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02-14-2017, 05:35 AM   #1
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HSS with heavy back lit sunset.

I was shooting a couple outside cold winter day last friday as the sun was setting.
I knew what the situation was going to be. I knew it will be difficult to meter because the light will be changing all the time.

In any case I wanted to over power the sun a little with my Metz 58.

It was cold so I felt rushed mainly because the couple did not dress warm even though I had asked them to as the asked for the particular setting.

The shots didnt come out as i wanted. Basically the couple did not stand out well enough.

But with the 58, could I have overpowered the sun at sunset, shooting almost into the sun, with the couple 5 meters away?


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02-14-2017, 06:05 AM   #2
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5 Meters is actually quite a long distance, for HSS. Did your flash indicate a distance range as a guide? If so and you're within the range you should get good flash exposure and be able to increase it with compensation. However, depending on the ISO, aperture and shutter 'speed' you may well have been beyond the limits. What were the settings you used?

In sunset situations, you would probably get more flash power without HSS ....lock in the required ambient exposure in Manual mode using 1/180th sec, ISO 100 and adjust the aperture for correct exposure (eg around 1/2 stop under the meter-centre),.....

Then use Manual flash mode, set full power and read from the distance indicator the correct distance to place the flash or subject.... This will give you perfect flash exposure each time for the specific settings you are using. You also know that you are getting the maximum possible out of the flash and the maximum possible flash to ambient ratio balance.

Last edited by mcgregni; 02-14-2017 at 06:14 AM.
02-14-2017, 06:09 AM   #3
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TTL metering is OK, perhaps some compensation depending on personal taste.


5 meters, some times too far away.


you need 2 or 3 of them, and acon r930 to make a TTL strobe..

Last edited by andy888; 02-14-2017 at 07:53 AM.
02-14-2017, 06:28 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
5 Meters is actually quite a long distance, for HSS. Did your flash indicate a distance range as a guide? If so and you're within the range you should get good flash exposure and be able to increase it with compensation. However, depending on the ISO, aperture and shutter 'speed' you may well have been beyond the limits. What were the settings you used?

In sunset situations, you would probably get more flash power without HSS ....lock in the required ambient exposure in Manual mode using 1/180th sec, ISO 100 and adjust the aperture for correct exposure (eg around 1/2 stop under the meter-centre),.....

Then use Manual flash mode, set full power and read from the distance indicator the correct distance to place the flash or subject.... This will give you perfect flash exposure each time for the specific settings you are using. You also know that you are getting the maximum possible out of the flash and the maximum possible flash to ambient ratio balance.
If I remember right I think I was shooting at a shutter speed of about 320s, F7. Dont remember the IS0.
Initially I thought of using ND filters to cut down the light and shoot at 180s, with manual flash. But feeling rushed, I could not have time to experiment.

I have to say I dont know all the ins of this flash with the distance and all that.

---------- Post added 14-02-17 at 16:33 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by andy888 Quote
TTL metering is OK, perhaps some compensation.


5 meters, some times too far away.


you need 2 or 3 of them, and acon r930 to make a TTL strobe..
Definitely having a trigger would have helped. I had triggers for the manual setup I explained above with a flash stand to the get flash closer, but didnt get the chance to use it.

A day before the shot I thought I could use the K-3 flash to trigger the HSS on the Metz but when I went through the manual I saw that this was not possible.


For triggers HSS triggers I am waiting if Yougnuo will come out with something.

Culture

02-14-2017, 07:45 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Neither HSS nor ND filters change the relative contribution of the flash and ambient -- they won't help you overpower the sun. (Actually, with HSS, you lose flash relative to ambient.)

To overpower the sunset, you'd need to:
1. move the flash closer,
2. use something like a better beamer to concentrate the light on the subject,
3. get a more powerful flash,
4. add more flashes; or
5. wait for the sun to set further

Last edited by photoptimist; 02-15-2017 at 07:34 AM. Reason: typo
02-14-2017, 08:22 AM   #6
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I'm no flash expert, but I'm pretty sure a well angled reflector aimed at the sun, in combination with the flash, would have made a substantial difference. Of course, getting something or someone to properly aim the reflector is sometimes easier said than done.
02-14-2017, 08:34 AM   #7
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You would definitely struggle at 5m against a strong sunset. That said, you'll also struggle to find a much more powerful speedlight size flash than that Metz...certainly not one powerful enough for this.

However, there is a confirmation light on those Metz AFs that tells you whether the unit managed to supply enough power for the required exposure. It certainly works for standard TTL, not sure about HSS... But that can give you a quick check without having to chimp.
02-14-2017, 09:07 AM   #8
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This isn't really an 'overpower the sun' situation, because the sun was not lighting the faces. .... It's really a flash and ambient balancing act. The photographer needed to light the shadows, which were made deeper by the 'underexposure' in order to record the sunset nicely. I was assuming here we were talking about direct on-camera flash.

A 1/2 CTS gel here would he nice to remove a cold cast from the flash on the faces, combined with a daylight white balance. It's about being sure you are working within the flashes capabilities, and that's where the distance indication is invaluable, as it takes into account the ISO, Aperture and (in HSS mode) the exposure time to tell you the distance limits within which the flash will provide good exposure. It doesn't matter if there is brighter light source from behind, your shaded subject will be correctly lit. The ambient exposure will only influence the balance, or ratio, of lighting in the scene.

The full power manual approach I described earlier will ensure you strike the optimum balance (with the strongest flash component available) given your required ambient exposure. You have to he ready to move though to put the subjects at the right distance.

02-14-2017, 05:26 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
I was shooting a couple outside cold winter day last friday as the sun was setting.
I knew what the situation was going to be. I knew it will be difficult to meter because the light will be changing all the time.

In any case I wanted to over power the sun a little with my Metz 58.

It was cold so I felt rushed mainly because the couple did not dress warm even though I had asked them to as the asked for the particular setting.

The shots didnt come out as i wanted. Basically the couple did not stand out well enough.

But with the 58, could I have overpowered the sun at sunset, shooting almost into the sun, with the couple 5 meters away?


Culture
A standard method is to take two shots from a tripod. One has the couple in the environment with the speedlight up very, very close - in the frame.

The second is the 'clean' reference shot with just the background. It can be in focus, darker, brighter, or even out of focus to get separation from the subjects.

You merge the two in Photoshop, eliminating the speedlight.
02-15-2017, 04:06 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Neither HSS nor ND filters change the relative contribution of the flash and ambient -- they won't help you overpower the sun. (Actually, with HSS, you lose flash relative to ambient.)

To overpower the sunset, you'd need t:
1. move the flash closer,
2. use something like a better beamer to concentrate the light on the subject,
3. get a more powerful flash,
4. add more flashes, or
5. wait for the sun to set further
Thanks for this advice

---------- Post added 15-02-17 at 14:10 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
This isn't really an 'overpower the sun' situation, because the sun was not lighting the faces. .... It's really a flash and ambient balancing act. The photographer needed to light the shadows, which were made deeper by the 'underexposure' in order to record the sunset nicely. I was assuming here we were talking about direct on-camera flash.

The full power manual approach I described earlier will ensure you strike the optimum balance (with the strongest flash component available) given your required ambient exposure. You have to he ready to move though to put the subjects at the right distance.
Yes it was on camera flash.

I did try to change the setting on the flash from HSS to Manual and set it to full power. But the flash wont even allow that because my shutter speed was set above 300s.
As mentioned here the problem is power and distance. Thanks for your help.

---------- Post added 15-02-17 at 14:13 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
A standard method is to take two shots from a tripod. One has the couple in the environment with the speedlight up very, very close - in the frame.

The second is the 'clean' reference shot with just the background. It can be in focus, darker, brighter, or even out of focus to get separation from the subjects.

You merge the two in Photoshop, eliminating the speedlight.
I know this method. I have watched videos of it on dslrlounge several times. I thought of it but I also decided against it because i have not practiced before.

Its certainly something to consider now.
02-15-2017, 07:34 AM   #11
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Hi Culture, the full power manual technique is for normal (non HSS) shooting. This way you ensure that the flash is outputting the maximum possible, without the power drain and loss caused by the HSS technique, and that your ambient / flash balance is the best available given your desired background brightness and particular flash. It's the nearest you can get to 'overpowering the sun'.
02-15-2017, 08:29 AM   #12
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5m away, 1/320s, f/7 unknown iso, Metz 58.

At the 35mm setting and iso 100, the metz has a guide number of 35m. Change the camera settings to 1/160s, f/10 to get under the sync speed and maintain the ambient exposure, your flash would be able to light a subject 35/10=3.5m away. So 5m is too far and you'd be about 1 stop underexposed. If you were using a longer zoom setting on the flash, the guide number and effective range goes up. If you were using a higher iso, the range will also go up (and so would the ambient). There's a calculator here you can use, and more info about guide numbers: Understanding Guide Numbers, including GN Calculator. The metz manual might have info about the guide numbers when using HSS (the Pentax manuals include this, you can work it out on your own if need be).

You could also use a lightstand - this would let you get the flash off camera at a more interesting angle (on-axis key light is often lousy) and closer. If the speedlight is bare (no softbox or umbrella or other modifier), you'd likely be able to overpower the sunset and still keep the flash out of the frame. The "lightsource in the frame" technique gets worthwhile if you're using large light sucking modifiers that will give you a nice soft light up close. It's definitely worth practicing.

About gels - you can aim to more closely match the ambient or you can go the opposite and put a 'plus green' gel on your flash. Then when you add a bunch of magenta to the WB to return the subject to 'neutral', the background gets extra gooey in colour. There's tons to experiment with
02-15-2017, 11:37 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
So 5m is too far and you'd be about 1 stop underexposed.
This reminds me that, as a workaround, a 1-stop underexposure is easily corrected in PP. Sure, the purists will say that it's better to get it right in the first place. Which I totally agree with. But sometime, you have to make do with what is available or practical at the moment...
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