Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-11-2012, 08:26 AM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: washington, dc
Posts: 224
photo shoot this weekend

Hi all

I am about to do a photo shoot (nothing too serious, just fun) this weekend with a friend of mine. I normally don't do a lot of people photography (i've posted a few times about this), but have done some portraits in the past sans flash. I am going to be bringing along my sb-24 for my pentax K-x (lenses 18-55 kit, smc-k 28 f2.8 manual, smc-k 50 f1.7 manual). So, the flash photography thing is really new to me, and i've practiced a bit with my dog (haha) bouncing off the ceiling and such. I also have a small soft box that I bought that slips over the flash head. No stands, umbrellas, etc (please tell me I am not doomed without this).

I am wondering when and exactly how to be using the flash. Our shoot will take place between 4-8 pm. So not really any harsh sunlight. We will likely start in his apartment where he hass full length windows and white shades with falling sun coming in from the west (directly). We will also likely venture outdoors. According to the weather it may be somewhat overcast anyway.

SO - best way to use the flash indoors and outdoors considering these lighting conditions. Should i use as fill flash, and if so what settings are recommended for that? I plan to shoot raw+ so i can (and most likely will) PP whenever necessary.

Any tips? Only a bit worried about all the manual everything I will have to be doing here including the focusing, and wondering should I start with the kit lens so I'll atleast have AF if I need it to make things a little quicker?

05-11-2012, 08:31 AM   #2
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: washington, dc
Posts: 224
Original Poster
oh , also forgot to mention, i did get wireless triggers. so i could set the flash somewhere on table or something, but still no stands.
05-11-2012, 08:38 AM   #3
Veteran Member
devorama's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 638
Do you have a way to fire the flash off camera? Like a wired or wireless flash trigger? That gives you the most flexibility. Even if you don't have fancy modifiers, you can do a lot with light bounced off a white wall, ceiling, or posterboard. And if you don't have a flash stand, an assistant will work also. They are like voice-activated light stands! :-)

Even without a great use of flash, you can do a lot with window light and a reflector. Something like a white piece of cardboard or posterboard can work in a pinch. Of course, you need an assistant for that also.

Just remember when using flash, that you are essentially balancing the amount of ambient light with your flash. Don't shoot at max flash sync speed unless you want the flash to be your most dominant light source by far. You can shoot some window portraits with a longer exposure, and do some light fill with the flash. In this way, the sun is your key light and still gives a natural look. But the flash keeps the shadows from going too dark. It's all about balance.
05-11-2012, 08:43 AM   #4
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: washington, dc
Posts: 224
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
Do you have a way to fire the flash off camera? Like a wired or wireless flash trigger? That gives you the most flexibility. Even if you don't have fancy modifiers, you can do a lot with light bounced off a white wall, ceiling, or posterboard. And if you don't have a flash stand, an assistant will work also. They are like voice-activated light stands! :-)

Even without a great use of flash, you can do a lot with window light and a reflector. Something like a white piece of cardboard or posterboard can work in a pinch. Of course, you need an assistant for that also.

Just remember when using flash, that you are essentially balancing the amount of ambient light with your flash. Don't shoot at max flash sync speed unless you want the flash to be your most dominant light source by far. You can shoot some window portraits with a longer exposure, and do some light fill with the flash. In this way, the sun is your key light and still gives a natural look. But the flash keeps the shadows from going too dark. It's all about balance.

thanks. I do have wireless triggers as I forgot to mention. although, when testing with those on the dog, i really didn't know much of what i was doing. i generally keep the flash low, like 1/8 or 1/16 power, because i'd much rather use ambient light and just use the flash as an aid when the ambient light is too low for a decent shutter speed.

05-11-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter
blackcloudbrew's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cotati, California USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,782
I'll leave the flash comments to others but in looking over your lens selection, I'd think I'd be wanting something between 55 and 100mm in focal length for portraits. The wide angle lens can be good for group shots but I think you need something longer in your bag as wide angle lenses aren't - or so I believe - that flattering to faces. I typically use my DA*50-135 for this could just as well live with my 58 or 85mm lenses too. You might give that a thought. Best of luck on the shoot.
05-11-2012, 09:24 AM   #6
Banned




Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Charleston & Pittsburgh
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,683
QuoteOriginally posted by jennverr Quote
the flash photography thing is really new to me, and i've practiced a bit with my dog (haha) bouncing off the ceiling and such. I also have a small soft box that I bought that slips over the flash head

You did mention the wireless trigger issue for the flash, but also strongly suggesting that anyone not use anything attached (possibly even near) their built in flash. i've seen more than a fair share of items crop up when this is attempted; especially adds up the more the flash is used
05-11-2012, 11:45 PM   #7
Senior Member
Tom Woj's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Stafford, UK
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 163
Depends what you want to get from the shoot. Split the time you have so that you're not focusing fully on one thing.

If you're not comfortable with flash or you don't know quite what you'd do with it, don't mess around all the time with it Just get a nice range of shots and try different things out in moderation - dedicate a bit of time to natural light/indoor/out/flash/mixed/etc. Good thing is if it's just practice/with a friend, then have fun, no pressure!

A good idea though, is to plan out how you're going to go from one shot to the next, and also what you/your friend want to get out of it - because theres a load of things you can do and it's easy to get side tracked. Whether it's planning in detail, or just roughly in your head, it's always good to plan. For example you could start off indoors, find a nice big window while the sun is still out, position your subject accordingly and you can get some nice natural lit headshots. Then get some natural full length shots, different view points, angles etc. Then add in a bit of flash to pratice, try bouncing for fill flash, whack up the shutter speed and see what you can get with just flash, then as the day goes into the golden out work your way outside and try some cool location shots.

High/Low-key with Flash

One thing you could try is finding a plain white-ish wall, setting your flash behind the subject or off-camera somewhere, and blowing the wall to white so you just get a super-clean shot. It's pretty doable with just one flash, but you might need to max it out depending on the ambient light you're getting and the sync-speed of your wireless triggers. Use a window or some other light source as your main subject light, or even the built-in flash with some tissue paper on etc, and it becomes a quick and easy way to get some nice shots that look like they were done in a studio - with a nice clean background.

The reverse of that is also pretty easy, where you make the background dark/completely black - for that you just up the shutter to cut out the ambient light, and position your flash so it's hitting the subject, but angled away from the wall, or just move further away from the wall.

Think about the type of light you want, and what would fit the subject. Hard/bare flash works great for males because it gives strong/defined shadows, but it's not flattering to females. To get a softer light, you need a bigger light-source, that's where a soft-box would come in. You can get a good effect from a white bed sheet or cloth draped over a couple of chairs or something too - just put the flash about 1 foot behind it at it's widest setting and you're half-way to a soft box.

Check out these for some examples:

Outdoors

Also bear in mind that if you decide to outdoors early in the afternoon, it's still gonna be pretty bright, so your flash is going to be fighting with the sun if you're trying to get that 'darker background' look in a non-shaded area - so golden hour is gonna be better for that sort of thing. You probably won't be able to get that much separation of subject/background brightness on a very sunny day, because the wireless triggers will max out at say 1/160 maybe, and the 1 speedlight won't be able to compete. But, try different things!

I think for outdoors, the location and style of shot is going to be more worthwhile practising than trying to use flash. You might want to avoid using direct sunlight as it can be quite harsh - pay attention to the subjects eyes, if they're getting irritated and blinking then turn them so they're out of the light a bit. Also look for white walls/signs to use as natural reflectors to act as fill light - the larger the source of light, the softer it'll be.

Try some silloutets outdoors too, get your subject back-lit by a fading sun, move around to get some nice flare, and boom, arty-sunset shot.

Check out:
,
.

Oh, and if you wanna go crazy - grab a tripod, a torch, somewhere dark, and do some light-painting like this!

They make it look so easy ...

Hope that helps a bit,

Good luck, tell us how it goes!
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bit, camera, dslr, flash, kit, photo, photography, smc-k, weekend
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Excited - Upcoming weekend, Fish-Eye fever and B&H Photo Rocks! joe.penn General Talk 9 05-16-2011 12:23 AM
Photo shoot experience pb_red Photographic Technique 3 05-24-2010 03:13 AM
Cityscape Weekend photo outing columbus Post Your Photos! 2 12-03-2009 10:24 PM
Cosplay shoot from the weekend Warped Post Your Photos! 4 12-08-2008 05:07 AM
Where did you shoot last weekend? roscot Post Your Photos! 6 08-01-2007 06:59 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:42 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top