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Thread: Using a speedlight??? Having trouble with overexposed flash photography

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    Using a speedlight??? Having trouble with overexposed flash photography

    Hi there, does anyone know of tutorials to use a speedlight? When photographing portraits my photographs seem to be overexposed when using the flash, I have a canon 450d
    Advice would be great, thanks

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    post some photo examples, so we can see the exact issue. Once we can see what is happening it is much easier to provide guidance.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Which model speedlight?
    How is the flash being used? (eg, bounced, diffused, direct)
    eTTL?
    What shooting priority mode?
    Settings in general?
    What custom functions have you set for the 450D and for the external speedlight via the 450D?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dche5390 View Post
    Which model speedlight?
    How is the flash being used? (eg, bounced, diffused, direct)
    eTTL?
    What shooting priority mode?
    Settings in general?
    What custom functions have you set for the 450D and for the external speedlight via the 450D?
    Hehe. I was hoping EXIF might enlighten us to some of that as well.

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    i will guess that the ambient light is too much for the maximum sync speed

    or aliens
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    I have some links at home, will post them up for you after I get home on Wednesday night
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    links to aliens ?

    What arent you telling us Mr Chapman ?

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    lol, lets not get off topic

    Some links from Canon about their speedlight use

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    ooohhh, but Canon's are alien to me

    Area 51 of photography

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Try this website

    http://super.nova.org/DPR/

    Chuck Gardner is a ledgend in helping people with canon flash.
    www.kjbphotography.com.au

    1Dx, 5DsR, 200-400 f4L Ext, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L II, 70-300 f4-5.6L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, 24-70 f2.8L II, 16-35 f4 IS, 11-24 f4L, 85 f1.2L II, 500 f4L IS, 300 f2.8 IS, ∑50 f1.4 A


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    Example of photographs

    Example of 450D camera flash being used
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccrnkovic View Post
    Example of 450D camera flash being used
    Not overly helpful without the exif info

    However, after taking a few good guesses and at the risk of stating the obvious, it seems as thought the flash seting may be a touch too high. The amound of light is over-whelming the ambient.

    In #2, the background seems exposed pretty well; is this largely due to the flash or is this the ambient light?

    I would suggest, you dial back the flash significantly, slow down the shutter as much as you can without motion blurr (the flash should help with this) as see how you go.

    Or, if you need the flash because the background in so dark otherwise, then bounce the flash off the ceiling.

    Scotty
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    It looks like direct flash to me which is a big no no.

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    When using flash there are several things to consider, one being how bright the scene is to start with and another being how close your subject is (others as well, but not needed for the help here). Agree with the above, that you have the flash set way to brightly for subjects this close. If you are using auto-flash, and TTL metering etc, swap to spot metering and meter off your subject's face. If you are using any other metering choice, the camera will be trying to get an average of the scene, and the flash will be overpowering, because it is trying to lighten the entire scene, including the darker backgrounds etc.

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    I didn't think ttl worked in spot metering mode ?

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    Thanks for the feedback, it is actually the cameras flash not a speedlite, I was wondering how to use a speedlite and if it would make a huge difference if I was using on these pictures. Just learning!!

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    [QUOTE=ricktas;609190 If you are using auto-flash, and TTL metering etc, swap to spot metering and meter off your subject's face. If you are using any other metering choice, the camera will be trying to get an average of the scene, and the flash will be overpowering, because it is trying to lighten the entire scene, including the darker backgrounds etc.[/QUOTE]

    I've put up a blog on beginners flash info that may shed some light on this - you can't spot meter flash .

    Quote Originally Posted by ccrnkovic View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, it is actually the cameras flash not a speedlite, I was wondering how to use a speedlite and if it would make a huge difference if I was using on these pictures. Just learning!!
    I think it is because you are too close to the subject and probably using a higher iso . If you get too close there is a limit to how weak the flash can fire .
    Have a look at my blog on auto iso and flash as well - hopefully it will help

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    Onboard flash is usually never flattering. However, you could meter and lock the exposure so that in eTTL, the right thing is exposed properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccrnkovic View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, it is actually the cameras flash not a speedlite, I was wondering how to use a speedlite and if it would make a huge difference if I was using on these pictures. Just learning!!
    It will make a world of difference (just the bigger gap between lens and flash). Add to that the ability to bounce and it is 100x better. Add to that off camera ability and you'll think it is Christmas.

    Scotty

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