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09-15-2012, 12:28 PM   #1
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handheld flash, soft and directional?

Hey, I was asked to take photos for an event taking place at a nightclub tomorrow night. Fortunately, the room will be dimly lit, as opposed to super dark with lasers that you see a lot. I could use my fast lenses and just use available light, but for group shots, I'll need flash in order to keep my iso down/shutter speed up. Normally my tried and true method has been on camera sb-26 with the flash tilted behind me and to the left or right bounced off the ceiling for a great result with soft directional light. unfortunately, the ceilings there are black and the walls will most like be very far most of the time, so I have decided I am goingto use radio triggered off camera flash, handheld for flash assisted shots. I don't have time to get a speedlight diffuser before tomorrow so I would like suggestions for making the light softer using my bare flash. it also has a built in bounce card and pull down diffuser, could those help?

09-15-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
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Making light soft means making it big. The bounce card and diffuser on the flash won't do that -- too small. It's why bounce flash works -- the wall or ceiling becomes the effective light source, and is much larger than the flash itself. You'll need a large diffuser or reflector, and some way to keep it in place. In a pinch I have used one of those round folding reflectors you stick behind a car windshield to shade the interior; these usually have a reflective side. Or you could bring along a large sheet of diffusing material, such as a sheet of thin packing foam. An assistant would be really helpful for holding the reflector or diffuser and maybe the flash too.
09-15-2012, 03:11 PM   #3
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I have a large 5-in-1 reflector that also has a diffusion piece inside, would you suggest diffusing it or reflecting it more?
09-15-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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An advantage of using the diffuser in this case is that you can probably position the diffuser closer than you could a reflector. That in turn makes the effective size of the light source larger, hence softer. On the other hand, light falloff will be more of a factor with a close-in diffuser, and for a group shot that can be a problem. Doing some experiments at home might help you figure out which will be the better choice for these circumstances.

09-15-2012, 06:42 PM   #5
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I have a book where the guy was in the same situation, and he placed one of the men from the wedding party who had a white shirt where he wanted the flash to bounce, and he bounced it off his shirt. sounds weird buy it did work for him.

good luck

randy
09-16-2012, 04:33 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
he placed one of the men from the wedding party who had a white shirt where he wanted the flash to bounce, and he bounced it off his shirt
I've tried that too. Certainly workable although requires more flash power than a reflector.
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