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04-07-2011, 08:05 PM   #1
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What setting on a flash for outdoor portraits?

I am looking at the Sigma 610 and tried to find the manual on their site. I failed. I thought maybe it would give me tips. Anyway, I was wondering what setting you would use on the flash (or any other flash) when trying to fill light. I looked at diffusers from Gary Fong, Sto-Fen, others. Some folks I read said just turn down the flash. Off camera flash is also and option with triggers. I'm lost.

What do I do? Thanks.

04-07-2011, 08:33 PM   #2
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In the flash exposure adjustment, for fill flash, you want 1.5 to 2 stops less light than you would normally get for the ambient exposure (or 1.5 to 2 stops more than the ambient exposure). THis creates a nice lighting look that does not look artificial while still opening up the shadows.

Nice thing is, you can experiment a bit before you do the heavy shooting.

Regards,
04-07-2011, 08:37 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigDave Quote
In the flash exposure adjustment, for fill flash, you want 1.5 to 2 stops less light than you would normally get for the ambient exposure (or 1.5 to 2 stops more than the ambient exposure). THis creates a nice lighting look that does not look artificial while still opening up the shadows.

Nice thing is, you can experiment a bit before you do the heavy shooting.

Regards,
Is this something you do on the flash or the camera?
04-07-2011, 08:41 PM   #4
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You can do it on either if it is a fully dedicated flash. I am not certain about the Sigma you mention.

Doing it on the camera is easiest as you can dial in the flash more easily. Push the flash button (lightning bolt) on the key pad in the back. Access the exposure level adjustment routine and then you can then use the thumb wheel dial raise or lower the flash exposure. Check your manual under "Using the Flash".

Good luck!

04-10-2011, 02:29 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
I am looking at the Sigma 610 and tried to find the manual on their site. I failed. I thought maybe it would give me tips. Anyway, I was wondering what setting you would use on the flash (or any other flash) when trying to fill light. I looked at diffusers from Gary Fong, Sto-Fen, others. Some folks I read said just turn down the flash. Off camera flash is also and option with triggers. I'm lost.

What do I do? Thanks.
I have an older sigma dg500 super and the little bit of info in the manual really sucks. go to this link, the 610 and the 500 likely share some things in common,. most of it is over my head, hope you get more out of it.
http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~geoff/ef500cheatsheet-a4.pdf

cheers
04-10-2011, 04:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by justtakingpics Quote
I looked at diffusers from Gary Fong, Sto-Fen, others.
Never use a diffuser like those you listed for fill flash. Dail down the flash to -1 1/2 stops or so. Getting fill flash off camera isn't as critical as for when it is your main light.
04-10-2011, 05:55 PM   #7
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The setting you should turn on is HSS - high speed sync. Especially for outdoor portraits. Not doing this will result in limiting your shutter speed to 180. This will result in your cameras shutting down your aperture in brightly lit situations which will in turn result in a larger than desirable depth of field. Large depth of field will result in background clutter being in focus and distracting the viewers attention from the subject of the portrait.
04-12-2011, 02:25 AM   #8
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The sigma can do wireless flash as well.

I use fill flash outdoor when it is harsh light, too bright one size and too dark on the shadow side, but mostly with a ND8 filter or CPL pair. That to bring the synch speed down to 1/180 (or better 1/125).

Getting in the shade is another option, also a foldable reflector is usefull for portraits (or white shirt, paper, card board whatever bounce a little light back).

In my case, I want large aperture for bokeh, but also balance the bright ambient with the subject.

Off-camera flash is the way to go, but controlling the sigma with build-in wireless, shutter speed and aperture may be a nightmare. Sigma user manual is a nightmare to read itself. I found out the radio triggers in manual flash/camera control is better suited.

Just ask, if my description is not clear enough ;-)

Here's a sample:
ND8 filter, off-camera flash at 1/4 power, sigma 530 super.
Without flash fill, the T shirt would be too bright, the face too dark on the shadow side.



Last edited by hoanpham; 04-12-2011 at 02:35 AM.
04-12-2011, 03:59 AM   #9
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I read a tip from scott kelby's digital photography 3 book series that you can aim your camera at the background of the subject (works with pop up flash, not sure what other type)take an exposure reading, lock that exposure pushing the button half way down, recompose, pop the flash up and fire... I tried it inside and it does work well. don't use flash to ofter so I think it would work well for fill flash outdoors with a bit of tweaking

Amazon.com: The Digital Photography Book (9780321474049): Scott Kelby: Books

I have all 3 books and they are well worth the look

cheers
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