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06-07-2009, 02:48 PM   #1
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what are the basics to using a diffuser?

ok i'll admit, i'm a noob with my flash. i don't do much of portrait shooting so i've never really had a go at lighting/flash photography. my friends are having a christening soon and asked me to take some shots for them, and i don't wanna mess that up.

i've been playing around with my flash, and a few diffusers i have, but i just can't figure it out hahaha either blurry, dark, overexposed, or other things that make the shot crap.

i hear "TTL put it on P and auto ISO" but it just not going too well. the images aren't coming out too consistent. anyone have any basics when it comes to shooting portrait with one flash unit and a diffuser?

06-07-2009, 04:54 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by zenimagery Quote
ok i'll admit, i'm a noob with my flash. i don't do much of portrait shooting so i've never really had a go at lighting/flash photography. my friends are having a christening soon and asked me to take some shots for them, and i don't wanna mess that up.

i've been playing around with my flash, and a few diffusers i have, but i just can't figure it out hahaha either blurry, dark, overexposed, or other things that make the shot crap.

i hear "TTL put it on P and auto ISO" but it just not going too well. the images aren't coming out too consistent. anyone have any basics when it comes to shooting portrait with one flash unit and a diffuser?
Start here: Strobist: Lighting 101

More info on umbrellas: Strobist: Lighting 101: Umbrellas

Basically, a diffuser spreads out the light and makes the light softer. Most modifiers are going to eat some amount of light. The closer you bring the light to the subject, the softer the light is going to be, the farther away, the harder it will be, diffuser or not.
06-08-2009, 03:56 AM   #3
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The strobist links are a great place to start. Just to clarify, though, it isn't how close or how far away the light is from the subject, it is the apparent size of the light source relative to the subject. That's the role of the diffuser-to increase the apparent size of the light source.
06-08-2009, 04:18 AM   #4
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I've had my best luck by setting the camera to manual and using the desired shutter speed and aperature. This lets the flash do most of the adjustment work. I found when I had my DS on Av or Tv mode, the camera and flash both wanted to make adjustments during the shot and I had a lot more issues. You may need to use a +.5 or +1 on the flash depending on how far away you are from the subject and the background.

I use a DIY diffuser as shown here.

DIY Reflector-Diffuser

I did make one smaller than that shown by reducing all outer dimensions by a 1/2" except for the part that wraps around the flash head. I tend to use it the most.



Tim

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