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10-17-2018, 05:17 PM   #31
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Hehe, anyone else wanna guess?

10-18-2018, 01:31 PM - 1 Like   #32
Des
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I'd say (without looking at Flickr) 1, 2, 5 and 8 are flash. Any of the others could be flash or could be natural light. Which, if they are flash-assisted, is the very effect sought.
10-18-2018, 01:51 PM - 1 Like   #33
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That's right, we often see the idea expressed that if our flash shots don't look like flash shots then we must have done the flash really well! I always feel a bit short changed by this, like it kind of wasn't worth it, not appreciated or people think it would have been just as good without flash and a high ISO instead.....

Then someone will save the day and write that it you could see the shot without flash that would show why it was better with.....
10-18-2018, 01:59 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
That's right, we often see the idea expressed that if our flash shots don't look like flash shots then we must have done the flash really well! I always feel a bit short changed by this, like it kind of wasn't worth it, not appreciated or people think it would have been just as good without flash and a high ISO instead.....

Then someone will save the day and write that it you could see the shot without flash that would show why it was better with.....
Good point.

I think it's actually about finding that very thin line of where it's a shot that doesn't blatantly scream "Flash!" but also something that looks ever so slightly 'super imposed' or slightly 'popping' that makes the viewer impressed. I think when you find that range it's a great shot.

Good guesses, will anyone else chime in I wonder?

10-18-2018, 02:03 PM - 1 Like   #35
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The flash forum has gone to sleep recently..... They're all too busy checking the parcel tracking websites for their Godox deliveries!
10-18-2018, 02:17 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
The flash forum has gone to sleep recently..... They're all too busy checking the parcel tracking websites for their Godox deliveries!
Bahaha, so true!

I'll post results tonight!
10-18-2018, 02:17 PM - 2 Likes   #37
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I'm of the opinion that a flash shot shouldn't be obviously a flash shot if possible.
The less obvious the better - but that's in abstraction. If I present two shots (as I did recently) where one has fill and one does not - it is obvious to see where flash helped. It would not be as obvious without that comparison.
10-18-2018, 02:37 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I'm of the opinion that a flash shot shouldn't be obviously a flash shot if possible.
The less obvious the better - but that's in abstraction. If I present two shots (as I did recently) where one has fill and one does not - it is obvious to see where flash helped. It would not be as obvious without that comparison.
Yup, agreed.

I think sometimes that fact it's more telling the flash was fired is not so much the issue as to how soft it was, if it's harsh flash light, even very subtly so, it's not nearly as pleasing as soft flash work. You can see that from studio work, you know flash has fired but it's really gently flattering light etc.

10-19-2018, 03:49 AM   #39
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And... the moment of truth.... <drum roll.....>
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.
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None have any flash use

Hehe, now... I didn't post these to troll or anything, I love me some flash, just as of yet I have not found myself stuck in a situation that I felt required it. How I manage these types of 'flashy looky' flower shots all starts with picking the right flower for the shot. I tend to hunt for a flower (or fern) that has some stray light hitting it, then I look for an angle to take the shot where behind it is a lot of shadow. I tend to use Av mode for this and hit the +/- Ev compensation and drop that sucka right down, -2-3 etc and chimp and check. What I'm looking for in the LCD on playback is quite a dark image indeed, with absolutely no highlights blown, in fact the parts that would be blown as highlights are now looking kinda just like a healthly mid range exposure. The rest is then done in PS/LR messing around with shadows, exposure, blacks, highlights and whites. Definitely do not hit 'Auto' for anything here as it will try and bring the entire image back up to a normal exposure making the whole thing look ghastly.

So yeah... I tend to now walk about and even if I see a nice flower, if it's all in shade or everything is bright, I tend to just carry on walking by, I'm looking for those plant life shots that have a strong lighting contrast between the flower being illuminated and somewhere else (be it directly below or somewhere ahead) that looks quite heavily shaded.

FWIW I have also heard carrying a small mirror or reflector with you can help, if you really want that flower shot, you might be able to direct some sunlight onto that flower with the aid of some kind of reflector. The only issue for me is I tend to manual focus for most if not all my botanical shots and hence both arms are tied up for that trick, and I cbb with setting up a reflector on a stand etc (much lazy).
10-19-2018, 04:12 AM   #40
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There is a lot more to using flash than using it for fill purposes. Why walk past a pretty flower because its in the sun..? Use your flash and get creative and overpower the sun.. Change the direction of the shadows. Create mood. Sorry I'm a very strong flash supporter..!! Though primarily monolights... But lets not get into that conversation.
10-19-2018, 05:20 AM - 1 Like   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
I love me some flash, just as of yet I have not found myself stuck in a situation that I felt required it.
QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
I tend to now walk about and even if I see a nice flower, if it's all in shade or everything is bright, I tend to just carry on walking by...
Not that I think everything you walk by needs to be photographed, but consider how the above quotes relate to one another. While I'm also a fan of keeping your eyes open for subjects already in flattering light, to me the point of artificial lights and modifiers is that you can make the light whatever you want (with small subjects). This can range from just 'correcting' tonal issues with the natural light or creating your own stylized lighting, but it especially means an interesting subject in unfortunate natural lighting doesn't need to be passed by.

Re: a mirror (or reflector/diffuser/etc), it's a tripod for the win here, with the camera on the tripod and the modifier(s) in my hand(s)/teeth/feet. Or (if your shutter speed can supoort one hand shooting) learn to focus manually with one hand...I can work the dfa100mm's ring with my right pinky for fine adjustments. Great thing about flowers is they can't run away from you, so you can take your time...
10-19-2018, 07:36 AM   #42
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Good one Bruce, you got me there! You're right, that isolated bit of sunlight brushing over just a part of a plant can produce that flash look with the background cut right down (by your expose for the highlights method). And that can produce images that we could say "don't need flash".

Now the thing is, the non flash approach restricts the images under these lighting circumstances, by the direction of the light and the total contrast in the whole frame.

So Bruce .... You can't get away with posting a bunch of non flash photos in the Flash Forum here without some consequences! So here's your challenge .... Go back to the start of this thread, look through the techniques described, the settings etc, and get out with your Cactus gear and a softbox (or something) and bring us back some flash lit flower or plant shots that really take control of the light and contrast. ....and that allows some smaller apertures to really make the detail and depth on those flowers stand out.
10-19-2018, 12:53 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by stub Quote
There is a lot more to using flash than using it for fill purposes. Why walk past a pretty flower because its in the sun..? Use your flash and get creative and overpower the sun.. Change the direction of the shadows. Create mood. Sorry I'm a very strong flash supporter..!! Though primarily monolights... But lets not get into that conversation.
I mean I don't all the time, I'm just meaning to say, when on a walk or in a garden etc, there will be plenty of other times to snap that flower in better lighting conditions etc, you can wait or visit the spot at a better hour etc. For me I just prefer that contrasty look where possible to the point I think about whether the shot is gonna be worth my time vs taking it regardless.
And I don't always ferry flashes about with me, or reflectors, because I think my flower portfolio speaks for itself, if you take time choosing the right flower in the right light you can work wonders, the types of shot that look like flash was involved but wasn't (not to mention by doing this it's plain simpler, quicker and you travel lighter!). There are always exceptions to the rule, I will still snap that flower regardless, even if it's not falling into my category of what I really want, but you know... I'm just saying generally how I approach flower fotos. I have absolutely nothing against flash, just thus far I typically limit it to portrait work and some product photography.

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
Not that I think everything you walk by needs to be photographed, but consider how the above quotes relate to one another. While I'm also a fan of keeping your eyes open for subjects already in flattering light, to me the point of artificial lights and modifiers is that you can make the light whatever you want (with small subjects). This can range from just 'correcting' tonal issues with the natural light or creating your own stylized lighting, but it especially means an interesting subject in unfortunate natural lighting doesn't need to be passed by.

Re: a mirror (or reflector/diffuser/etc), it's a tripod for the win here, with the camera on the tripod and the modifier(s) in my hand(s)/teeth/feet. Or (if your shutter speed can supoort one hand shooting) learn to focus manually with one hand...I can work the dfa100mm's ring with my right pinky for fine adjustments. Great thing about flowers is they can't run away from you, so you can take your time...
You're not wrong, it's just I have found there is an abundance of beauty all around and I find myself saying "I'll snap you tomorrow in the morning when there will be better natural light" etc, or I'll turn my attention to another flower that is in more favourable conditions, or perhaps you come up to a cluster of flowers then I quickly scan for the flower that is showing the greatest amount of light with darkness around etc. Basically I'm just saying I think a bit more before the shot, and I travel lighter by doing that (no flashes/softbox with me etc), and I have learned not to be in a rush, that there are always other days and a billion more flowers to snap

QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Good one Bruce, you got me there! You're right, that isolated bit of sunlight brushing over just a part of a plant can produce that flash look with the background cut right down (by your expose for the highlights method). And that can produce images that we could say "don't need flash".

Now the thing is, the non flash approach restricts the images under these lighting circumstances, by the direction of the light and the total contrast in the whole frame.

So Bruce .... You can't get away with posting a bunch of non flash photos in the Flash Forum here without some consequences! So here's your challenge .... Go back to the start of this thread, look through the techniques described, the settings etc, and get out with your Cactus gear and a softbox (or something) and bring us back some flash lit flower or plant shots that really take control of the light and contrast. ....and that allows some smaller apertures to really make the detail and depth on those flowers stand out.
Haha, I will do that for sure!

Probably the wrong to place to dump this, but recently I was commissioned to do a garden in the Blue Mountains. The weather was dull that morning, slightly drizzly and I was going around the garden with two tripods, one for the camera, the other to hold my brolly lol. I didn't have any WR lenses so was using my FA77, Lensbaby Velvet 56 and A24/2.8. I just wanted to emphasis that perhaps flash on that morning might have helped 'isolate' some of the flowers I was snapping, however a cloudy day does diffuse the light nicely and evenly, and I really quite enjoyed the 'dreich' weather.

Images are here; Rustlings Garden | Flickr
10-19-2018, 01:33 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
None have any flash use
I've taken one for the team. I think what fooled me was that the images I listed seemed to have light coming from more than one direction.

I do like the play of a lit plant against a dark background, whether the light is natural or flash. It's an appealing style.
11-19-2018, 05:45 PM   #45
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Often in the field, on a walk, a softbox and off-camera flash might not be practical. In that situation, I've had good results with on-camera flash and cheap folding diffuser like this: Flash Speedlite Diffuser Reflector for DSLR Camera White 30cm w/ Bag Softbox | eBay Very lightweight, folds to pocket size, can also be used as a reflector. Having the diffuser near the front element of the lens can mean it's fairly close to the subject, and that there's a reasonable space between flash and diffuser. Works whether the camera is in horizontal or vertical orientation (although it can be a little awkward to hold in place with the left hand in the latter situation if hand-holding the camera).

K-3 + DA 20-40 Ltd. 40mm, f8, 1/100th, 100 ISO.

This was in patchy light (sun and shade), so the flash helped make it more even. I could have exposed for the background (in deepish shade), but it would have been 2-3 stops adjustment (maybe 400-800 ISO instead of 100). And I wanted the subject to stand out.

There was more light on the flowers in the background in this one. Again the flash smoothed some of the unevenness of the light on the flowers in the foreground. K-3 and DA 20-40, 20mm, f5, 1/250th, 100 ISO.

Last edited by Des; 11-19-2018 at 08:24 PM.
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