So I told you guys how I picked up a flash at the thrift shop the other day and now I'm back to show you a bit more. I'm pretty hopeless at flash, 3 weeks ago I knew nothing and now I know enough to comfortably get by but I still have lots to learn. If I could avoid flash photography I probably would but if I want to do weddings it's a prerequisite especially with those low light, end of the night festivities. Which brings me to why you would want to use flash. Some photographers use flash in the daylight, referred to as a "fill flash" to get a nice overall light onto their subjects, I personally am not such a fan but maybe that's partly based on my own lack of knowledge. The other main reason to use flash is when the lighting is too low for the camera and you can't use a tripod or don't want the effect of a slow shutter. Or hey you could just really like the look of flash photography too!
You can "bounce the flash" which is when you point the flash upwards and it bounces off something (like a ceiling). I like bouncing the flash, it's gives a less harsh tone and also nicer not to have to flash someone in the face when taking portraits. The other way is direct flash which, as you may have guessed is aiming the flash directly onto your subject. For the photos above I did direct flash because I wanted a high contrast image and my brother was very obliging of me shooting a flash in his face - thanks Matty! You can also use a flash off the camera as well but I'm not even going there today!
The canon 299t was made for canon SLR cameras (the film version of the fancy cameras on the market these days) now some of the older film flashes are a big no no when it comes to putting on your fancy new digital gear but the 299t voltage is very low so I had no qualms throwing it onto my 5d mark ii but others may not want to take the risk. Unlike the new canon speedlites flashes you do have to set everything manually on the back
I set mine onto F.NO. mode told the flash what aperture my camera was one, made sure the shutter on my camera was below 1/200 of a seconds - this has to do with the shutter curtains (a faster shutter speed leaves you with only a partially exposed images - not cool!). I also needed to set the ISO on the back of the flash body. There are a couple more features on the 299t the tilt of the flash head - so you can do bounce or direct flash and then there is an pull out section on the top, dependent on the size of lens. If I wanted my pictures brighter I played around with my aperture and ISO. You have to remember that there is the light coming from the flash but there is also the ambient light around that the camera is also recording - sounds confusing - yup and I'm definitely still learning!
I eventually want to pick up a new canon speedlite flash because you can set those onto nice and (easier!) auto settings :) I don't mind the 299t though because chances are what you are photographing at night will have a pretty consistent light reading, so it's just a matter of fine tuning the settings and then snapping away which is what I did when I took pictures of my brothers fancy dress get up the other week :)
Thanks Matty for being my very patient model :)
Does anyone have any flash tips for me, I'd love to hear as a newbie to the flash World.
I personally love really bright washed out flash photos and am not ashamed to admit I like Terry Richardson Style of the white background. Apparently he uses direct flash and as close to the camera lens as possible to avoid any flash shadowing around the person -interesting!