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06-10-2017, 06:42 AM   #1
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Basic Fill Flash Advice Needed

I rarely shoot with flash so it is my weakness. In a few hours I'll be shooting an indoor family event. I have the K-1 and the AF-360FGZ flash. I want to use flash to supplement ambient light. I plan to bounce off the ceiling and I want the flash to fire for every shot as I expect the ambient light will not be bright enough to prevent blur at desired apertures. I've checked both the camera and flash manuals and I've experimented in the past but I have not found the correct settings. I think I need my flash setting to be Flash On + Red Eye, but I'm not sure that's the best setting and I'm not sure what setting I should use on the camera. I use back button focus. I might use the catch light panel, but I'm not quite sure about that either. Any quick advice would be appreciated.

06-10-2017, 06:51 AM   #2
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With my af540 I use manual mode for fill flash or I use a negative adjustment on the flash to reduce output.
06-10-2017, 06:57 AM - 1 Like   #3
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You're using bounce, so forget about Red Eye and the catch light panel, Dave.

Don't be afraid to bounce into one of the corners behind you if they're close enough.
06-10-2017, 07:09 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
With my af540 I use manual mode for fill flash or I use a negative adjustment on the flash to reduce output.
So you use your preferred settings on the camera and manually adjust the flash output for the desired light level? I assume you have to adjust the flash output based upon the room you're in and the distance to the subject.

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You're using bounce, so forget about Red Eye and the catch light panel, Dave.

Don't be afraid to bounce into one of the corners behind you if they're close enough.
That makes sense.

06-10-2017, 07:15 AM   #5
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Camera exposure in manual.. typically indoor shooting is wide (the domain of 21ltd).

I typically shoot 1/60 f5.6 @ ISO 400 with bouncing flash off ceiling. The PTTL mode exposes well in miat cases, but I might dial in a half stop reduction to make sure whites dont clip.
06-10-2017, 07:25 AM   #6
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If you are using a semi wide angle lens like a 16-85, shooting head on and in Manual mode may help you. I have used these settings in Manual mode recently: Camera in Manual mode. Shutter speed between 125 and 180, F8, and ISO 100. Flash in Manual mode, and set to 1/16 power. When you are looking at the flash in Manual mode, you can set the aperture of the flash between M(Manual) or A(Auto) settings, if you do not understand what I am referring to, just set the aperture to a number if possible and if you notice it is adjusting automatically it is in an Auto aperture mode which will be fine also. If you notice things are getting a bit dark for the scenes, just set the ISO to 200 to accomodate for the light. Inspect your images as you are going along to just know what is being taken in by the images.

So simply.

Camera in Manual mode
Shutter speed between 125 and 180, or lower if doing stills
ISO 100
Flash in Manual mode at 1/16 power or more/less depending on needs, set aperture of flash as you may need it or leave it in the Auto aperture setting

I know some are going to say that bounce may be the best lighting if possible, but what I am trying to express are settings that will generally work nicely with a reasonably wide to medium lens for scenes where you may not have a bounce available.

If you even try to use the settings I mentioned above right now you will see results immediately. You can adjust from there as you see fit, but those are a good standard to start from.

Good luck and enjoy taking your pictures.

Last edited by C_Jones; 06-10-2017 at 11:58 AM.
06-10-2017, 10:16 AM   #7
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Bounce, pttl, use the white card of the flash, or a dome if you have one, if you go vertical don't forget to also turn the flash, play with flash compensation has required.
If you allow more ambient light I find the flash exposure more forgiving, but that should depend of the look you want, remember that flash freezes movement, so you can go a good bit low on shutter.
Don't be a slave of the histogram, but check it, the image on the camera screen can be very misleading.
Remember flash photography is 2 exposures, the ambient plus the flash, if you set the camera for a perfect exposure without flash, adding flash will damage it.
With little experience, I find Pttl the easier option, I don't know how are your friends/family, but most don't have the patience to stay there waiting while you do experiments, better get ready before the day​
06-10-2017, 01:09 PM   #8
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Much depends on your flash modifier. If you are just using the stock flash, ceiling bounce will work with the catch light panel. If you lack confidence in settings don't hesitate to go P-TTL.....that's what it's for. Shoot raw and catch the decisive moments. That is far more important than settings. You can do a lot in post. Sometimes even the dreaded Green Mode can be the answer for flash. I know at least one pro wedding photographer who swears by Green mode for flash. His shots usually are superb because all of his focus is on his subject.

06-10-2017, 01:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax Syntax Quote
If you are just using the stock flash, ceiling bounce will work with the catch light panel..
If your flash is bouncing at 45 degrees, that catch light panel is probably pointing at the floor.
06-10-2017, 03:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dave2k Quote
So you use your preferred settings on the camera and manually adjust the flash output for the desired light level? I assume you have to adjust the flash output based upon the room you're in and the distance to the subject.
I shoot a number of ways. I have converted a lot over to manual flash lately so I am biased a bit. I'd rather play a bit in manual right now. But I have also used PTTL and simply adjusted compensation down.
06-10-2017, 03:24 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
If your flash is bouncing at 45 degrees, that catch light panel is probably pointing at the floor.
Nope. Straight up with the catch light panel. I won't use 45 degrees except with something like an omnibounce. Actually I usually duct tape a bigger panel on the flash for the straight up shots. I have to shoot ~ 40 indoor events for my job so I'm lazy 😊 I must admit I don't use Pentax there. Nikon shop.

Last edited by Pentax Syntax; 06-10-2017 at 03:32 PM.
06-10-2017, 03:32 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax Syntax Quote
Nope. Straight up with the catch light panel. I won't use 45 degrees except with something like an omnibounce. Actually I usually duct tape a bigger panel on the flash for the straight up shots. I have shoot ~ 40 indoor events for my job so I'm lazy 😊 I must admit I don't use Pentax there. Nikon shop.
For various reasons, bounce indoors is usually angle of incidence equalling angle of reflection, like playing pool.

The style you're talking about is more on-camera flash - lit frontally.

For that I tend to use either a mini softbox or Rogue Flashbender.

06-10-2017, 03:38 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
For various reasons, bounce indoors is usually angle of incidence equalling angle of reflection, like playing pool.

The style you're talking about is more on-camera flash - lit frontally.

For that I tend to use either a mini softbox or Rogue Flashbender.
Yes the Rogue is nice. I have that at home for some of my freelance work. There I do mostly off camera and studio lighting. I got the impression that the OP was new to flash so was limiting my advice to his equipment.

Last edited by Pentax Syntax; 06-10-2017 at 03:44 PM.
06-11-2017, 11:51 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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Success

Thanks to all for the advice. I shot mostly manual for both flash and camera. I used ceiling bounce almost all of the time. Being unfamiliar with flash, I frequently took a second picture before the flash could recycle and of course those shots were very underexposed. It's hard to catch a desired facial expression with just one chance. I also used direct flash when the surroundings did not support bounce, i.e. shooting through a door way, under an arch, or in a foyer with a high ceiling and a close subject. I used PTTL a few times with the Program mode setting on the camera and this generally worked OK. A sample shot is below. Now I'll happily return to shooting outdoors!

06-11-2017, 05:50 PM   #15
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Nice shot. It's good that the shoot worked out well for you.
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