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Thread: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

  1. #1
    arith's Avatar
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    How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    I did this earler but it was harder than I thought, how do you avoid overexposure without underexposing too much using flash?

    How do you photograph shiny things using flash

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Hi Arith - Diffusion and bounce??

    Cheers

    David

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    I'll have to get a brolly then, I was using a diffuser on the slave and the ext fixed to camera was pointing away with only reflected light getting on the subject.

    It is a pretty awful job really; I need more even light and it was even worse until I put a GG2 filter on. What I need is black card or something of high contrast to avoid having to photoshop or rather gimp.

    I would like to see a sharp edge and all round definition.
    Last edited by arith; 3rd February 2010 at 03:17 PM.

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Hi Arith,

    Do yourself a favour and grab a copy of this book. It's THE industry standard text for teaching all about the fundamentals of lighting and covers this kind of thing VERY very well.

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Cheers Colin but I'm very very confused now; you see I had another go and when the slave was off I got an image but when it was on nothing even though I'm using the same settings and the slave is optical.

    This with the optical slave on:
    How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    This with it OFF:

    How do you photograph shiny things using flash


    But then I swapped them and did this although I'll have to get a backdrop if I start doing this seriously:



    How do you photograph shiny things using flash
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 3rd February 2010 at 06:44 PM.

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    How do you photograph shiny things using flash Slave ON

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    How do you photograph shiny things using flash Slave OFF

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Could it be the pre-flash doing it. Sometimes Jessops works... but it did go off and I heard it charging up after.

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    Could it be the pre-flash doing it. Sometimes Jessops works... but it did go off and I heard it charging up after.
    Is the trigger for the slave a camera-mounted flash like a 580EX or a built-in flash? If it's a camera mounted flash then switch it to manual mode and your optical slave will work like magic

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Yes it is a camera mounted flash like the 580 ex, I didn't think of setting it to manual but I tested it in the shop by taking a photo of it and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. My main flash can also work as a slave and always fires but requires the pre-flash and that is why I went for another eTTL. Jessops doesn't advertise their flash as a slave in fact the opposite however it has a very useful function, a manual zoom and I sort of prefer to use it that way round.

    So I will try setting to manual, but if I still have problems I will use my main flash the Nissin as a slave.

    I am going to buy a brolly, which is better for skin tones: Gold or Silver? Cheers Colin.

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    Yes it is a camera mounted flash like the 580 ex, I didn't think of setting it to manual but I tested it in the shop by taking a photo of it and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. My main flash can also work as a slave and always fires but requires the pre-flash and that is why I went for another eTTL. Jessops doesn't advertise their flash as a slave in fact the opposite however it has a very useful function, a manual zoom and I sort of prefer to use it that way round.

    So I will try setting to manual, but if I still have problems I will use my main flash the Nissin as a slave.
    Good luck

    I am going to buy a brolly, which is better for skin tones: Gold or Silver? Cheers Colin.
    Silver if you had to pick either of those two - but - if you're after soft/diffused light then softness is a function of the size of the light source and it's distance to the subject - so with that in mind - you can get a white shoot-through umbrella a lot closer to your subject than you can bouncing off the inside of an umbrella (bouncing off the inside also tends to scatter the light making it harder to control).

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Cheers Colin

  13. #13

    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    A larger light source will make the highlights larger and a little less intense.

    Cross polarised flash can be used to control the intensity of flash highlights - I use Lee sheet polariser on my flash(es) and a screw in circular polariser on the lens. Not the easiest of techniques to use but it can certainly be very effective.

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Is this more or less what you were after? It's just bounce flash off the hotshoe with a couple of secondary reflectors (actually just pieces of white paper). The trick is to block the primary reflection.

    flash_test_small.jpg
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    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 4th February 2010 at 06:27 PM. Reason: The attachment link had vanished

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Quote Originally Posted by will_c View Post
    Is this more or less what you were after? It's just bounce flash off the hotshoe with a couple of secondary reflectors (actually just pieces of white paper). The trick is to block the primary reflection.
    Yes; that is about it but lit from underneath. The polorizer sounds good but this is metal. I want the edge shiny and the side like a mirror. cheers

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    You were right Colin; the Jessops flash does work better if the on camera flash is set to manual. Won't work like that the other way round but I prefer this.

    Had another go but still not right.

    How do you photograph shiny things using flash

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Quote Originally Posted by will_c View Post
    Is this more or less what you were after? It's just bounce flash off the hotshoe with a couple of secondary reflectors (actually just pieces of white paper). The trick is to block the primary reflection.
    How did you get the background so black; I bought some so called black card today but it isn't really black and selective brightness is really difficult to do without leaving a halo?

  18. #18

    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Arith

    You are going to get some highlights or the image will not look right and it will be flat. I would try to get used to controlling the single flash before throwing a second into the mix. FEC is your friend and so is spot metering off an area which is some way between mid and max brightness. Dial the flash down a third of a stop at a time from zero until you get the desired effect. All the tips above will work singly and in combination. Personally I diffuse (old ketchup container) and bounce off the ceiling or a reflector. You can also try bouncing off black (I use a black bounce card) but you will need to compensate by increasing FEC. These images are taken with the flash bouncing off the ceiling. As Colin says white shoot thru at a distance is best for a brolly. I got a white brolly and stand at Christmas and I am starting to get some reasonable results

    Edit: Always use the camera in manual mode. You can leave flash in auto/ettl mode. I always set shutter to 1/125 and aperture adjusted to suit the DoF I require.

    How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    How do you photograph shiny things using flash
    Last edited by Wirefox; 4th February 2010 at 07:18 PM. Reason: Almost forgot

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    I think I've got the idea now although I try my hardest to make life hard, I find the idea of a polarizer and bouncing off a black card attractive. All I need now is a dose of creativity.

    Launch Pad. :
    How do you photograph shiny things using flash

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    Re: How do you photograph shiny things using flash

    Confusing Light:

    How do you photograph shiny things using flash

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