The calculation of the exposure position of the head of the external flash to the ceiling

Nikon flash to the ceiling

Sometimes it happens, the person removing the expensive camera can not understand why his photos do not differ a special quality in comparison with the picture taken on the cheap "bar of soap".
If you have a digital SLR prof. level, and prof. external flash, it does not mean that the camera will do all the work for you. I would say more, professional and semi-professional appliances require the owner considerable skills in the settings and correct operation of all functions. To raise the quality of on the order of your photos, you need to to properly use a camera and external flash, about the latest and will be discussed in today's article.

Use the reflected light from the ceiling and walls

camera Nikon Speedlight SB-900

Flash, as well as the lens, it is desirable to use a professional level, to squeeze out the maximum quality from the most ordinary camera. Of course, the camera must be fully compatible with applicable external flash. Typically, the products from the same manufacturer eliminate errors incompatibility. Sophisticated not amateurs, mostly using directional light "head" than, in fact, condemn their masterpieces on the "soap" level.

Do not use a portrait shooting, as far as possible, directed" head "option of lighting. For a portrait, a lighting option - death. This picture does not carry any artistic merit. The image in this embodiment, the lighting is flat, devoid of volume and expressiveness. We strongly recommend the use of a portrait reflected light from the ceiling, walls, reflector, reflector, etc. For these purposes flash equipped with two levels of freedom (rotation of the head in the horizontal and vertical planes).

In this article, we consider a simple way to quickly and accurately determine the optimum aperture at the position of the head of the external flash to the ceiling. Perhaps it will be difficult without a calculator calculate aperture (f), so, armed with this device and forward.

Calculation of the aperture at the position of the flash head to the ceiling, mode M

We first determine the brightness and color of the ceiling. The ceiling must be white, without different color patterns or color decorations. Focus on the subject, look at the distance scale on the lens, remember the number of "d1". Raise the camera up, focus on the ceiling (see. Figure below), add two numbers distances d1 + d2. Now, guide number divide by the total distance "ds", which we have found, then, divide it all on 1.5 or 2 (depending on the brightness of the ceiling), we obtain f. For example, to the object - 3 m, from the ceiling - 1,2 m, G Flash 40 (iso 100), the angle of the external flash head 60° -75°, manual flash output M 1/1 (full power), ambient temperature about + 20° C.

formula specification guide number

So: 40 ÷ (3 + 1.2) = 9.5. Then divide 9.5 to 1,5 = 6,3f. To save time, if necessary, change the iso, advise before taking a pre-count all possible iso on formula specification guide number, and take them to the shooting.

Nikon camera and external flash Speedlight SB900
wedding photography newlyweds in a registry office
registry office wedding photography

The above two photos illustrate the effect of the reflected light from the flash aimed at the ceiling:

  • Gone shadow on the wall;
  • Photo gained the upper volume thanks to scattered light;
  • Gone glare from the surface of skin;
  • The dynamic range of the image has improved markedly.

Restructuring the exposure took me about 10 seconds. Over time, the calculation of the exposure will be for you not so complicated process, with experience, the calculation of the diaphragm will be worked out to automatism - in a few seconds.

Shooting reflected light flash in TTL mode

cat's eyes narrowed from light

Of the material above, we learned how to manually calculate the correct exposure using reflected light external flash. But someone might not want to mess with these tedious calculations, so I'll write a few words about how to shift the exposure calculation on the shoulders of the flash.

Using the TTL of photography has both pros and minuses. On the plus side, we write operability amatours with a minimum photo-practices. By cons, we write what TTL mode consumes more battery power (batteries sit down quickly); due to the increase in the number of pulses, the camera flash will overheat; not always correctly set the flash output (may appear when you change the object illumination additional light); the photographs people often "sleep" because of the pre-flashes. For example, my cat (left) do not really like these flash:)

If your flash unit is able to operate in manual mode «M», I advise you to learn how to use it. Well, if you are too lazy to learn, control mode flash in TTL mode will use reflected light, but with a certain degree of risk to get underexposure. To make your flash unit sets the optimal light intensity (when turning the head), the menu set to TTL flash with monitor pre-flashes. If necessary, you can amend the flash output (usually set positive).

Amendment pulse power light will largely depend on the aperture of the lens, the brightness of the reflecting surface and the distance to it. You will in any case have to monitor the correctness of the results of the flash in the histogram. In manual mode the flash output the result depends only on us, in the mode of TTL - from electronics. What to choose - an individual matter.

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© Andrey Ko 2010-2014***
Use the built-in flash unit as the leading
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  • 16.02.2010

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