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Interiors and Flash

This is a discussion on Interiors and Flash within the General photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; Ok, so I have a general flash question. I think I know the answers and I'm going to play a ...

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    Iguanasan's Avatar
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    Default Interiors and Flash

    Ok, so I have a general flash question. I think I know the answers and I'm going to play a bit but I'd be interested in hearing other's opinions. Today I was photographing the interior of a house. It's a dark and stormy day in Halifax today and so there was no light from the sun.

    I had my on camera flash and I have an external flash in slave mode triggered by the onboard flash. Changing the shutter speed really doesn't have much of an effect on the stuff lit by the flash so I have to open up the aperture. That, however, reduces my depth of field. I suppose I could bump up the ISO but then I start running into noise.

    Comments? Suggestions. How do I maximize depth of field while using flash?
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    You are right Iggy, once your flash is on maximum power too get it brighter you can:

    >add another flash (or use multiple flashes in an exposure)
    >move it closer to the subject
    >open up the aperture
    > bump up the iso
    >Image stacking in post and light different parts of your interior with each shot.

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    Richard gives good response. Multiple flashes is my first bet here. but you may want to post a test shot.
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    As mentioned, especially if you have a tripod and even if you don't, try dragging the shutter. (Use a slower shutter speed) It will give you more ambient light. Also turn on all the lamps and if you have access to more then one flash, use that. Even though you are using a flash try a HDR. Even if you don't use it later, it might come in handy to have more then one exposure

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    I have also had problems using flash. I have for a long time tried not to use flash and lug a tripod around with me for long exposures. But there are the times when flash is only option. My first problem is turning off the pre-flash which seems impossible with built in flash so I have to use hot shoe. So after my wife bought some second hand equipment I ended up with a remote trigger and a load of flash guns which I can't use on hot shoe due to wrong voltage. So tried using two flash guns. A wedding was coming up in a dark medieval castle so lucky I had time to prepare and placed the slave flash closer to the bride and groom. However what I had not considered was how bright the guests clothing was. So once filled the flash was too bright. Although we have a LCD screen it is so small too easy to miss odd effects and I did. So my flash pictures were really rubbish. Lucky on the tripod and I took some while flash was re-charging which saved the day.

    Do remember I don't have any fancy equipment and I am sure had I bought the dedicated hot shoe and radio controlled flash guns all would have been A1. But I work on a shoe string.

    I also had problems using flash outdoors. Including batteries falling out of flash gun and having to retrace steps to find them and battery cover. Again remember not TTL metering with my flash guns. So flash under and over camera to remove shaddow mainly used for close up. I thought it would be easy. In manual set distance on lens and experiment with aperture until correct exposure. Move to next subject and adjust distance camera to subject until in focus and all setting should be OK. Wrong! With same distance the aperture could vary from f11 to f32. OK it worked in the end but instead of 1 or 2 shots I was taking 6 or 7 shots until right. Glad it was digital not film!

    I came to the conclusion the big problem with flash is to predict how the light will be reflected. Using TTL with built in flash or even the sensor on flash gun it's not too bad. But using flash at maximum to light a large area where one has dark items be it oak beams or trees then it's very hit and miss.

    Fill in flash is even harder. I tried on local waterfall and the flash froze the action spot on. But maximum shutter speed on my camera with flash is 1/180 and at that speed I got ghost tails on each water droplet.

    I realise the only way is to keep practising until I have perfected the process. However at this time I would not want to rely on the flash gun. If nothing else the way it eats batteries means one is forever changing them. OK with NiMH not a cost but still a pain swapping them.

    So since I can't rely on the flash when I want to lighten my ruck sack it's the flash gun and batteries I take out not the tripod.

    Hope you have more luck with flash guns than I have had. All best for Christmas and New Year Eric

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    Great conversation on this topic... maybe I haven't been paying attention since I never had any flash to play with but I am now.

    As for a shoestring budget, Eric, I know whereof you speak. I'm totally shoestring. I have, however, managed a few dollars in savings and the YN-462 II Speedlight and the YN 603 Flash triggers combined were under $100. $52 for the flash and $42 or so for the triggers. Yongnuo has some great prices on this gear.

    Also, I'm using all manual exposure as well. You don't get TTL for those prices Luckily I don't have the pressure of wedding shoots while I play.
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    When I've got time to take more than one shot 'and chimp' I would nearly always go with manual over TTL, IMO it gives you much more consistency and control.

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