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Fill in Flash


Falconer 16 16
26 Sep 2005 1:26PM
Hi there! I dont do many portraits but recently did some in harsh sunlight which cast dark shadows.

Is there anyone out there that knows how to do fill in flash, I would be very grateful.

thanks, Rob
StrayCat 17 19.1k 3 Canada
26 Sep 2005 1:52PM
Look here.
zeon2001_uk 16 135
26 Sep 2005 6:14PM
basically set the shutter pretty high (often as high as your flash will allow) then just use a flash! the high shutter reduces the effect of the sunlight on the picture and the flash illuminates the subject. plus the sky usually looks great because it wont be blown out Smile

im not really up on how it works technically, i just found out what works for me and follow those rules.you should watch out though, if it is harsh sunlight often the model will be all squinty looking!
tepot 16 4.4k United Kingdom
26 Sep 2005 7:59PM
i set my shutter speed to max flash sync (1/125 in my case) set my shutter for d.o.f requirement, set my flash on TTL setting and everything usually turns out rosey.
nikon5700ite 17 1.8k
26 Sep 2005 8:50PM
When working with a digital camera I let the camera get on with the job and check the results to see if the flash is over-powering the ambient light and go into my menu and knock the flash back ...I have a two stop [Flash EV] adjustment less or more flash light. Buried deep in the Nikon menu, accessible with buttons outside with my FZ20.

With an external flash gun working in manual you have to remember the basic rule ... the flash is controlled by the aperture and the ambient light is controlled with the shutter

Bright sunlight is say 250 at f/8
Flash strength is GN 56 ie at 10ft you use f/5.6
But we want the flash to fill rather than take the shot so we rate the flash higher to get less effect from it.
So the Guide Number becomes 80 or 110 depending on how subtle the fill effect you want.

OK the Photo .. sun behind or to the side of the subject.
Exposure for the highlights is 250 at f/8
Flash, the camera can be anywhere, is 10ft from the subject. So with GN80 we need to use f/8 .. the shutter has no effect on the strength of the flash .... so ourt exposure is 250 f/8

Your SLR doesn't sync at 250? .... tough! .... you need to get a flash unit which pulses it's light to enable you to work at 1/250, or higher 1/500.

Way back I gave up a Leica for a Japanese camera with compur shutter just so I could do sync-sunlight when it first became 'the thing to do'. The Leica then sync'd at 1/30. URRGGH!

OK we come in for a close-up .. say 5ft from subject.
GN80 80/5 = f/16 [to nearest f/stop] So we adjust the shutter to 1/60 to get the correct exposure for the ambient light with f/16.

When you have the modern flash unit with all it's fabulous bells and whistles I cannot help you becuase I'm still back in the dark ages with my 20
nikon5700ite 17 1.8k
26 Sep 2005 8:53PM
When working with a digital camera I let the camera get on with the job and check the results to see if the flash is over-powering the ambient light and go into my menu and knock the flash back ...I have a two stop [Flash EV] adjustment less or more flash light. Buried deep in the Nikon menu, accessible with buttons outside with my FZ20.

With an external flash gun working in manual you have to remember the basic rule ... the flash is controlled by the aperture and the ambient light is controlled with the shutter

Bright sunlight is say 250 at f/8
Flash strength is GN 56 ie at 10ft you use f/5.6
But we want the flash to fill rather than take the shot so we rate the flash higher to get less effect from it.
So the Guide Number becomes 80 or 110 depending on how subtle the fill effect you want.

OK the Photo .. sun behind or to the side of the subject.
Exposure for the highlights is 250 at f/8
Flash, the camera can be anywhere, is 10ft from the subject. So with GN80 we need to use f/8 .. the shutter has no effect on the strength of the flash .... so ourt exposure is 250 f/8

Your SLR doesn't sync at 250? .... tough! .... you need to get a flash unit which pulses it's light to enable you to work at 1/250, or higher 1/500. [Or else place the flash on a stand at the correct distance and work with a long sync cable .. that way you just keep snaping without adjusting other than focus.... don't get between the flash and the subject though Smile ]

Way back I gave up a Leica for a Japanese camera with compur shutter just so I could do sync-sunlight when it first became 'the thing to do'. The Leica then sync'd at 1/30. URRGGH!

OK we come in for a close-up .. say 5ft from subject.
GN80 80/5 = f/16 [to nearest f/stop] So we adjust the shutter to 1/60 to get the correct exposure for the ambient light with f/16.

When you have the modern flash unit with all it's fabulous bells and whistles I cannot help you becuase I'm still back in the dark ages with my 20-30yo flash gear Smile ... but I'm recently assured the basic rule outlined about still applies but how you achieve it has changed.
re... I was amazed that a DSLR would sync at 1/500 until I learnt about pulsed flash units which was having it's power reduced to get an f/2.8 aperture with a long prime lens for fill while still getting small DoF for soft background ... way out of my league Smile
CamelTrophy 15 26
27 Sep 2005 2:30AM
An easy 4 point format is........

Fill-in Flash
1. Meter the scene - for example 1/60th at F8.
2. Set the camera to 1/60th at F8 in manual.
3. Set the flash to a value 2-3 stops wider than the aperture
value set on the camera F2.8.
4. Fill-in flash is better done subtly than too much and
ideally the flash output should be metered or take a
test exposure on a digital camera.

Using the available light

With a wide enough aperture and fast enough ISO rating
on the chip or film, it may be possible to produce images
using the available light to which fill-in flash may
added to soften shadows. When indoors it is important
use a coloured filter on the flash to balance the lighting,
or to use the Flash setting for the lighting when using
a digital camera. Without filtering, the fill-in will look
blue in comparison to the tungsten lighting found in
typical home.

I hope that helps

best

CT
Falconer 16 16
27 Sep 2005 2:31AM
Thank you or the help! :o)
CamelTrophy 15 26
27 Sep 2005 2:47AM
Now all you have to do is take a pic then post it so we can see Smile

enjoy

CT steve
spaceman 17 5.3k 3 Wales
27 Sep 2005 3:15AM
The ease (or otherwise) of fill-in flash depends on the camera. I.E. Does it have TTL flash and what is the flash sync shutter speed.
nikon5700ite 17 1.8k
27 Sep 2005 3:36AM
There was a rather confused gentleman on another group rabbiting on about TTL metering with his camera. He was getting over-exposure when he zoomed in for a close-up whereas his wide shots were AOK. [despite his aperture changing from f/2.8 to f/4 with the zoom-in] Eventually we established that he didn't have TTL flash metering but flash was controlled by sensor on the side of camera.

In wide shot the meter gave enough light for all the dark tones in the subject, but in CUs there was more flesh tones requiring less light ... but the sensor didn't know that.

Another confusing thing I found with a Pansonic FZ3 was that while it works nicely out of doors, sync-sunlight, where there is a high level of ambient light, working indoors no matter what mode you used and set the aperture to .... it worked wide open f/2.8 for flash shots. [My wife's camera] They are altogether just too clever these days Smile
laura16 17 606
27 Sep 2005 4:00AM
The thing I always found confusing was 'set the flash to f...' and none of the flashguns I ever had had settings like that. On my old manual camera the flashgun was either manual or 'auto' and the canon Speedlight I have now is just on or off!
Falconer 16 16
27 Sep 2005 9:35AM
i use a Canon A1
c_evans99 17 7.0k 1 Wales
27 Sep 2005 9:49AM
'Fill in flash' is duch an ugly word - can't we call it 'synchro-sunlight'?

Ceri Smile
CamelTrophy 15 26
28 Sep 2005 6:37AM
Or how about a 'catchlight' ? Hmmm

Smile

Steve Picker
Camel Trophys No.! Fan

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