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Can I use speedlights to overexpose backdrop?


12 Feb 2011 3:17PM
I have 2 Bowens gemini heads and a white vinyl backdrop, I want to overexpose the backdrop compared to the subjects. I already have a Canon EX420 flash and wonder if I purchased another flash say a EX430 or similar could I use these on tripods to aim at the backdrop to overexpose it by 1 or 2 stops?


Also what type of trigger would I need to fire them as slaves to the Bowens?

I have a radio trigger for the bowens but the EX420 is an infra red trigger as far as I know as I have never fired it off camera.

Will a trigger such as these do the job for the speedlights?


Thanks for any advice

Stu

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User_Removed 5 1.4k England
12 Feb 2011 3:38PM
Just move the subject close to the backdrop and it will act to overexpose it.

Those remote triggers will work fine for manual slave use.
BigRick e2
9 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2011 7:25PM
do your speedlight not have an (nikon call it) SU-4 mode where they fire when they see the flash from another light?

and the speedlights may be enough to light the backdrop, but you would need something to make the light larger, as using sppedlights for this may give you two hotspots because of the small lights. Smile
12 Feb 2011 7:35PM
Cheers for the replies I have ordered a trigger as the 420 is a very basic unit and does not see flash from another light, I would think the units up the range will.

So if they do cause hot spots, (I say they I only have one at the mo so will try it when the trigger arrives.) would it be an idea to attach a flash unit soft box or similar, I have a stofen for it which may do the job but won't know till I give it a go.

Thanks again both Smile


Stu

P.S I really want a Lastolite Hilite and a 3rd head, I have a birthay in septemeber so you never know Wink
arhb e2
7 2.5k 68 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2011 9:56PM
Hi Stu,
in your situation, I would use the Bowens strobes to light the bg as you need more power to over expose, and the spread of light with standard Bowens reflectors will be better than the speedlites light spread.
In order to soften the speedlites as lighting for your subject, if you buy some thin muslin cloth(or net curtain material) from a fabric shop, and hang it between the speedlites and your subject(always closer to your subject), it will diffuse the light in the same way as a softbox. You can even cut a small piece from the main scrim/cloth, and stick it over the front of the speedlite as further diffusion, or as mentioned, use a stofen on the speedlite.
Another alternative would be to fire the speedlites into white or silver reflective umbrellas.
BigRick e2
9 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2011 10:15PM

Quote:Cheers for the replies I have ordered a trigger as the 420 is a very basic unit and does not see flash from another light, I would think the units up the range will.

So if they do cause hot spots, (I say they I only have one at the mo so will try it when the trigger arrives.) would it be an idea to attach a flash unit soft box or similar, I have a stofen for it which may do the job but won't know till I give it a go.

Thanks again both Smile


Stu

P.S I really want a Lastolite Hilite and a 3rd head, I have a birthay in septemeber so you never know Wink



i use speedlight holders with 'umbrella holes' in them, and use shoot through brollies for nearly all my location shoots, and they seem to work well...

and as said above... probably better to use the mains flash units to light the BG and the Speedlights to light the subject with a couple of brollies or similar. Smile

There is a nurse picture in my PF that was lit with just two speedlights, and a lastolite softbox.... it isnt perfect, but with just two lights i got away with it.... and she was happy with it... but you can get alot of light if you place them in the right spot. Smile
MeanGreeny e2
9 3.7k England
12 Feb 2011 11:35PM
I'm given to understand that the following is THE definitive book on using speedlites:

Speedliters Handbook
BigRick e2
9 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2011 9:27AM

Quote:I'm given to understand that the following is THE definitive book on using speedlites:

Speedliters Handbook



cant be any good....



....they use Canon speedlights lol Grin Tongue Wink
13 Feb 2011 10:32AM
A very big thank you to all, I shall try the suggestions and get the book.


Stu
13 Feb 2011 1:07PM
Just been sent this link to a youtube video. Looks like it can be done.

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