How to make fill in flashing on a Canon EOS 5D and 580EX?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Larry, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Larry

    Larry Guest

    Hi,

    I have just got an EOS 5D and a flash 580EX.
    I have tried to use the flash to lighten up (fill in) an
    image.
    I just want the shadows and darker parts to be lighter.

    I thought there should be a function 'fill in flash' but
    there isn't.
    The closest I can come is to 'compensate' the flash
    exposure and set it down two steps.

    First picture:
    No flash, ETTL-mode, exposure OK, but the shadows in the
    foregrund are a bit dark, to my taste.
    Second picture:
    Flash taken down two steps, ETTL-mode. The exposure adjusts
    to the flash so the front part of the image is lighter and
    the background becomes darker. This is not what I wanted.

    Is there a way to keep a 'normal' exposure, and just fill in
    the foreground shadows a little bit with the flash?
    Other than doing a completely manual measuring, adjusting
    and exposure for every image that you take…..

    If you use fill in flashing please tell me how you manage to
    do it!

    yours
    Larry
     
    Larry, Apr 17, 2006
    #1
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  2. "Larry" <> wrote:
    >
    > Is there a way to keep a 'normal' exposure, and just fill in
    > the foreground shadows a little bit with the flash?


    It's hard _not_ to do that with most cameras nowadays. With the 5D, use Av
    mode. Adjust FEC to taste.

    It may be, though, that you don't understand the inverse square law.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The exposure adjusts
    to the flash so the front part of the image is lighter and
    the background becomes darker. This is not what I wanted.
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<

    The amount of light that the flash applies to the subject is inversely
    proportional to the square of the distance. So flash is, by the laws of
    physics, incapable of doing what you want.

    What you need and should try is _bounce flash_. Aim the flash at the ceiling
    and use the light reflected from the ceiling.

    Also, there's a custom function on the 5D that selects between "evaluative"
    and "averaging" metering for flash exposure. Most people find the
    "evaluative" setting problematic and prefer "averaging".

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Apr 17, 2006
    #2
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  3. Larry

    [BnH] Guest

    Meter the background, hold the value , recompose and fire.

    =bob=

    "Larry" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > First picture:
    > No flash, ETTL-mode, exposure OK, but the shadows in the
    > foregrund are a bit dark, to my taste.


    > Second picture:
    > Flash taken down two steps, ETTL-mode. The exposure adjusts
    > to the flash so the front part of the image is lighter and
    > the background becomes darker. This is not what I wanted.
    >
    > yours
    > Larry
    >
     
    [BnH], Apr 18, 2006
    #3
  4. Larry

    Skip M Guest

    "Larry" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I have just got an EOS 5D and a flash 580EX.
    > I have tried to use the flash to lighten up (fill in) an
    > image.
    > I just want the shadows and darker parts to be lighter.
    >
    > I thought there should be a function 'fill in flash' but
    > there isn't.
    > The closest I can come is to 'compensate' the flash
    > exposure and set it down two steps.
    >
    > First picture:
    > No flash, ETTL-mode, exposure OK, but the shadows in the
    > foregrund are a bit dark, to my taste.
    > Second picture:
    > Flash taken down two steps, ETTL-mode. The exposure adjusts
    > to the flash so the front part of the image is lighter and
    > the background becomes darker. This is not what I wanted.
    >
    > Is there a way to keep a 'normal' exposure, and just fill in
    > the foreground shadows a little bit with the flash?
    > Other than doing a completely manual measuring, adjusting
    > and exposure for every image that you take...
    >
    > If you use fill in flashing please tell me how you manage to
    > do it!
    >
    > yours
    > Larry
    >


    Check this site out:
    http://www.photoworkshop.com/canon/index.html
    Click on "Tips and Techniques," "Speedlite Tips," then on the box labeled
    Stephen Wilkes. It helps you understand the process.

    --
    Skip Middleton
    http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com
     
    Skip M, Apr 18, 2006
    #4
  5. Larry

    Pat Guest

    It isn't really possible to illuminate the shadows and not the subject
    unless you put a big-ol-wad of tape over the center portion of your
    flash so it doesn't shine straight forward. This isn't recommened.
    :)

    Here is a very easy way to get close to what you want, just don't get
    scared off by it.

    Set your camera to full manual. Meter the light and set the camera for
    a proper exposure (without the flash). Leave the camera like that and
    turn on your flash and set it (the flash) on full auto. You'll get a
    pretty good exposure and the shadows shouldn't be too dark.
     
    Pat, Apr 18, 2006
    #5
  6. Larry

    Larry Guest

    Thanks a lot all for your valuable advices!

    A quick test shows that Av-mode (not Tv or P) plus FEC down
    2 steps gives me the result I was looking for.

    I will also study the tips on www.photoworkshop.com from
    Skip M.

    /Larry
     
    Larry, Apr 18, 2006
    #6
  7. Larry

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >Larry writes ...
    >
    >A quick test shows that Av-mode (not Tv or P) plus FEC down
    >2 steps gives me the result I was looking for


    I use a 550EX and a 1D M II and work in Av mode for fill, usually -
    1.67 to -2 stops compensation. However there is one problem to look
    out for ... in 'normal' flash mode (at least with my combo) the flash
    causes the fastest shutter speed to 'stick' at the highest sync speed,
    even if you need a faster shutter speed for the correct exposure. For
    my gear this means 1/250th sec ... if I need 1/500th sec I still get
    1/250th with the flash in 'normal' mode so I'm overexposing by a stop
    .... I don't know the 5D sync speed but it may be 1/200th or so ...

    So if you are seeing overexposure in this mode that's why, the shutter
    speed locks to the max sync speed whether you want it to or not ... the
    work-around for this with the 550EX is to use 'hi-speed sync' mode,
    which will allow the flash to sync up to 1/8,000th sec (so you avoid
    the overexposure issues) BUT the trade-off is greatly reduced power at
    faster shutter speeds. Just something to watch for ...

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Apr 18, 2006
    #7
  8. Larry

    Lionel Guest

    On Mon, 17 Apr 2006 22:32:53 GMT, Larry <> opined:

    >Hi,
    >
    >I have just got an EOS 5D and a flash 580EX.
    >I have tried to use the flash to lighten up (fill in) an
    >image.
    >I just want the shadows and darker parts to be lighter.
    >
    >I thought there should be a function 'fill in flash' but
    >there isn't.


    Canons do fill-flash automatically in 'Av' mode.

    >The closest I can come is to 'compensate' the flash
    >exposure and set it down two steps.


    In modes other than Av or fully-manual, the camera will use as much
    flash as it thinks it needs to get a good exposure for the current
    metering mode.

    >Is there a way to keep a 'normal' exposure, and just fill in
    >the foreground shadows a little bit with the flash?
    >Other than doing a completely manual measuring, adjusting
    >and exposure for every image that you take…..
    >
    >If you use fill in flashing please tell me how you manage to
    >do it!


    I generally use Av mode & adjust the fill to taste with the FEC
    setting.
    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lionel, Apr 19, 2006
    #8
  9. Larry

    Pat Guest

    I've never had a lot of luck with the high speed flash mode either.
    Seems like if it's dark enough to need a flash but the action is fast
    enough to need the high speed, the reduced power makes the flash nearly
    useless. In my case, it is usually shooting something like a football
    game at dusk where it is too dark if you don't have a flash but the
    high speed flash doesn't give you enough power to shoot anything over
    about just a few feet away.
     
    Pat, Apr 19, 2006
    #9
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