Oh, and thanks for posting the bouncer info Tim. I have a difusor for the flash but I was wanting something like you show for using on the hummingbirds at my feeder.

07-29-2007, 08:43 AM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Portland, Oregon
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 475
Original Poster
Thanks all for the pointers - I like the DIY diffuser as well. Need to find a craft shop now and start taking pics.
07-29-2007, 08:49 AM   #10
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dayton, OH
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,545
QuoteOriginally posted by betsypdx Quote
Thanks all for the pointers - I like the DIY diffuser as well. Need to find a craft shop now and start taking pics.
Betsy,

The craft/sewing department at Walmart has everything. The foam sheets were 33 cents each, the plastic mesh support between the sheets was 77 cents, the craft glue (tacky glue) was less than $2 and I had the velcro at home.

Good shooting.

Tim
07-29-2007, 08:49 AM   #11
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sault Ste Marie, Ont, Canada.
Posts: 563
I have found a stiff white cardboard will do just as well. Cut it to shape and attach it to the flash head with an elastic.

I have used something similar in the past and it works great. The advantage to this is no need for a trip to the local craft store. Try this one out and see for yourself.

Studio Lighting - DIY Homemade Flash Mini-Bouncer | DIYPhotography.net
07-29-2007, 02:22 PM   #12
m8o
Veteran Member
m8o's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: 40°-55'-44" N / 73°-24'-07" W [on LI]
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,095
QuoteOriginally posted by MJB DIGITAL Quote
hmmm
im thinking that you might have an easier time on a turtle...
my two cents
That should net one blind turtle by the end of all the learning sessions... I do like the "still life" idea instead.
07-29-2007, 04:06 PM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Owego, NY
Posts: 976
QuoteOriginally posted by Chako Quote
I have found a stiff white cardboard will do just as well. Cut it to shape and attach it to the flash head with an elastic.

I have used something similar in the past and it works great. The advantage to this is no need for a trip to the local craft store. Try this one out and see for yourself.

Studio Lighting - DIY Homemade Flash Mini-Bouncer | DIYPhotography.net
The nice thing about that one is that it's foldable for transport.
07-30-2007, 10:45 AM   #14
Inactive Account




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Folsom, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 322
Found this one on Steve's Forums - its a long thread, but some great information http://forums.steves-digicams.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=98944&forum_id=80
07-31-2007, 07:58 PM   #15
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,482
QuoteOriginally posted by betsypdx Quote
Are there any good, really basic - "this is how you get started" - tutorials or informative threads out there for flash photography (on camera - I'll move to off camera and strobist once I've figured out the on camera use)?
Betsy,

Best thing I know of is this summary post about flash on the pentaxuser (UK) forum by user named "MattMatic". Excellent -- and it focuses specifically on Pentax equipment. This chapter from an e-book online dealing with flash is also quite good, although it's more generic.

MattMatic remarks that you can't go far wrong if you put the K10D on Av mode, auto-ISO, and set the 540 flash unit (attached to the camera) to P-TTL. Don't worry about shutter speed at all -- the camera will work that out. I've had pretty good success with this simple advice.

There's a LOT more to mastering the flash, but that's a quick start. Take a look at MattMatic's article and then perhaps you can come back with questions.

Will
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, flash, k10d, lighting, photo studio, shots, strobist
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Idiot asks Why?? kiwao Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 8 04-27-2010 01:49 PM
Streets Only a Blithering Idiot . . . . . Sailor Post Your Photos! 11 03-21-2010 06:35 AM
im an idiot? schwarzundweiss Pentax Film SLR Discussion 34 10-04-2009 06:38 AM
idiot question again gokenin Pentax Film SLR Discussion 11 02-15-2009 02:12 PM
I feel like an idiot! stormdore Photographic Technique 31 06-15-2008 06:53 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:31 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top