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Lesson 09 Introduction to Flash Photography´s archives ↓

Lesson 9: Page 11

 Example 2: Shooting mode is A/Av and flash on ETTL. The aperture is set to whatever f/stop you have chosen. As you spin the main dial switching f/stops, the camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed to accommodate the changes you are making. Now let’s say you want to make the background darker or lighter and still be in A/Av mode. In these three photos you can see on the exposure bar the normal exposure, the -1 EC, and the +1 EC. On the Canon you adjust this with the main dial on the back.

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Lesson 9: Page 12

Auto Flash Heads                                                

Today’s flashes have a motorized zoom that uses a fresnel lens to focus the light from the flash. With a telephoto lens, the flash head zooms in to narrow the beam of light and extend the range. When you are using a wide angle lens, the flash head zooms out widening the spread of light. This makes the flash more efficient by only covering the area in the photograph that you are zoomed on. If that is telephoto the beam of light is narrowed and the flashes range is increased. As long as your flash is dedicated to your camera the two will work together. Depending on your camera system, this ability may become disabled when you move the flash head into bounce mode so check your manual.

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Lesson 9: Page 13

Many flashes come with wide-angle panels, which allow the flash to cover even wider-angle areas such as 14mm. Many call these diffusers but they are not diffusers, those soften light quality. On the 550EX the wide angle diffuser allows for lenses to 17mm, the 580EX to 14mm, and the SB800 to 14mm. The SB900 wide angle deflector can goes as wide as 8mm and it depends on whether you have an FX or DX sensor camera.

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Lesson 9: Page 14

Bottom line is that you want to choose an f/stop that meets the needs of the subject and no more. Does everything need to be shot at f/16 for depth of field? If you shoot everything at f/16 then the flash is outputting all its power meaning it takes longer to recycle and eats batteries faster.

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Lesson 9: Page 15

Inverse Square Law

The Inverse Square Law relates to the fall-off of light in relation to the distance from flash to subject. Think about this: you are at an indoor concert and you hold your camera up to photograph the musicians on stage. The camera and flash fire and when you view the picture what you see is the guy 3’ in front of the camera is ‘fried’ by the flash, the people 10’ out are perfect, and the musicians on stage are dark because the flash never reached them. The light had fallen off to much before reaching the stage and correctly lighting the musician. The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 9: Page 16

Histogram

Hopefully you are familiar with your cameras histogram and how it works. This is always a valuable tool when it comes to determining accuracy of your exposures. It is just as valuable here when learning to use flash and determine if your exposures are accurate. We will talk about this throughout this course.

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Lesson 9: Page 17

Strategy using Flash

If you are using flash on-camera and in TTL and your subject is far from the camera, like a group at a wedding, you should use a wider f-stop like f8, f5.6, f4 or even wider. This is to make sure the flash has the ability to output enough light to distant subjects and allows for faster recycle time. On the other hand, if your subject is closer to the camera, like the bride and groom close-up, you can use smaller f/stops like f8, f11, f16. I usually do not use a smaller f-stop than f11 and the reason is that at f11, I usually have all the depth of field I need and the flash is discharging a lot of light for a proper exposure. This makes the recycle time longer and eats up batteries faster.

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Lesson 9: Page 18

Shooting Modes

You want to choose your shooting modes based on what you are photographing. Is it outside or inside? Are there ambient light levels important to what you want to photograph? Is the subject moving? For the following paragraphs, the flash is in ETTL mode. The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 9: Page 19

What to do with low ambient light level indoors

It’s important to keep in mind that when photographing indoors you have to decide whether you want to use ambient light or not. Often this ambient light is very low in brightness resulting in long shutter speeds. Is that important? It really depends on what you’re photographing. If you are photographing the Holiday party who cares if the backgrounds go real dark? But, let’s say you are photographing the company Holiday party (the boss asked you to) and you know everybody is counting on you. The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 9: Page 20

Flash Range-The Math

Each flash unit has a certain range of flash ability based on the total power it can produce. This means based on the manufacturers designation for that specific flash model, that you can blast light from the flash to a certain distance and achieve an acceptably exposed picture.  Think back and you may remember; the higher the Guide Number the more flash output ability and the higher the flash output, the greater range or distance the flash can travel to your subject. Also, the lower the flash range the less distance the flash can send light and the pop-up flash is a great example of this.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

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