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Yisehaq
05-04-2011, 03:05 AM
Hey all,
These are from last Sunday. I used a fill-flash as you might see.Needless to say, these were shot in mid day harsh lights. But it is a little bit too much for my taste. What do you think? Any advice?

Bambi
05-04-2011, 08:04 AM
nice! Love the first and last one!

Iguanasan
05-04-2011, 08:22 AM
Nice set. I like the action in the first one and the composition and DOF of the third.

Marko
05-04-2011, 09:25 AM
But it is a little bit too much for my taste.
Not sure what u are referring to here.

Harsh light is impossible to tame at a sporting event like this. I think you've done a nice job here and the fillflash in shots 1 and 3 look okay to me as does the composition of those shots.

Shot 2 was a miss imo based on the crop through the tires more than the bit of extra fillflash.

Hope that helps - Marko

Yisehaq
05-04-2011, 09:40 AM
Thank you all for your comments.


Not sure what u are referring to here.

Harsh light is impossible to tame at a sporting event like this. Hope that helps - Marko

What I wanted to say is that I expected flash on ETTL to act as only filling the shadows on the subject. But sometimes specially on white subjects, it will give me a blown-out areas. I was thinking if there may be a need to compensate the flash power -1 or so. Or any other technique?
As you said, harsh light is very difficult.
Around here, almost all sporting events are conducted around mid day and it makes it an avoidable to deal with this kind of light. But one important thing to mention is that a flash gun has been a very good friend in this situations.

Marko
05-04-2011, 10:07 AM
Keep in mind that cameras and flashes are fairly stupid things, all the do is take an average (18% grey) and feed you back an average based on that grey.

And because cameras are blind, if the average was based on predominantly white or black tones (instead of a mix of tones as most scenes are likely to contain) the average will be wrong. (too dark or too light)

Then it's up to you the photographer to correct (and hopefully notice in the future before you click the shutter) this exposure by adding or subtracting from it.

In the case of fill flash if the fill flash is too bright go to minus 1 or minus 2 or even minus 3 or more. For outdoor shooting my usual fill flash setting will be at around minus 2.... But it depends on the subject, the distance from camera and the available light at the time of the shot.

Hope that helps - Marko

Yisehaq
05-04-2011, 10:17 AM
Thank you so much Marko,


Keep in mind that cameras and flashes are fairly stupid things, all the do is take an average (18% grey) and feed you back an average based on that grey.

And because cameras are blind, if the average was based on predominantly white or black tones (instead of a mix of tones as most scenes are likely to contain) the average will be wrong. (too dark or too light)

Then it's up to you the photographer to correct (and hopefully notice in the future before you click the shutter) this exposure by adding or subtracting from it.

Unfortunately, I have to remind myself time and time again on that. :yell::yell::yell:



In the case of fill flash if the fill flash is too bright go to minus 1 or minus 2 or even minus 3 or more. For outdoor shooting my usual fill flash setting will be at around minus 2.... But it depends on the subject, the distance from camera and the available light at the time of the shot.

Hope that helps - Marko

That is what my practice on this subjects thought me last weekend.

Marko
05-04-2011, 11:38 AM
My pleasure Yisehaq - but just so it's crystal clear my minus 2 is 100% NOT etched in stone.

It totally depends on the quality of the ambient light....I should have stated that first actually.

IF the ambient light is really harsh (like high noon) then my fill flash will NOT be set to minus 2. It will likely be much closer to zero compensation. For MY shooting style though, I'm less likely to go out in that harsh light so for me somewhere close to minus 2 usually makes sense for the subjects i tend to use fill flash on.

Yisehaq
05-04-2011, 11:51 AM
Well noted. Marko!

Mad Aussie
05-04-2011, 04:37 PM
Good work Yisehaq. I've shot thousands of this type of photo and a good flash is a must. Don't be afraid to use the flash more strongly either. My intention was to light up the face and eyes, even behind helmets and glasses. My purpose was to sell the photos back to the competitors, which I did, so their faces were important.

Yisehaq
05-05-2011, 02:11 AM
Thanks MA.


I've shot thousands of this type of photo and a good flash is a must. Don't be afraid to use the flash more strongly either. My intention was to light up the face and eyes, even behind helmets and glasses.
I presume, you need much more power of flash to show the faces. Wouldn't that have effects on the other part of the subject? If possible could you upload on example with the Exif? I really would appreciate if I can get to show the faces too.

Mad Aussie
05-05-2011, 02:21 AM
In bright light like you had there, it would take ALOT of flash to ruin other parts of the photo. In most cases the flash wouldn't be strong enough to out do what the sun was doing. Looking at the shadows I see under the helmet and on the clothes etc I can see that more flash would have been fine and lit up those faces better.

I'll look though my old shots from an event with some bright sun and see what I can find.

Mad Aussie
05-05-2011, 03:32 AM
Here's a couple from some cycling events I shot with my old 400D. These will do and save me digging through CD's of shots.

In both you'll see that where there would normally be plenty of shadow under the helmets making the faces difficult to see, the flash has removed the shadows and even cut through the glare of the glasses. On full sized versions of these you can seethe eyes clearly which I found very important to my sales.
The flash also added a little catch-light to the glasses. Sometimes, if the flash is set a bit bright, or the subject very close, you will see small hotspots where sweat lights up etc but overall the result is much better than strong shadows I think.

EXIF for 2nd photo (of rider 63)

Camera Model: Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL
Lens: EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Image Date: 2008-04-13 11:36:18 +1000
Focal Length: 55.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200)
ISO equiv: 400
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Average
Exposure: shutter priority (semi-auto)
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: Yes (enforced)

Yisehaq
05-05-2011, 03:39 AM
Thanks a lot MA! Very good examples. That was what I needed.

Mad Aussie
05-05-2011, 03:49 AM
Thanks a lot MA! Very good examples. That was what I needed.
Hope it helps :)

Marko
05-05-2011, 12:49 PM
Yes MA - excellent examples indeed making for a good teaching thread :highfive:

Mad Aussie
05-05-2011, 04:20 PM
Yes MA - excellent examples indeed making for a good teaching thread :highfive:
Thanks Marko.

Iguanasan
05-05-2011, 09:34 PM
Have any of the competitors complained about the flash blinding them? I've always worried about using flash photography at a sporting event because I don't want to blind the competitors.

Mad Aussie
05-05-2011, 10:05 PM
Have any of the competitors complained about the flash blinding them? I've always worried about using flash photography at a sporting event because I don't want to blind the competitors.
Well I was official photographer for mountain biking around these parts for many race promoters for several years and took thousands and thousands of photos. The only time anyone ever said anything was at night and I think they were joking because I had a reflective sign that I put up the trail a few metres so they had prior warning. I also wore a reflective vest so their saw me before they saw the flash.

I've shot triathlons and adventure races, and a car race event as well, and never had any complaints about the flash. In most cases the competitors are simply used to seeing flashes.

When I shot a Rodeo I didn't use a flash though because ... well it's obvious really I guess :)

Iguanasan
05-05-2011, 11:47 PM
I'm going out next month to shoot the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life on June 10th. These are fund raisers and not athletes per se but I wouldn't want to tick them off with the flash. Especially since it runs 7:00pm to 7:00am though I doubt I'll make it through the night.

Mad Aussie
05-05-2011, 11:55 PM
Before I had my reflective sign to warn the athletes I just used to yell out FLASH before I fired. Maybe try that.