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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:33 pm 
Im just trying to learn more about using flashes but when im taking pictures of people and I use the flash (built in) I find it makes there skin tones look harsh and I dont find myself using it very often because of this. When I see pro photographers they always seem to use flashes, maybe several positioned round the subject.

-I have watched Gordon's DSLR tips video about fill in flash and I understand this but I find the flash puts the subject off and makes there skin tones harsh, how can I solve this problem?

-Are flashes a good way of shooting in dark situations, such as people in the night or in dark buildings? Most of the night/dark photo's I see are either taken with high ISO or long shutter speeds.

-When shooting photo's of models, why do they always have flashes being used? Why use multiple flashes?

-are external flashes much better and worth spending the money on compared to the built in camera flash?

Any other tips and resources would be great.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:56 am 
Quote:
-I have watched Gordon's DSLR tips video about fill in flash and I understand this but I find the flash puts the subject off and makes there skin tones harsh, how can I solve this problem?


- you can solve the problem with setting down flash exposure compensation for example -1 or -2.

- If you are taking picture indoor with ceiling, you can aim your flash to ceiling and the ceiling will distribute the light around the room.

- the other way is to get a flash diffuser such as omni bounce, light sphere, lumiquest promax system, demb diffuser or a bounce card.

Quote:
Are flashes a good way of shooting in dark situations, such as people in the night or in dark buildings? Most of the night/dark photo's I see are either taken with high ISO or long shutter speeds.


if you care about the entire frame including background, it is better to take picture without flash, because flash does not have power to light up the entire scene (unless you have very elaborate lighting system).

Quote:
When shooting photo's of models, why do they always have flashes being used? Why use multiple flashes?


yes, because each flash has a purpose
1. for main light (the strongest, usually covering the entire object)
2. for fill light (to fill in / lighten shadow area)
3. back light for hair and/or background

Indoor, they almost use flash because they are simply not enough light
and general rule of thumb of achieving high quality detailed shot is to shoot in iso 100 or lowest iso your camera has.

Outdoor, flash is used for fill flash (you have watch the Gordon's tutorial)
and then also for catch light (sparkle in the eyes) to make the subject more lively / contrast.

Using filter gel on the flash/strobes and playing with white balance setting could create an interesting color balance and creative photos.

Quote:
are external flashes much better and worth spending the money on compared to the built in camera flash?


yes, because external flashes are:

1. More powerful

2. positioned relatively higher (so it does not interfere with longer lens)
higher position usually create a more soft shadow.

3. you can direct the light because you can swivel it. (30, 60 or 90 degree). Old trick indoor is to direct the flash to the ceiling and let it bounce and diffuse the light to entire room.

4. Networking and wireless - higher end flash is fully customizable and can set as slave mode. you can build a portrait studio out of multiple flashes with diffusers (umbrellas).


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:06 am 
Portrait and studio photographers use strobe lights to give dynamic lighting to their subjects. An average set-up is the Main light, fill light, hair light, and background light. Sometimes for men, you could add a pin light...

External flashes are great for any type of photography. Whether it's macro, portraits, in-door and out-door. With an external flash, you have more control over the artificial light and can combine a mixture of natural light with flash to achieve some great looking shots. Just remember that it's ideal to lower the flash compensation by a stop or so, just so that you aren't fighting the natural light. Just adding a bit of flash for the shadows etc.

The built-in camera flash isn't really the greatest flash source to use. Bouncing the flash is not that easy, nor is it very effective really. You also don't get as much flexibility with on-board flashes than you do with external units.

I suggest looking into an external flash and working with it. It's something I think everyone should have experience with.


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