Author Topic: Flash Diffuser?  (Read 2061 times)

keithsnell

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Flash Diffuser?
« on: March 17, 2010, 07:09:48 PM »
Hi Michele,

How's the new flash diffuser (bouncer) working out?  Do we get to see examples?  It would be great to see similar shots with "direct" flash vs with the diffuser.  I'm curious how well that model works...

Keith
« Last Edit: March 17, 2010, 07:49:54 PM by keithsnell »

Michele

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2010, 12:42:31 AM »
Honestly, I don't have the hang of it yet.  I think I am going to go over to the church and try a few out there.  But here are a couple.

Michele

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2010, 12:53:26 AM »
My neighbour's daughter coming back from skiing.

keithsnell

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2010, 03:15:17 PM »
Honestly, I don't have the hang of it yet.  I think I am going to go over to the church and try a few out there.  But here are a couple.

There's just a little bit of a shadow underneath her chin, but I think the only reason I noticed that was because I was looking for it.  In general, the shadows are much better don't you think?  Was this with the doors on top open or closed?

Keith

Michele

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2010, 03:32:26 PM »
Hi Keith, missed you.  Closed.  But I was angled up at her.  On Saturday I will be practicing a couple of shots in and out of the church.  Hey, I found this puppy picture I took last year.  Do you like Bernese Mountain Dogs?  I love them.  I guess that has nothing to do with the flash but I wanted to show it to you.  It's my backyard.

Just me.

Michele

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 03:35:10 PM »
Ahhh, you meant in my daughter's friend's picture.  The windows were open in my living room.

keithsnell

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2010, 04:02:06 PM »
Hi Keith, missed you.  Closed.  But I was angled up at her.  On Saturday I will be practicing a couple of shots in and out of the church.  Hey, I found this puppy picture I took last year.  Do you like Bernese Mountain Dogs?  I love them.  I guess that has nothing to do with the flash but I wanted to show it to you.  It's my backyard.

Just me.

Very nice.  I like your backyard too.

We got up early this morning, piled the kids into the car, and took off to go exploring at a National Wildlife Refuge about 2 hours away by car.  It was a nice excursion, but all the wildlife was too far away for any decent images.  Suffered one little incident with McKenzie projectile vomiting in the car, and Evan joining in out of sympathy.  Luckily Rebecca resisted the urge to join in too.  :)

Evan and McKenzie were troopers and spent the rest of the time enjoying the day like nothing had happened.  Here's Evan photographing the Sandhill Cranes, Trumpeter Swans, and White Pelicans across the wetlands:


Oh, and we stopped to visit Grandma and Granddad, and sold our house in Colorado.  Busy day...
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 04:14:40 PM by keithsnell »

Michele

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2010, 04:17:56 PM »
Wow, congratulations on the sale, first of all.  Gross and double gross on the vomit.  I agree that Dave should drive his own car now that I hear that story.  Yuck.  Sad you saw no animals but jealous that you have a wild life reserve that is very close by to where you live.  Looks like a lovely day and I am fairly certain that your children are growing up with open eyes through the lens of a camera.  What a lens...  Ok, envious there.  I am a rainbow of emotions from your day.  I am not sure about the grandparent visit.  All depends on the personalities, but I am get the feel that you enjoyed the visit.  Now I am tired.

Tomorrow I am visiting the Zurich zoo for the first time.  Actually, I have not gone to a zoo since I was little.  I hate them.  I hate everything about the idea of animals (with the exception of small birds, small fish, small reptiles, or bugs) should be kept in cages.  But my friends, especially my best friend and one that used to be the head of the animal rights org here in the Zurich area suggested I give it a chance.  She has a year pass there and thinks they are doing amazing work.  But I am still not sure.  I can't even think about circusses, unless it is Cirque du Soleil.  My kids want to go and they have almost an ecomuseum, so I am considering it.  I just can't get my head around that we are securing them in something for our pleasure.  Also that if I pay, I am supporting it.  My friend told me that they do an awful lot of good at this place and I should see for myself.  I can eat a burger but seeing a large cat or kangaroo in a cage depresses me.


I wish I could go take photos with you guys...   :(
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 04:20:24 PM by Michele »

Michele

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2010, 04:26:47 PM »
I mean the window was open on the light bouncer while I took the photo in my living room, but you knew what I meant, right?

keithsnell

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2010, 04:32:22 PM »
I think Dave is probably glad he decided to take his own car too. :)

Yes, zoos can be depressing.  It is good that many of the zoos are helping to breed endangered animals with the hope of helping them survive as a species, but sad that we have come to that point.  Most of the zoos here in the U.S. are run by very well intentioned people, and its one way to help the children learn about other animals and habitats.

You have an open invitation to come over and photograph with us any time...

keithsnell

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2010, 04:35:18 PM »
I mean the window was open on the light bouncer while I took the photo in my living room, but you knew what I meant, right?

Yes, it took me a moment.  At first I was trying to figure out why it mattered if the windows in your living room were open when you took the picture, but then I figured it out. :)

There, now we're back "on topic" again. :)

For those wondering what the heck we're talking about, Michele bought the Lumiquest Quick Bounce (flash diffuser/bouncer) for her on-camera flash, and I was wondering what she thought about the results.  Here's the link to the Quick Bounce:  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/602483-REG/LumiQuest_LQ_122_Quik_Bounce_Light_Modifier.html

Keith
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 04:41:44 PM by keithsnell »

Michele

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2010, 04:51:51 PM »
Yes, I did.  I bought that little gizmo and I will post the test shots as I take them for some suggestions on how to improve them.  Keith, be critical.  I might pout a little but I need to get this right.  Also, the shots for one of the classes will be in about a week.  After getting them printed (because that would be way too expensive to do myself), I will show them to the school and they will decide to take me  for the whole school.  The end of this month is going to be tight with that and the first communion.  Meaning, I will be testing out a lot of stuff out in the next week... Will need help...  Be aware, I may get intense again.  C'est moi, la p'tite intensive!

Michèle

keithsnell

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2010, 05:16:17 PM »
I will try to help you as much as I can.  

A couple of thoughts (and questions):

Although the shadows in the image of your daughter and her friend were better than with "direct" flash from just a bare flash, I was still a bit surprised with how intense the shadows were under her chin (your daughter's friend). Are you sure this was with the doors (windows) open on the Quick Bounce?  It looks more like direct flash than the softer light I would expect from bouncing the light off the ceiling.

For comparison, here are a few (very quick) flash shots of McKenzie, who graciously consented to being photographed while on "blue potty" (her little training potty).  (Please ignore the lack of artistry, and just pay attention to the shadows.  :))  The first shot is direct flash.  Note the hard shadow under her chin.


Direct Flash

This second shot is bounce flash from the ceiling, Note the very soft shadows.


Flash bounced off ceiling

The third image is a combination of bounce from the ceiling with just a touch of "direct" from the popup "fill" card built into the flash.  Note the combination of two shadows, a soft one from the bounce, and a slightly harder (and smaller) one from the direct fill.


Mostly bounce flash off ceiling, with "fill" from popup fill card built into flash

I would expect the shots with your Quick Bounce, with the windows open, to look more like the third shot?

With respect to the "balance" of bounce vs fill with the Quick Bounce, I wonder if it is possible to modify the ratio of "bounce" to "fill" by adjusting the zoom of the flash?  Were there any recommendations for zoom settings in the instructions that came with the Quick Bounce?

If I were in your shoes, I would experiment a lot, and somehow record my flash setup for each shot so that I could compare them and decide what worked best.  (With so many possible ways to change your flash/bounce setup it is important to "control the variables" so you can determine what changes are causing your results.)

I also wondered what you normally use to modify (soften or diffuse) the light with your "strobe" setup that you used before?  Do you use a diffuser with that?  Or did you bounce it off the ceiling?
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 07:09:41 AM by keithsnell »

Michele

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2010, 11:34:50 AM »
Maybe the window was closed for the shot.  It's possible.  I might have deleted the ones with the window open because the friend wore her glasses and the rim was covering some of her eyes.  I know I have to practice.  I know this very well.  Tomorrow is the practice in the church day.

Adorable and helpful examples, by the way.  Thank you.   I am going to do all three too to compare.  Good idea.

Michèle
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 11:36:42 AM by Michele »

keithsnell

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Re: Flash Diffuser?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2010, 12:42:51 PM »
Hi Michele,

Shooting in the church will be interesting.  I suspect the ceilings in the church will be too high for effective bounce.  You will probably have to use the Quick Bounce with the doors closed.  If you are farther away from your subjects, then the shadows shouldn't be as visible. 

Don't forget to try to balance the ambient and flash exposures.  (Set your ambient exposure first, with the flash turned off, then add the flash as a supplement/fill.  Don't be afraid to bump up the ISO a little (within reason.)) 

Do you mind taking a few images in the church without the flash so that I can see what the ambient light levels are like?  If I can read the EXIF information in the files I might be able to better help you balance the ambient exposure with light from the flash.

If the layout of the church allows it, you might be able to set up your second flash on a balcony and trigger it remotely with the first flash.  Rebecca and I have set up multiple remote flashes for a wedding before (the church was very, very dark) and it worked well.

Have fun! 

Keith