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Thread: Flash Photography Advice

  1. #1
    Member tak35bne's Avatar
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    Flash Photography Advice

    Morning all,

    Well I will start with what camera I have, its a Canon dSLR 1000D, EFS 18-55 mm lens and a Canon Speedlite 550EX flash unit.

    What I want to do is to take some shots of trading card folders, I am a card collector and I want to highlight some of the harder to find albums on my website but I want to avoid the bright spot I have been getting from the on-camera flash reflecting off the surface of the album. So any advice on camera / flash settings would be most helpful.

    As far as composition is concerned, I had thought of just having the albums freestanding on a solid surface and using a dark felt like material as the backdrop as the albums are all bright in colour or I have a stand that I can rest the album on the only prob with that is that it tilts away from the lens.

    Cheers

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    Member joffa's Avatar
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    Try bouncing the flash off the ceiling, that should eliminate the bright spot you are seeing reflecting off the album.

  3. #3
    Ausphotography Regular Bercy's Avatar
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    The hot shoe position with a power flash, even though its output is controlled, on a close object witha reflective surface will invariably lead to a hot spot as you indicated. There are a few options:

    1. The simplest one is obviously to bounce of a light surface as Joffa mentioned.
    2. If this makes things a bit dull, then take the flash of the camera. There are several inexpensive and expensive options!
    a. Sync cord
    b. Wireless transmitter - e-bay $20-30 or so
    c. IR Transmitter Canon/generic $70-220 or so
    d. Off camera you would still need a soft box or umprella to even out the light.

    I have a 2 flash units I use with umbrellas for food photography. I needed this kind of arrangement to get the light even enough for publication. At least invest in a Stofen cap or flash "soft box" - that would also make a big difference.

    Good luck
    Berni

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    Can you post a picture of what it is your trying to shoot.

    Can you use a small desk lamp pointed toward your item, leaning against a white wall sitting on a small table, use camera on 2 second delay and set it on a tripod, use the AV mode or manual if comfortable, AV should give you better control over DOF, move small desk lamp closer or further away from your albums.

    Note: The lamp can be to the side of the table or near to the camera and pointing at the album from slightly below or above the cameras position.

    Or you can go for a setup like Bercy has mentioned.
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  5. #5
    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    The other alternative is to not use the flash, but put the stuff in a well-lit room, mount the camera on a tripod, and use a long exposure with a fairly small lens opening to get a good depth of field.
    I do a lot of product shots for my company, and for some items, no matter what I do, the flash puts a hot-spot on the item, so I have some good fluro lights in the studio and I just use the light from these.
    The advantage of using a tripod, is that you can also use the magnified live view to focus manually and get a perfect shot.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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