L I b H T I N b

H O W - T U

I

Using a
Canon
Spaedlite
540EXhigh
on a tripod,
Gary Williamson made
these sunflowers pop
against a
dark sunset

^ All flash photos
We maintain that the single most important accesare double
exposures.
sory for your DSLR is a full-featured TTL flash unit
The two exposures occur simultaWith "lightning in a botue," you can freeze action
neously, one by the ambient light,
the other by the flash illuminasolid, mimic studio lighting, tame harsh midday
You can vary each of the
sunlight, balance (or unbalance) the color in a scene, tion.
exposures for a wide variety of
and produce wild and weird effects—^with no softdifferent effects: You can make
of equal hrightness, a little
warerequired.Here we present a primer on portable them
unequal, or widely unequal; you
flash theory and practice.
By Dan Richards can give them different color
66 POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY OCTOBER 2 0 1 1

it will compensate by increasing or reducing the output—more on this below. leading to a mismatch in color balance. don t settle for the auto settings. setting the flash illuminaout undertion to the same level as the exposed. A small aperture requires more light. has a color cast. you can even vary shutter effects. This will give you greater flash reach and/or longer battery life. Now. A &stop (ND 1. even quite the camera will vary the shutter speed reflective but keep the aperture the same. To keep it subtle. (Many photographers like this look and POPPHOTO. page 118). a foreground subject against a sunset or leafy background. With a digital camera set to flash white balance. distance the YOU CAN VARY the shutter light must speed and still use autoexposure by setting the camera to aperturetravel. but also because priority mode. opening it up or stopping it down will lighten or darken both exposures—provided the flash output is kept at the same level. and your reach and/or battery will suffer accordingly.balances. This is why digital cameras have separate presets for flash and daylight white balance. Settings in a range of-0. Accessory flash manufacturers set "daylight balance" at around 5200-5500 degrees Kelvin in color temperature. with one exposure motion-blurred and the other tack-sharp. theflashcan emit less for proper exposure. 5 Flash has c o l o r . As the aperture is the lens's light valve.COM POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY 6 7 . when you darken or brighten with exposure compensation. Shutter speed affects ambient but not flash e x p o s u r e . For example. DONT FEAR "unnatural" fill. open up the ambient light makes your strobe obvious. © USING A WIDE aperture to limit depth of field in an outdoor portrait? In bright light. The flash IS a very brief burst occurring during the relatively longer duration ofthe shutter opening—a flash burst of 1/2000 sec will provide the same illumination with a shutter speed of 1/30 sec as it will with a 1/250 Bounce sec shutter So you can lighten flash can eat up flash or darken the ambient exposure increasing or reducing the power—not by shutter speed while maintaining just because the same aperture—and thus the of the extra same flash output.000 degrees K (very blue). This is actually a good deal warmer in color than daylight on a blue-sky day when color temperature can go as high as 10. While we think of flash as white light.8) filter will let you drop to V 2 5 0 sec from 1/8000 sec. this may force you to exceed your camera's maximum sync speed (see sidebar. This is what makes flash photography so much fun— and so supremely useful.7 to -2 EV usually work well. the foreground subject will appear a neutral color while background illumination out of the range of the flash will have a yellow-red cast. walls or ceilings For naturallooking nil flash. flash. Adjusting the aperture affects both ambient and flash exposure. absorb underexpose the some of flash exposure. the light. A more common mismatch: flash with tungsten room light. © EXPERIMENT! If you're shooting. say. the flash's exposure compen- 4 sation to dial down its output. use aperture. If The idea behind natural nil is to your bounce make it look like soft ambient shots are light. like all visible light. (With theflashset to auto. Vary both the ambient and flash exposure to see different effects. Solution: a neutral-density (ND) filter to reduce the light entering the lens. although optical viewing will be dim and autofocus dicey. a 2-stop ambient underexposure combined with full flash exposure can dramatically isolate a human figure or foreground object. As fill flash is ordinarily turning used for back.) Since a large aperture admits a lot of light.or sidelit subjects.

and beauty dishes on their strobes.) The camera/flash brain adjusts the flash exposure by making the burst shorter or longer for less or more light. position. you may need to add an extra step to coior balancing. you would put a green gel (CC 30) over the fiash head to balance it with the greenish fluorescents. positions.1/4. © set it up deliberately) Flip the camera's white balance to tungsten. etc. you eliminate times. it's often better to recycling set the ambient exposure 1 stop or times. Better to lock it in using lithiums.You per charge.the ambient light and/or ambient WithAA exposure iow. almost always measured in fractions: full power. or flash disposable output. and the background light will shift to neutral while the foreground subject appears very blue. Alkaline a little more over the meter reading. often down to 1/64 power for the shortest flash duration. just capture a ghost—the term for there is no ambient motion biur in a fiash shot. manual mode. 6 Autoflash varies the duration of the flash. AAsland This makes the backlighting appear more reaiistic. (Many units now make this reading via a brief preflash. So studio shooters use snoots and grids to get hard.COM . shortest By setting the ambient exposure recycling you want manually. Flash follows the same hardness/ softness rules as ambient light 8 The broader the light source. That's why studio portraits shooters use softboxes. Want to even the balance? Put an amber filter over the flash lens. the harder the light. though. NiMH one variable and can concentrate rechargeables. moving the light source farther away makes it narrower and harder. © WITH H L M . have the WITH F l U FLASH in a backiit longest situation. it might keep adjusting this exposure as you change most shots.1/8. ^ USE VERY BRIEF flash ^ • ^ durations for extreme motionstopping photos. effects. and set the camera to tungsten or auto white balance. etc. Placing the light source closer to your subject makes it broader and therefore softer. focal length. Say give you the you're shooting a series of porfewest shots traits outdoors withfillflash. the softer the light. Read all about the qualities of light in "10 Things You Must Know About Light" in our May 2010 issue or at PopPhoto. Modem accessory flash units automate exposure by reading the bounce back of the flash 70 POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY OCTOBER 2 0 1 1 through the lens (TTL). You d then place a magenta filter (such as the Tiffen FL-D) over the camera lens to neutralize the now-overall green cast. and setting a high iSO will all shorten the duration of autoflash. it aiso in between. 1/2. on the effects of various flash exposures. Positioning the flash close to your subject. With portraits. even harsh. umbrellas.com/lighting-facts..000 sec or even less. using a wide aperture. Shooting daylight film under fluorescent lights. and you can dial in high speed manually. or you might batteries. too. free lunch: The batteries ^m TTL flash works better with the that give camera in manual youüie exposure mode. But the narrower the light source. but with the camera youüie set to auto. want an ambient exposure that the ones keeps the background at a certain that give light level. You also adjust manual flash power by changing duration. CONTINUES ON PAGE 118 P0PPH0T0. respectively The range of flash bursts is pretty astounding—a t5rpical accessory unit may have durations from 1/1000 sec to 1/50. Keep heips to obscure background detaii.

of the light cone will cover it. photomounts. Good uses: fill for fairly close action subjects. 9 Store Hours Sunday Mon-Th Friday Saturday 9:30am .5:00pm Closed The beam from a flash unit is cone-shaped—shoot a relatively close object and most.m 10 THINGS ABOUT FUSH M O R E T H A N A C A M E R A CONTINUED FROM PAGE 70 S T O R E adorama. as more of the light sprays wide. even in manuai exposure. mounting boards. umbrellas. Setting the zoom head of an accessory flash to tele position . Rash sync is usuaily triggered at the start of the shutter cycle. Flash falls off in proportion to the square of the distance. making for the trailing blur you see in the photo above. most modem DSLRs have a failsafe that prevents you from setting the wrong sync speed.8:00pm 9:00am . Rear-curtain or trailing sync fires the f iash at the end of the exposure. at the price of iimited distance range. Posters/Print Protection. And it's a square relationship: If you move twice as far away from your subject. a workaround that puises the flash rapidly as the narrow slit traverses the focal plane. With motion biur pius flash.2500 i tt-it Archive Slide Pages Archivai Pages STARTING AT •6. as well as accessories for adapting shoe-mounters to studio gear such as stands. a smaller portion ofthe light cone hits the subject.5:00pm 9:00am . faster than 1/160. proof albums. NUMEROUS iight-modifying devices are made for shoemount flash. Hanging File System designed specifically for hanging photographic records in standard file drawers or file boxes OTION TRAIL A1/40 sec shutter and a burst from a Nikon SB^OO Speedlight gave Connor Walberg trailing blur. and you get only 1/9 the light.1/200. or 1/250 sec). photo laquer.95 We carry a full line of Professional Photo Albums I Albums & folios. or for outdoor portraits taken at wide-open apertures that might mandate very fast shutter speeds.223. if not all. and so forth. But at faster shutter speeds (depending on the camera. Fire a flash during this exposure. Shipping Tubes PLASMPOiMT I I That Syncing Feeling Get The Lowest Prices At Adorama. they achieve high-speed exposure by traveling as a slit across the focal plane. At a great enough distance. though. though.com 800. this gives the weird effect of the subject moving backwards. iVIany manufacturers' TTL flashes offer highspeed sync. As 1 1 8 POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY OCTOBER 2 0 1 you move farther away. and these events are synchronized eiectronically in the camera. presentation boxes. triple your distance. This gives you flash sync at the fuil range of shutter speeds. Archive Storage storage Boxes We Carry A Large Selection Of: Archival Storage Boxes. the flash's light becomes imperceptible to the eye as well as to a sensor or film. and you'll have either a thin siice of flash exposure or no flash image. The curtains must be fully open for the flash exposure. you get only 1/4 the illumination on the subject.95 Exclusive thin backing coupled with high clarity provides excellent resolution when proofing without removing negatives from the preserver. memory mates. Fortunately. the curtains never fuily expose the focai plane. Instead.Com STARTING AT •6. CD holders and more Film and digital SLRs use focai-piace shutters—essentially curtains that open and close to make an exposure.

O P0PPH0T0. call 800. VISIT US AT A00RAMATV. You can position an accessory unit close to your subject and fire from a distance via a wireless trigger AP^ USE FLASH FALLOFF to ^ * ^ your advantage by varying the distance t>etween your subject and the t)ackground.COM/ALC OR THE iTUNES STORE. 42 West 18th St. you can adjust each fiash individually—e. upping the power of the main for brighter highlights. then take test shots to determine the proper aperture. for balancing exposures. CREATE. adoramatv.com/ale ' |£3t SHARE IT SHOW IT.fill.223. and with digital.COM SAME DAY SHIPPING on orders placed till 6:00pm on Mon-Thur. a fiashmeter proves very useful..2500 FREE EDUCATION FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS VIDEO TUTORIALS HOW-TO ARTICLES WATCH. For complete details.orama! will create a narrower cone.COM POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY 119 — •» SMAPIT SAVE IT. lowering the fill for greater separation. It not only provides exposure readings.coni adorama. too. Some also allow namm spot flashmetering. AD0RAMA.g. If you want to darken a wall behind your subject.and background (or rim) lights all at 1/4 power. For exact control over a multiflash setup. And they can be switched over to ambient readings. the major TTL fiash systems can operate fully automatically with multiple units. it's pretty easy to adjust multiple lights using the manual fractional power controls. A quick starting point for a classic three-light setup would be to set the main. but also can determine the relative proportion of individual flashes in the setup and make readings of multi-pop exposures. sure. Yet just because you're far from your subject doesn't mean your fiash has to be. Friday on orders placed till 1:00pm for all in-stock items. PROOUCT REVIEWS WORKSHOPS eAOORAMA BUYING GUIOES . © FOR ELABORATE FLASH setups and studio photography. switch them to manual. From there. FREE SHIPPING on thousands of items! Plus.2500 or visit adorama.COM.com .223. Adorama protects you more than ever with our 30-DAY MONEY BACK guarantee! Shop with confidence and rest assured. VISIT OUR STORE 42 W 18 ST 15+6 AVI NYC 800-223-2500 AD0RAMA. But this is often more complication than it's worth. and you can vary their output either through the camera or a single wireless controller. MORE THAN A C A M E R A STORE 800. simply have your subject move farther away from the wail. but you lose wide-angle coverage.

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