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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:43 pm 
At a wedding I did recently, I was faced with a lot of challenges. Most of it stemmed from the fact that 2 persons in the wedding party where disabled, and mobility was a really big issue. Due to this fact, I had to do the formals at a less than ideal location (under a fairly small tree with even shade cover).

Problem was that under the tree had sufficient light to shoot at 1/100 of a second at f2.8, but outside of the shade, the correct exposure was close to like 1/2000 of a sec (this was 12 in the day mind you) at f4.

If I exposed for the faces, the background would go nuclear, and if I even attempted to try and get some detail in the background, the faces went completely black. I tried using my flash as a fill, but my HVL42 was no match for the sun and created a kind of bright halo surrounded by almost pure darkness. I ended up just exposing for the skin, and chose to live with the background.

It's not too bad, but far from ideal (if the background is way overexposed, I can either convert to BW or crop to minimize its significance).

My question is if I could have handled this differently? Would a larger more powerful flash have helped (an alien bees or something similar)? I do anticipate this being an issue going forward as the Caribbean has sun to spare and I want to be better prepared for the next time this happens.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:00 pm 
Expose for the background. Enable HSS on your flash and get it to flash at 1/2000s. The alternative is to stop down a little, say to f/8 and a shutter speed of 1/500s if your flash doesn't go that fast. You should now have a properly exposed background and subject.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:14 pm 
I did try that (HSS), and it works if you have 4 or less persons (looked great for 2 persons, but was stretching it for 4), but some of the group shots had about 10 persons (I should have mentioned that, cus I didn't have an issue with the photos of the couple only), so what happened was the persons on the edges (whichever points are furthest from the flash) were probably 1-2 stops darker than those closest to the flash (might be fixable in PP, but that is a big risk to take :lol: ).

I could have tried some kind of feathering, but even then I think you need more than one flash. Shooting off axis may have helped, but then I would just bias the exposure to one side or the other I think.

Maybe multiple small flashes, off camera would have done the trick (minimum of 2 small strobes maybe)? Really think that might have been the solution. I could therefore control the flashes independently, and created a lighting ratio that caused the most even light across the frame.

Been looking through the pictures, and this time it worked out fine, but maybe I was lucky! I probably need to find a solution quickly since next time might not go so well.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:22 pm 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
primitive wrote:
I tried using my flash as a fill, but my HVL42 was no match for the sun and created a kind of bright halo surrounded by almost pure darkness. I ended up just exposing for the skin, and chose to live with the background.

From my experience, I can usually get better fill-in flash if you use manual flash. Try to play around the power level of the flash. If you want more background, slow down the shuttle speed a bit when using flash.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:12 pm 
Balancing out light and shadow can certainly be a challenge - in particularly in back-lit situations like you faced.

You're certainly on the right track in the sense that there aren't really many options with the sun in the back: add more light yourself to the foreground.

I have seen reasonable results with reflectors. When you go high-speed synch, you are losing flash power like crazy and a single flash may be inadequate.

Another "work-around" might have been to get the sun to go through an umbrella...maybe turn the models so the sun in one one side, instead right behind them...and use some form of diffusion...umbrella...then the relative flash power should be higher.

But the ideas all basically center around either reducing the ambient light and/or adding more light to the front.

Cheers :-)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:11 am 
You could always change the type of photo you're taking. Go for a high key shot with a fully white background. It could work out quite nicely.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:48 am 
If the background light was so strong, maybe bring some reflectors next time.

Oh and BTW, I've noticed you don't post much outside of the Sony subforum, this one isn't Sony specific so you might get better replies in the more general forums. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:14 pm 
Well, I seem to have gotten some good options. I will have to go out on a sunny day and test these to see which I like the most, and what makes sense in what situation.

I had originally planned on buying an alienbee kit, so I might still go ahead with it. The kit also comes with reflectors, umbrellas and softboxes, so no loss there and I think I should get these anyways as they are much more useful for large groups (the HVL42 will be my more mobile option)

Sorry about posting on the Sony subforum, but most of the time I am on my cell, and its pretty hard to navigate the site on (it usually loads up the sony page by default).


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:52 pm 
primitive wrote:
Sorry about posting on the Sony subforum, but most of the time I am on my cell, and its pretty hard to navigate the site on (it usually loads up the sony page by default).


Wow! you can type that much using a phone? you got patience man!!! :D thats what i am improving in my atettude

but about that alienbee kit i move forward to know how that kits can help us and still surfing.


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