Getting Used to Outdoor Shots with Flashgun

Discussion in 'People & Portraits' started by Paul Lange, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    Haven't really got a chance to have a serious go with the Metz flashgun I bought a while ago. I've had a few plays indoors shooting things in the light tent and getting used to bounce flash but that was about it. We went to one of the local parks to walk the dogs and I took these. I played around with normal exposure and -exposure compensation in order to get the background under exposed but the subject correct. Also desaturated the grass in the background and darkened it a bit. Using the family as test subjects is great as its free and they are cooperative (mostly) but its a bit difficult not to a bit sentimental about the images. So with that in mind I've put a couple on here for peoples comments on if I've got it about right (or not) and what other things can I try with a flash outdoors (no jokes about long coats please).

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  2. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Hi Paul, nice shot but I think the flash is a touch heavy still (by maybe a stop or so) as there are quite some shadows under the chin etc.
     
  3. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Agree with Pete - dial back the flash a notch and you're there. Flash gives a nice punch, especially effective if you get he chance to try it in full sunlight.

    Any reason you particularly wanted the background under exposed rather than neutral exposure?

    Nice sparkle in the eyes in shot #1 :)
     
  4. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    I didn't spot the shadow until you mentioned it. I guess the camera should maybe be a bit lower as well as reducing the flash power? I wanted the subject to stand out a bit more so I reduced the background exposure. I also desaturated it and darkened it a bit more on the computer. I also touched up the eyes a bit to add the sparkle.
     
  5. Vic Shaw

    Vic Shaw Senior Member

  6. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    Thats pretty funny Vic. I've just ordered a reflector and some wireless adapters from ebay. I don't think the adapter is a middle aged man dressed in white. I think its more of a round disk with gold, white and silver fabric covers. The models (grudgingly co-oprative family) are all ready and waiting for when it's delivered.
     
  7. Vic Shaw

    Vic Shaw Senior Member

    Thats great if you have a willing family. My daughter enjoys it and the wife only sat for me once when she wanted a Andy Warhol effect to her portrait. I really should try lighting outdoors though, there's a basketball area down the road from me. I might ask the local yoots if they want a moody gangsta portrait!
     
  8. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Is your camera insured Vic?!! ;)
     
  9. Vic Shaw

    Vic Shaw Senior Member

    not yet, but it will be the day before :)
     
  10. Mathew Growcoot

    Mathew Growcoot New Member

    i agree, take the flash down a notch and lighten the background a wee bit.
    have you thought about triggers? there great
     
  11. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    I've bought a kit with 3 receivers and some umbrellas and stands etc. All quite cheaply on Amazon and Ebay so I can experiment a bit more. I've come to the conclusion that camera mounted flash is pretty much the most unflattering light you can have. I've also made a soft box that mounts on the flash gun from an ice cream tub. works quite well and tames things a bit but I still need to get it off camera.
     
  12. Mathew Growcoot

    Mathew Growcoot New Member

    yer, when you have it coming from different angles, looks so much better, three's alot to play around with, two does me fine.
    home made softbox sounds great, fancy givin us the blueprints?
     
  13. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Step 1: Eat 1 litre ice cream.... ;)
     
  14. Vic Shaw

    Vic Shaw Senior Member

    hehehe
     
  15. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    Hehehehe +1

    Simple really, find and ice cream box that is white all over or at least has a white lid. Scrub any markings from the lid and mark and cut a H into the bottom of the tub so that you have a rectangular hole with 2 flaps. Make sure the hole is the right size so that it fits tightly over your flashgun head. If its loose dont panic you can put velco on your flashgun and the flaps.
    If your tub is not all white line it with thick paper and then stick the lid on. I'll get round to putting a photo on at some point.
     
  16. Vic Shaw

    Vic Shaw Senior Member

    Ben & Jerrys Cookie Dough will be no good then?
     
  17. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Only for special creative effects!!
     

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