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Thread: A900 Positives... bounced flash

  1. #1
    Shelby Lewis

    Smile A900 Positives... bounced flash

    Given my critical observations about the a900 lately in wedding situations, I did want to share a few photographs from not-so-good wedding conditions... and to say that it is still a great camera. Even in lowlight.

    Add action + lowlight... not so good... but that's an AF issue, not a sensor issue. So here are some recent snaps at moderately higher ISO settings in absolutely horrid lighting conditions. I mostly wanted to also share some workarounds in lowlight when using a speedlight (here, the 58)

    Know that in most of these, the camera was set on manual at close-to-minimum hand-holdable shutter speed. If I were to shoot ambient only, the room was dark enough that I'd be somewhere around iso 3200, 1/40th. As it was, I set the camera mostly at 1/80th for the 135 and 1/50th for the 50mm... at iso 800. Then I set the flash on ttl, and pointed it at whatever surface was opposite of the face I wanted to light... If someone was in front of me and looking camera-right, then I'd point my flash slightly upward and over my right essence creating a big softbox from a wall opposite their face.

    I rode the flash compensation some (i set the custom button on the camera body to access flash ec) but generally +1/3 worked well.

    Wedding cake under blue spotlights... but with red spotlights in the distance. By bouncing flash to upper-camera-left, I was able to overpower the colored lights a bit to bring out the detail and even out color.

    Father of bride, under deep red-gelled spots... flash bounced over my right shoulder to fill the shadow side of his face:

    Flash bounced over my left shoulder... note how, by shooting with wide apertures and a somewhat underexposed ambient, you get great subject separation, a colorful and blurred bg, and soft main light from the bounced flash. You just have to make sure you have a wide enough aperture to get sufficient DoF, or you have to make very sure that the subjects' faces are in the same plane opposite the lens.

    Not a flash shot... but a situation where the flash didn't fire (big room, needed much flash power in every shot). Was underexposed by more than two stops and was still recoverable... probably the equivalent of iso3200-5000. Not big print material, but at 5x7 and smaller would be fine.

    Flash Bounced camera right, slightly over my shoulder... red-gelled spots providing light from camera left

    So... the a900/58 flash are a nice partnership. Exposures are nice and even as long as you don't hammer it. Unfortunately the 58 is not a very robust flash and has overheated on me at every wedding. But... that's another post.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Saffron Walden, UK
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    Re: A900 Positives... bounced flash

    Great shots, Shelby. I particularly like the second fourth pics.

    Quentin Bargate
    Co-Founder of Ajuve, Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2016, Photographer

  3. #3
    Super Duper
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    Nov 2007
    Franklin, MI and Tampa, FL
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    Re: A900 Positives... bounced flash

    I will say that the Sony ugly duckling 58 has won me over. Where I thought it a stupid design before, I then discovered that when using a Lumiquest type bounce it maintains the bounce position in portrait orientation ... it's a bit low but at least it works.

    This means that a Harbor Design Light box will work in both orientations on the Sony. It produces a very nice quality of light.

  4. #4
    Registred Users MoJo's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Santa Fe
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    Shelby, You must see this wedding guy

    Shelby: this guy is TOO MUCH. A link to his series of these "behind the scenes shots" is here....

    What do you think?

    Last edited by MoJo; 23rd June 2009 at 18:56. Reason: typo
    My photoblog:
    Friend me on Facebook: Josef Tornick

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