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02-18-2011, 12:43 PM   #1
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Just got a hot shoe flash, need a tutorial!

So I pulled the trigger and got a Sigma EF 530 DG ST for my k2000. I'll be shooting my brother's baby shower and some other indoor events with the kit lens and needed a better light source.

I've read about bouncing flash etc., but haven't found a good tutorial on how to evaluate a scene...ie: when to bounce off ceiling, or left/right wall, when to use diffuser. My flash gun also has a flip down plasticky piece (not sure what that's called) in front of the bulb...not sure when or how to use that either.

Also don't know when to use PTTL, low, or high power. Pretty clueless, hugh?

Thanks for any help!

02-18-2011, 03:57 PM   #2
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Soft light is usually preferable to direct flash which can be harsh. What it is bounced off of (usually a white wall or ceiling) is determined by what is available to you and the direction you want the light to come from. You will lose an f-stop or two when you bounce it. You can use an umbrella or foam-core on a stand if your uncooperative wall or ceiling is too far away.

That little flip up plastic panel in front of the flash is probably a "zoom" to adjust the angle of the flash to match your lens focal length.

Hi power for small apertures, long flash distance, or bouncing. Less power to fill in daylight, allow out of focus area, and faster recycle time, etc.
02-18-2011, 04:01 PM   #3
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If it's your first time using the flash, I suggest you forget about bouncing.

Just set everything on autonatic, take a shot, and see if exposure is correct.

I wouldn't worry with softness at this point. You first want to nail down proper exposure.

By the time she spews the kid out, you'll have figured out bouncing and softer lighting. Because after all:

God forbid you make a 1-day-old baby look 2 days old.

Also, your brother is not having a baby shower. His mate is, and there should be a law that men don't have to attend these things.

EVER!
02-18-2011, 05:12 PM   #4
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Here is a great website on using flash. He is really into bounce flash but you will at least pick-up some ideas.

http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/

I also recommend that you read this Forum Article. I never use my Sigma flash without one of these, as it really cuts down on the harshness of the shadows.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/do-yourself/50941-diy-making-flash-bouncer.html

Take a look at the image below. Notice how I have the bouncer attached to my old Vivitar flash. The reason for doing this is that I can bend the head 90 degrees and the bouncer is still functional when taking a portrait orientated shot.



Tim

02-18-2011, 06:02 PM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
My flash gun also has a flip down plasticky piece (not sure what that's called)
I suggest that you go on-line and download the user manual (pdf) for your model flash unit.
Manuals are usually on the manufacturer's site or do a google by model number.
In addition to telling you what part is for what they also tell you the guide number and other information that you will need down the road - even what type batteries will work or not.
02-18-2011, 06:38 PM   #6
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Check YouTube. There are hundreds of tutorials of on camera and off camera flash techniques.
02-19-2011, 11:19 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the tips. In our culture though, baby showers are family affairs- all inclusive. With over 100 people, most of the men will find a way to enjoy.

The Sigma manual is terrible, as expected since many reviewers mentioned this.

Well, it is an exciting time for the fam and I'm glad I get a chance to test my skills!

@specialk, if I lose an f-stop do I need to stop down or does the pttl already compensate for that?
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02-19-2011, 03:09 PM   #8
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Good luck with it and have fun!!!

It's just that with fast- moving action stuff-- which is what a baby shower is with all the gift opening and hugging and kissing and laughing--it's almost like shooting sports to catch the true essence of the event. And trying to shoot it like portraits with soft lighting may not be the best way to go, considering the loss of flash power and room set-up.

And yes--P-TTL will compensate for that, but depending on the mode you're in, it may give you a noisier high ISO or wide and low depth of field aperture.

So although the auto functions of the flash will get you a properly exposed shot, you still want to know exactly what it's doing. In other words, your cam and flash can't fix certain things depending on the initial decisions you make in the mode and set-up.

02-19-2011, 04:26 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LucyGoosey Quote
My flash gun also has a flip down plasticky piece (not sure what that's called) in front of the bulb...not sure when or how to use that either.
Also don't know when to use PTTL, low, or high power. Pretty clueless, hugh?

Thanks for any help!
That a wide angle diffuser. You will need to read the manual for what lens to use it with. I've never used mine because I use the "other" diffuser.

Tim
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