Flashgun Tips & Tricks?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by acearchie, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Hi guys,

    Made a big purchase last weekend of a 600d, 430ex ii, 50mm f1.8 and tokina 11-16mm f2.8. Unfortunately I won't get my hands on them till next monday so at the moment I am planning what to shoot and doing my research!

    I have used the camera and lens a lot before but don't have much flash experience.

    I was wondering if anyone had any tips and tricks beside bounce off the ceiling/walls etc.

    I have bought a diffuser as I found out the 430ex ii doesn't have a bounce card.

    I have the nifty fifty and the UWA so I was wondering if anyone had funky, unique techniques that I could maybe try? I don't mind any off the wall suggestions.

    The reason I chose the 600d is because of its manual audio for video but also for the wireless flash control so I have the option of firing it off the body with or without the on board flash.

    I am just looking for simple or difficult things to make the photos look good that maybe some people would like to share?

  2. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y

    Having owned both the 50 f/1.8 and the 11-16 at the same time, the Tokina rarely came off my 50D. It's as solid an ef-s UWA as you can find.

    Beware of falling into the "All UWA, All the time" trap though :p

    Some fun things to do with the Tokina-

    -Get LOW. On the ground low.
    -Get CLOSE. It has a great MFD for an UWA
    -Dont be afraid to open it up when you are close, it can handle it and performs great wide open

    Tips for the 430II:
    -I wouldnt bother with the diffuser too much. Bought one years ago, have not used it in as many.

    -Learn to bounce. I still am not as capable as I would like to be in bouncing. Soo many factors; diffusing surface distance, ange, color, texture, etc. Its great fun though

    -I am not sure what still sort of still photography you like shooting, but if you do any sort of music or event shooting, don't be scared to try some shutter drag stuff.

    -As soon as funds/time allow, get a set of ebay triggers and a vivitar 285HV. OCF is like a gateway drug of photography. Not only did it open up new ways to shoot, but the things I have learned from strobing directly help my non-flash work as well. Learning about light behavior in general.

    Pic: Took this with bounced 580EX off ceiling on camera, 2 speedlights cross lighting off camera, Tokina 16-28 (Your tokina's FF older brother) pretty much on the ground pointing up to capture the limbo.

    In summary- My biggest advice is to get crazy with the UWA. 50mm is pretty standard and safe, but the 11-16 will let you create some very unique images. Put your camera in places you normally wouldn't, angle it in ways that you think might not work. You will be surprised!
  3. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Just wanted to say what a great post! Exactly what I was looking for with real world examples and tips and tricks just like I asked.

    I'm even going to print it off and stick it on my wall until I can get my hands on the camera!


    That being said if anyone else has anything else to share please do!
  4. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010
  5. MattSepeta, Jun 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011

    MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    Glad to help.

    IIRC, this was actually taken with a 50D, Tokina 11-16, and 430EXII on camera. Close, low, shutter drag, probably wide open!

    A few more quick / dirty tips:

    - Index card + rubber bands = bounce card.

    - At my local non-big-box camera shop I bought a "sample pack" of "sample size" gels. It was about $10 and had a inch high stack of different color temp 1" x 2.5" gel strips, the perfect size to fit under the flip down wide diffuser on most modern flashes. Bang for the buck is enormous.
  6. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2010
    What about creating natural vignetting, can look kinda cool if you get it right, kinda like a spot like on the subject...

    anyway zoom the flash all the way in i think the 430 goes to 105 (you will have to do this manually).

    Then go wideangle get close and take a pic, you should get a a nice spot of white light on the subject and a vignette around with available light.

    once you learned whcih button to press to manually zoom your flash, this is a cinch!!
  7. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Hey guys,

    My camera arrived on friday and I had a chance to try out some of the suggested things on Sunday night!

    Here are some of the one's I liked more:

    Trying out the bounce off the ceiling. Had limited success with this. Probably because of the ceiling height, colour and material and because we spent a lot of time outside!

    Bouncing the Group by acearchie, on Flickr

    This one was actually without the flash and on the 50mm but it's showing that I'm not always sticking with the UWA. The f1.8 is great for a single light source!

    Natural Beauty by acearchie, on Flickr

    This is outside so it's a mixture of static shutter drag and a cheap diffuser that I stuck on the top and pointed the flash upwards.

    Something's funny! by acearchie, on Flickr

    This is probably one of my favourites of the night. I was trying to emulate a photo that would create "roomspin" (you know, when you've had just too much to drink!) and this is what I came up with! I think it's a nice photo really though!

    Shloozzeled by acearchie, on Flickr

    So thanks for all the tips guys, I hope I have done them justice.

    At TheDrift I did try the natural vignetting with my dad just as a test in the kitchen and it worked out really nicely. I will see if I can integrate it into some social gatherings soon!

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