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Thread: Some flash techique advice, if possible

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Some flash techique advice, if possible

    I rarely if ever have used a flash in my entire life. My other camera is a Leica (no boast) so you can understand that I have always worshipped at the altar of available light

    Thing is, I realise more and more that although my GH-2 can turn in fine shots at iso800, 1600 or at a pinch 3200 indoors the problem remains that shadows, especially around the eyes can remain. It occurs to me I should be relieving the shadows with some kind of controlled 'fill in' flash.

    Given that I want 'fill in' is the inbuilt flash good enough and also what setting do I put it on? Reading the manual there is no 'fill in' type setting and I'm wondering if the 'force flash on, red eye reduction' is what I want.

    Or should I consider an external gun and if so what? Is there a Panasonic one worth having?

    Thanks if anyone can give me advice. I prefer shooting landscapes but every now and then I want to do some event-type stuff.

    LouisB

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    Re: Some flash techique advice, if possible

    Louis,

    The "P" mode should provide balanced fill flash automatically but I prefer the "M" mode using the histogram to determine the main exposure. With latter set your flash compensation to -1.3 EV to -2.0. That just about always works well for me. In most situations requiring fill a powerful off camera flash is not usually necessary. Experiment a a bit with the flash compensation and it won't take long before you'll get the results you want. The built in flash will provide enough light to fill in many situations but the Metz 48 AF-1 and similar flash units will provide a more flexible solution.

    If you are only an occasional birthday party shooter, the "P" mode with everything set to auto will usually provide good results.

    Paul

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Some flash techique advice, if possible

    Like Paul, I start at -1.7 EV for flash, then adjust.

    A trick to understanding flash exposure is that you are actually combining two exposures. Aperture, shutter time and ISO determine available light exposure, whereas only aperture/ISO determine flash exposure.

    On some cameras that have Auto-ISO, even the M mode adjusts ISO automatically. This can make flash settings in M mode harder to get right, as ISO will change based on available light, which will then change flash exposure. So you might be better off disabling Auto ISO when shooting flash in M mode.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Some flash techique advice, if possible

    +2 to the -1.7 EV starting point, but at least -0.3 on the main exposure too, as Lars suggests, because any flash + ambient is just that: the combination of two exposures. I put a piece of tracing paper or even white paper in a pinch over the flash head itself as a diffuser; this works surprisingly well.

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    Re: Some flash techique advice, if possible

    You may also find Jim Doty's comments helpful.
    http://www.blog.jimdoty.com/?p=628#more-628

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: Some flash techique advice, if possible

    Thanks for the advice and links, guys. Interesting reading. I'll try the techniques out and see what I get.

    LouisB

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Some flash techique advice, if possible

    [QUOTE=kit laughlin;376026... I put a piece of tracing paper or even white paper in a pinch over the flash head itself as a diffuser; this works surprisingly well.[/QUOTE]

    Don't laugh. Pop-up on camera flashes are terrible---I use a small piece of Kleenex tissue over the flash to both diffuse and enlarge the light source. Works in a pinch, and you can blow your nose afterwards.

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