On-camera fill-in (but very subtly) flash

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Roger Moss, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. Roger Moss

    Roger Moss Guest

    Anyone have any experience with using on-camera (in my case a D70) flash for
    daylight fill-in?

    I'm after achieving a very subtle lift of subject tones when shooting
    people, mostly outdoors - in other words, I don't want the flash effect to
    be at all obvious. Just firing off at default fill-in settings hardly
    produces a natural effect, and I wondered whether anyone had done tests and
    arrived at a flash level which might achieve what I'm after.

    Nothing I couldn't eventually determine for myself given time, I admit, but
    time is in short supply at present...

    Thanks.

    RM
    Roger Moss, Nov 7, 2006
    #1
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  2. Roger Moss

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Roger Moss (BINTHISBIT) wrote:
    >
    > Anyone have any experience with using on-camera (in my case a D70) flash for
    > daylight fill-in?
    >
    > I'm after achieving a very subtle lift of subject tones when shooting
    > people, mostly outdoors - in other words, I don't want the flash effect to
    > be at all obvious. Just firing off at default fill-in settings hardly
    > produces a natural effect, and I wondered whether anyone had done tests and
    > arrived at a flash level which might achieve what I'm after.


    With Canon flashes it's typically - 1 2/3's to - 2 stops underexposure
    for the flash, sometimes less or more depending on the reflectivity of
    the subject. This typically fills in shadows a bit and improves the
    color balance without looking "flashed" or fake.

    I heard it's often a bit different with Nikon's system but for sure
    start at -1 and go even less if required. Only way to really tell is
    to run off a few test snaps.

    Bill
    Bill Hilton, Nov 7, 2006
    #2
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  3. Roger Moss

    Bob Williams Guest

    Roger Moss wrote:

    > Anyone have any experience with using on-camera (in my case a D70) flash for
    > daylight fill-in?
    >
    > I'm after achieving a very subtle lift of subject tones when shooting
    > people, mostly outdoors - in other words, I don't want the flash effect to
    > be at all obvious. Just firing off at default fill-in settings hardly
    > produces a natural effect, and I wondered whether anyone had done tests and
    > arrived at a flash level which might achieve what I'm after.
    >
    > Nothing I couldn't eventually determine for myself given time, I admit, but
    > time is in short supply at present...
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > RM



    Use a few thicknesses of Kleenex over the flash unit.
    This attenuates and softens the light.
    Play around with 2-6 thicknesses of Kleenex to get the exact effect you
    want. Very versatile, cheap and you can fine tune the effect.
    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Nov 8, 2006
    #3
  4. Roger Moss wrote:
    > Anyone have any experience with using on-camera (in my case a D70)
    > flash for daylight fill-in?
    >
    > I'm after achieving a very subtle lift of subject tones when shooting
    > people, mostly outdoors - in other words, I don't want the flash
    > effect to be at all obvious. Just firing off at default fill-in
    > settings hardly produces a natural effect, and I wondered whether
    > anyone had done tests and arrived at a flash level which might
    > achieve what I'm after.
    >
    > Nothing I couldn't eventually determine for myself given time, I
    > admit, but time is in short supply at present...
    >
    > Thanks.


    Select matrix or centre-weighted metering, (by holding in the left-hand
    button behind the shutter-release button and operating the main command
    wheel) and set the mode dial to mode P, S or A. Make sure flash is set to
    TTL (Menu item 19). This gives correctly balanced fill-in flash. Do not use
    spot-metering in any of these modes. Then set the flash sync icon to the
    desired type of synchronisation by cycling the various options, (holding
    down the pop-up flash button whilst using the main command wheel..) In
    effect you can only select front curtain sync or red-eye reduction sync.

    Alternatively, and much easier, setting the D70 to one of the auto modes on
    the mode dial (close-up, portrait, action, or auto) will automatically set
    up the camera for balanced fill-in flash, but you still have to select the
    flash sync mode icon as above.

    Spot metering will change the flash to full TTL mode.

    Make sure you do not have flash exposure compensation set to a + value. If
    the results are still not balanced to your liking, you may try setting a
    flash exposure compensation to a - value. Experiment!

    You can only achieve this when using a CPU lens on the camera.

    Dennis.
    Dennis Pogson, Nov 8, 2006
    #4
  5. Roger Moss

    Guest

    Roger Moss (BINTHISBIT) wrote:
    > Anyone have any experience with using on-camera (in my case a D70) flash for
    > daylight fill-in?

    Yep. Lots.


    > I'm after achieving a very subtle lift of subject tones when shooting
    > people, mostly outdoors - in other words, I don't want the flash effect to
    > be at all obvious. Just firing off at default fill-in settings hardly
    > produces a natural effect

    Yes, it looks just like you have used a flash in daylight! (O; Apart
    from dialling it down a bit, I also use a little diffuser to take away
    the unnatural sharpness - you can buy them, or if cheap like me use
    kleenex as suggested above.. Or for a far better effect, I use a
    little cardboard structure that slips onto the flash, and supports an
    area of drafting film* of about 1.5"x3.5" out in front of the flash,
    sort of like a tiny softbox.

    (* ie thin, translucent tracing paper - try an office supplies shop, or
    your nearest architects office..)

    >, and I wondered whether anyone had done tests and
    > arrived at a flash level which might achieve what I'm after.

    You'll get varying recommendations of dialling down the flash by
    between -.5 and -2 stops - find out for yourself what works..
    Personally, I most commonly use -2/3 of a stop, but that's on different
    cameras..
    , Nov 8, 2006
    #5
  6. >Anyone have any experience with using on-camera (in my case a D70) flash for
    >daylight fill-in?


    FWIW, there's another reason to use a tiny bit of flash outdoors when
    photographing people. After you take the shot, you can ask if
    everyone saw the flash. If everyone did, no one was blinking.

    -Joel


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Free Bible and Mishna printouts in Hebrew: http://liturgy.exc.com/
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Nov 8, 2006
    #6
  7. Roger Moss

    Roger Moss Guest

    "Dr. Joel M. Hoffman" <> wrote in message
    news:Xal4h.1$...
    > >Anyone have any experience with using on-camera (in my case a D70) flash
    > >for
    >>daylight fill-in?

    >
    > FWIW, there's another reason to use a tiny bit of flash outdoors when
    > photographing people. After you take the shot, you can ask if
    > everyone saw the flash. If everyone did, no one was blinking.
    >
    > -Joel


    Well, I wouldn't have thought of that one...

    Thanks for all your input, constructive as ever (no trolls here so far).

    FWIW: The background to this thread is that I used an SB24 Speedlight and
    Nikon F5 combination very successfully for years, but having to shoot
    digital for just about everything these days means that, since the SB24
    isn't compatible with the D70 (thanks for that, Nikon) and the SB800 is more
    than I can run to at present, I thought I'd try to get the little on-camera
    flash tweaked. Its low power rating won't be an issue for minimal fill-in
    use.

    RM
    Roger Moss, Nov 8, 2006
    #7
  8. Roger Moss

    Guest

    ...Suggest you also visit the 'Eyes Closed' thread for an alternative
    view.. no pun intended of course.

    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:
    > >Anyone have any experience with using on-camera (in my case a D70) flash for
    > >daylight fill-in?

    >
    > FWIW, there's another reason to use a tiny bit of flash outdoors when
    > photographing people. After you take the shot, you can ask if
    > everyone saw the flash. If everyone did, no one was blinking.
    >
    > -Joel
    >
    >
    > ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Free Bible and Mishna printouts in Hebrew: http://liturgy.exc.com/
    > ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    , Nov 9, 2006
    #8
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