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05-05-2011, 02:25 PM   #16
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You can safely use 1/125s or 1/60, even slower. The flash duration practically freezes the scene for you.

I found off-camera fill is better.

Ceiling bounce eats light, reduce by 1/4 or 1/8 depends on the height. Use zoom head on your flash to concentrate the beam, you may gain a bit more.

You may need f2.8 or f3.2 for full body shoots. Wide at 35mm is hard to blur out the background. Adjust your flash accordingly. Note down the settings - it's hard to remember if you are not use to it.

At 6-7PM it will be a wonderful hour to shoot. At these hours, the outdoor light is a bit dimmed. When you are using CTO on your flash, the window light become blue, very blue that can be wonderful background.



05-05-2011, 06:38 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
You may need f2.8 or f3.2 for full body shoots. Wide at 35mm is hard to blur out the background. Adjust your flash accordingly. Note down the settings - it's hard to remember if you are not use to it.

At 6-7PM it will be a wonderful hour to shoot. At these hours, the outdoor light is a bit dimmed. When you are using CTO on your flash, the window light become blue, very blue that can be wonderful background.
Thanks for that tip. You're right, I need to open the aperture a little more. Great shot by the way.

OK, after more practice, I found one other thing. I can't seem to find a way to use manual flash when setting it off optically from the popup. I can do it if I mount one Sigma to the camera, but I've decided to keep it next to but off the camera.

The good news is that PTTL is working well for me, so I will depend on that, and simply adjust the relative power by setting exposure compensation. I think I'm ready.

1. Main flash opposite ambient light, up high into umbrella with CTO gel.
2. Fill flash next to camera bounced off ceiling with CTO gel.
3. PTTL with popup flash set to off (only preflash).
4. Handheld gold reflector above, behind, and opposite main flash.
05-06-2011, 12:12 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by klh Quote
OK, after more practice, I found one other thing. I can't seem to find a way to use manual flash when setting it off optically from the popup. I can do it if I mount one Sigma to the camera, but I've decided to keep it next to but off the camera.
Good that you feel confident. Post some photos after Friday so we all can see and learn ;-)

The sigma can be manual slave if you set it to optical slave mode, but not easy to set manual power - too many buttons to push and I never remember the sequence.. Also the 530 super resets all setting for each mode when I miss push the mode button. You can check that later if yours still does the same. For that reason, I tend to stay with old manual flashes and use radio triggers. Sigma's engineers and staff should learn how to use a flash before they create one.
05-06-2011, 02:43 AM - 1 Like   #19
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Well I'll add my 5 cents.

This is how I'm shooting:

For portraits take 50-70-85-105 mm lens. Set camera in M mode, minimal ISO (100 or 200), f/5.6, shutter 1/100, tripod if any, 2-3 flashes, umbrellas-softboxes, stands. Then you can change f-stop up and down and also the shutter speed. NOTE! Opening your aperture will give your more light on the model, and slowing the shutter speed will give you more light on the background.

Blurring of the background depends more on the focal distance of the lens, less on the f-stop in these conditions. Hardly you will shoot at f/2.8. And at f/8 you need a 85-135 mm lens to blur the background. Put your model not closer than 1-3 m from the backround unless you want to see a shadow on it. Yup, you'll have to step back for 6-10 meters

The model looks better when she's 'cut out' from the background. This is why you need a contre light. It can be sun or the flash. Morning or evening sun is ok, especially if it's slightly over the trees or houses on the background - you get 2-in-1: a dark back and the contre light. Or you can use your second flash standing right behind the model or left-over/right-over the model (out of the frame).

As for filling light, you can get it from ambient light (slowing down your flash and opening the aperture), from reflector, from second flash (put it on about half the power of the main light or bounce) or even from the +1Av setting in the raw converter

maybe I forgot something - feel free to ask.

Also the example of the shot taken indoors:

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K10, Samyang 85@ f/4-5.6, 1/60-1/160 (don't remember), flash through white umbrella in the upper-left corner, naked flash in the upper-right corner behind the model.


Last edited by NoMaD_PS; 05-06-2011 at 04:06 AM.
05-06-2011, 04:30 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
The sigma can be manual slave if you set it to optical slave mode, but not easy to set manual power
I was able to set the Sigma to a manual slave, but if I set the popup wireless flash option to OFF, then the Sigmas wouldn't fire. In other words, unless I want the popup to flash in my picture, it seems I have to use PTTL mode.

QuoteOriginally posted by NoMaD_PS Quote
NOTE! Opening your aperture will give your more light on the model, and slowing the shutter speed will give you more light on the background.
I've got that written down on a note card. Thanks.
05-06-2011, 05:03 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by klh Quote
I was able to set the Sigma to a manual slave, but if I set the popup wireless flash option to OFF, then the Sigmas wouldn't fire. In other words, unless I want the popup to flash in my picture, it seems I have to use PTTL mode.
Yes it is correct. The sigma has several slave modes. One of them is the 'optical slave' mode, that needs a flash pulse to trigg. The slave detects the flash pulse and fire millisecond later. It is useful when someone shoot with pocket camera or other camera and improve the scene overall for everyone - great for party events.

If you don't have radio triggers, keep the settings in p-ttl for safety.
05-06-2011, 06:40 PM   #22
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Many thanks to all for the help. The posed shots worked great. I didn't do quite so well with the candid shots as the kids were getting ready, but all in all I'm pretty happy. Now for more practicing.
05-06-2011, 08:29 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by klh Quote
The posed shots worked great.
Lets see a few examples

I love P-TTL for those candids.

05-06-2011, 09:52 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by klh Quote
I didn't do quite so well with the candid shots as the kids were getting ready, but all in all I'm pretty happy. Now for more practicing
well now you know what you need to practice, more candid work. but I would suggest you keep at working with your flashes in wireless mode...so next time when you need to use them in that fashion you will know what to expect.
05-07-2011, 03:32 PM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by calicojack Quote
Lets see a few examples

I love P-TTL for those candids.
You're right, the candids went better after I went full auto on everything.

Here's a few samples. I'd love some feedback.





05-07-2011, 03:49 PM   #26
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Beautiful.
#1: you miss some of the dress. Tamron?
#2: nice. you haven't told us about dark skin; personally I think it's always difficult.
#3: nice too ;-) 5-10 feet longer from object to background will blurred the flowers completely.
Thanks for sharing ;-)

I may get the tamron soon...
05-07-2011, 07:54 PM   #27
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Very nicely done.
Congratulations.
05-08-2011, 02:22 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
#1: you miss some of the dress.
Yes I did. Operator Error. I had a few others of the same shot where I framed it properly, but this was the best of all the girls. It's hard to get four at a time when there's loads of people about.

QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
5-10 feet longer from object to background will blurred the flowers completely.
I definitely need to work on thinking through the background. I liked that flowering tree with the sun behind, but further out was not a good view (side of a house).

QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
Tamron?
Yes, 28-75/2.8. I love it. Of all my lenses, it gets the most use.
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