View Full Version : Strobist newbie question :)

08-02-2010, 11:45am

I’m currently working my way through strobist 101 so I hope it isn’t covered in some latter section but im going to buy a 580EXII as my primary flash and have it control my current 420EXII on a stand through a brolly or softbox. I Just want to dip my toes into the strobist scene before I take the full plunge.

Just wondering, are flashes that are on camera usually disabled and the lighting taken care of elsewhere or do a lot of please have a brolly @ 45 and bounce the flash on the camera on the roof. I know it is dependent of the setup and user, but what are peoples opinions. I know this is a open ended question and kind of ambiguous but any opinion would be appreciated.



08-02-2010, 12:09pm
My understanding is that in the "classic" type portrait setup you are describing, the key (main) light is placed say in a softbox at 45 degrees, and the fill from around the axis of the camera. I think that the pop-up can be used as a fill in a pinch, but to avoid some of the inherent problems with the pop up some sort of diffusion would come in handy. But you're right - they usually are disabled, or used to trigger the off camera flash without contributing to the exposure, as in the Nikon CLS system.

However I'm not sure if an on-camera flash bounced on to the ceiling would be any great help of it is to be used as the traditional fill - what you are trying to do here, as the name suggests, is to fill the shadows cast on the face of the model by virtue of the fact that the key is at 45 - and often high. If you bounce the light from the ceiling you won't be filling those shadows, which may be cast downward so the light from the roof will not be hitting those areas in shadow.

If your key was on the right and you bounced from a wall on the left on the other hand...

Hope that helps. I'm still fairly new myself though with these issues.

08-02-2010, 12:23pm

By on camera flash i mean the 580exII bot anything inbuilt but yeah i get ya meaning :) Im just having a hard time getting a vision of what i want in my head without spending a massive amount to find out :)

08-02-2010, 12:24pm
The first thing to remember is that to use a 580 on camera as a master to control a 430 off camera is that the the 430/slave (the front) must be able to see the pre-flash from the 580/master so it knows what to do and when to fire.
Having the 430 behind an umbrella may be enough for this to not work, particularly if bouncing the master. You may find that you will need to put you slave on the stand backwards and then rotate the head 180 degress to fire through the umbrella.

Having said that you may find you don't have too many problems inside where the ceiling and walls will aid by bouncing the pre flash from the master to the slave somewhat.

Would you disable the on camera master or bounce it - I think that is going to be dependant on what effect you are looking for.

08-02-2010, 1:07pm
hmmm, thanks mark. so triggering from master to slave, flash to flash isn't the best way to go, obviously im not going to splurge on a pocket wizard yet but im trying to work out the most effective way. So i take it the canon flashes require Line of sight to communicate properly.

08-02-2010, 1:36pm
Not quite - the light can bounce. Some use mirrors and the like but the best advice I hard was to point the sensors at your subject, as this could catch a reflection. My strategy for the moment is to keep going with the pre-flash system until it no longer works for me, then investigate other options.

08-02-2010, 2:02pm
sounds like the route i will go too,

cheers guys!