how to avoid Flash hot spot?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by adonisadonis, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. adonisadonis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #1
    Hello to all!

    I'm here again to seek advise from our experienced photographers on how to avoid flash hot spots. I normally take half body portraits of my kids and use flash especially on daylight. I normally use flash as I like the look of the eyes with catch light as I think It gives more "life" to the photos compared without using one, however some of the photos I took have some nasty flash hotspots. How can I improve my skills.

    At the moment I'm using SB 400 nikon and I really don't want big flash guns. Once again thank you very much and hoping someone can offer their advise.
     
  2. emorydunn macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

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    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
  3. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #3
    2 things might help: a Diffuser over the flash (actually baking paper will work as well) and enable red eye correction in the flash menu in the camera (on a Nikon, if you push the flash button and hold it, you can adjust with your front or back wheel what type of flash...select the eye icon)

    this should help but having a SB-600 will make a BIG difference as the 400 can only shoot forward and, IMHO, is just a glorified pop-up flash.
     
  4. adonisadonis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #4
    I have. Once I get to my computer I'll post some. The main issues I have is the flash hot spot from the face and forehead. thanks
     
  5. adonisadonis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #5
    Thanks for the advise. sorry I was not able to mention in details my concern with my photos. IT is usually the forehead, tip of the nose and cheeks that are affected with hotspots in my photos. Since i'm new to using flash, I don't know if how much flash output do I need in photographing half body portrait. At the moment I'm only using sigma 17-50 mm and usually take portrait at 50mm. Yes I agree that SB 400 is not as good as SB 600 but Its just too big for my liking so I opted for small one and just try to learn how i can use it better.

    Thank you once again!
     
  6. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Deep Space
    #6
    There are many reasons for hot spots.

    Skin can reflect flashlight if it is wet or moist or if the angle of the flash isn't right.
     
  7. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a

    TheGenerous

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    Nov 14, 2010
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    I'm an Austronaut
    #7
    put some tissue paper in the flash for diffusion and the light is less intense
     
  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #8
    I use a demb flip it. I love it and its not terribly huge and intrusive. It pretty much eliminates the hot spots.
     
  9. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    At my cat's house
    #9
    Try using some negative flash compensation or dial down its power by a stop or so. It would especially help for closer subjects.
     
  10. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    #10
    Yep, at -2 or -3 if you're getting really close in to the subject.
     
  11. adonisadonis thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 17, 2009
    #11
    Thank you very much for all your input, much appreciated. Ill try negative flash compensation first. thanks.
     
  12. mackmgg macrumors 65816

    mackmgg

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #12
    Another thing I've done before is just put a tissue over the flash. They act like a cheap diffuser, and work pretty well. It's worth trying since it doesn't cost you anything, and it usually does the trick for me.

    Edit: Oops, for some reason when reading this thread I completely skipped over TheGenerous's post. For me I've found a tissue (the kind you blow your nose with) works better than tissue paper, but either should work
     
  13. adonisadonis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #13
    Thank you, I'll try this one too. Hopefully I can get better pics. Many thanks!
     
  14. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Deep Space
    #14
    If you don't want to use a diffuser (why? You can buy them for $10) you can also bounce the flash off a wall. It's a different kind of lighting and a bit harder to control, but better than a flash directly in the face anyway.
     

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