Outdoor On-Camera Flash Examples


McGregNi

Link Posted 27/03/2017 - 11:33
I've not been released from work and family duties enough lately to get any 'proper' photography done , apart from the odd swan .....A common enough problem for many of us!

But I still take plenty of shots of the family in many situations. When possible I always pack one Pentax AF-540FGZ flash, as it adds greatly to the verstaility of practical image capture and brings with it the chance to balance the ambient lighting with that directly on the subject, which can help greatly by giving added 'pop' and clarity. Also, by using a straw or orange coloured gel on the flash head (eg '1/4 CTO') I can bring back warmer tones to the skin and avoid the cold, blueish tone of bare flash when its set against a warmer daylight WB behind.

I always use automatic P-TTL flash mode for these types of shots, as this is very responsive to rapidly changing subject distances and focal lengths. The ambient exposure is usually controlled with Av mode or Manual, and generally I will dial in a1/2 - 1.5 stop minus compensation below what the camera meters, in order to enrichen the tones in behind and allow the subject to stand out.

This is a randon selection of examples over a period of time, just to give a flavour and some ideas for when you could try using these techniques ..... It helps on dull days, to give life to the face, and also on sunny days, when flash helps with contrast control and to deal with shadows and bright highlights at the same time ....
All shots with the Pentax K7, AF-540FGZ (i or ii), and mostly the D FA28-105, or Tamron AF70-300 ....













































Thanks for looking and I hope you find some ideas for a situation where your on-camera flash will help out as well! Please fire back any questions and post up any other pics or other examples On-Camera direct flash gets a very bad name, unfairly really, because when used under good control and whan balanced against natural lighting it is avery formidable tool, not the least because its a lot easier to handle than more complex off-camera wireless flash setups.

Nigel
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

davidwozhere

Link Posted 27/03/2017 - 13:44
I presume the flash head is pointing directly at the subjects for these? I hate doing this as people expect (and I've usually found it to be so) that they will be blinded by the thing. And this is the very unit you mention above which I dare not use in any way except pointed at the ceiling. I've tried telling it to reduce the intensity. It just ignores that. I've tried dialling a reduction into the camera and it ignores that too. Anything that has TTL on it seems to have a mind of its own.
OK rant over
It has to me, so what the heck am I doing wrong with it?
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

pschlute

Link Posted 27/03/2017 - 14:24
Hi Nigel

I have been experimenting with outdoor daylight flash and have been using a Gary Fong collapsible diffuser. (I had never heard of him until I read your flash guide, so thanks yet again). With my "furrier" models I now get vibrant outdoor pictures. So far just been using manual exposure for the ambient light and P-TTL for the flash.







Peter



My Flickr page

McGregNi

Link Posted 27/03/2017 - 15:48
davidwozhere wrote:
I presume the flash head is pointing directly at the subjects for these? I hate doing this as people expect (and I've usually found it to be so) that they will be blinded by the thing. And this is the very unit you mention above which I dare not use in any way except pointed at the ceiling. I've tried telling it to reduce the intensity. It just ignores that. I've tried dialling a reduction into the camera and it ignores that too. Anything that has TTL on it seems to have a mind of its own.
OK rant over
It has to me, so what the heck am I doing wrong with it?

Hi David, yes, these are all direct on-camera flash. Outdoors there's very little chance to bounce off anything, so unless you can set-up an umbrella or softbox (lets face it, that's rare in the real world!) then direct flash is the only way.

I guess the main point from the examples here was that outdoors, direct on-camera flash can work, and helps to bring out the subjects in a complementary way and balance the lighting in the scene.

The main reason why flash can be overpowering is flash to subject distances that are too small for the aperture and ISO settings ..... so generally I'd say avoid auto-ISO at all costs, as this can play havoc with things. Also choose sensible ISOs and Apertures for the working distances. You can get help with this from both the Flash Manual and the Range and Distance indicator on the flash itself ... here are a few examples of the minimum possible distance for correct P-TTL exposures using the AF-540FGZ ...

ISO 200 - F2.8 - 24mm Flash Head Zoom - 2.0m
ISO 200 - F5.6 - 24MM Flash Head Zoom - 1.0m

So straight away, say we actually had ISO 800 here instead, then our minimum distance at F2.8 would be 8 metres ! That's quite a long way, and anything closer than this will be overexposed because the flash cannot cut its power sufficiently. So you can see how important the ISO can become in determining the exposure capability. Fortunately we have the range displayed on the AF-540FGZ when shooting with direct flash, and this will automatically update each time we make a change to Aperture or ISO. Staying well within the displayed limits will help to ensure good exposures.

Going back to the example above with ISO 200 - F5.6 - 24mm Flash Head Zoom, the flash zoom position will have its effect also, and the table in the manual shows that zooming in from 24mm to 58mm will cause the minimum distance to increase to 1.4m, again pushing you back from the subject.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 27/03/2017 - 16:18

McGregNi

Link Posted 27/03/2017 - 16:06
Peter, some nice examples there I see in the 2nd you've reduced the background brightness a little, and the flash exposures look very good.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

pschlute

Link Posted 27/03/2017 - 18:30
McGregNi wrote:
I see in the 2nd you've reduced the background brightness a little

More likely the day had worn on a bit and I had not adjusted for ambient light !

I am very happy with the results using the flash/diffuser and ambient light. I can't believe I have been taking pictures for so long and never got round to understanding how to use flash effectively.
Peter



My Flickr page

McGregNi

Link Posted 27/03/2017 - 19:13
davidwozhere wrote:
.... It just ignores that. I've tried dialling a reduction into the camera and it ignores that too. Anything that has TTL on it seems to have a mind of its own.

Just another thought, what lenses are you using? P-TTL is only compatible with F or FA series types with the aperture ring set to A, plus all DA/D FA and later types ..... ie NOT manual focus lenses.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 27/03/2017 - 19:14

davidwozhere

Link Posted 27/03/2017 - 22:41
I would not use manual lenses for exactly the reason you suggest. The last time I used direct flash was likely ISO200 with a Pentax F 35-105mm and range of 15feet with the thing allegedly on PTTL. My missus went absolutely potty at the power of the discharge and I was terrified that I had caused her some damage. If I am doing anything with flash now I use an even more powerful Cobra D650 that does as I ask it to when set to manual but I still won't point it at anyone.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

McGregNi

Link Posted 27/03/2017 - 22:58
It's difficult to say exactly what's going wrong .....if it's as extreme as you say it sounds like the flash fired at full power, so maybe some connection or communication failure between the camera and flash ....? There needs to be an aperture coupled lens and active AF points for the system to work properly.

I'm not entirely convinced myself about the reliability of F series lenses with P-TTL (I don't get good results with my F35-70), but I've been unable to persuade more experienced Pentax flash photographers than me to buy into this .....we lack sufficient knowledge about exactly what additional information the FA series, and more specifically the KAF2 mount, brought into the equation.

So long as the settings are appropriate for the distance,as per my post earlier, and there is a good amount of ambient light, then the P-TTL flash exposure should just add enough light to balance the subject with the background. This is commonly termed 'fill flash', but I dislike the term because the reality is that this 'fill' light actually often makes up the main light source on the subject, as it does in my examples here, where without it the faces would be in quite deep shadow.

I'd try again with a more modern lens. The reality of life, for me at least, is that too often it is impossible to cart around and set up wireless flashes, and so direct on-camera flash is the only choice .....but controlled and nicely balanced with the ambient it can bring photos to life.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 27/03/2017 - 23:00

davidwozhere

Link Posted 27/03/2017 - 23:23
Thank you for flogging your brain on my behalf. I'll try it on myself in the garden with a wireless release using a bog standard DA 18 - 55. At least I know to keep my eyes shut!
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

Don

Link Posted 28/03/2017 - 02:30
a couple screen grabs of some shots I did a while back using a single fgz320, a reflector , a shoot through umbrella, and pentax k3.
getting the flash off camera is the next step.
love the flash guide Nigel it's great work!








Fired many shots. Didn't kill anything.
Last Edited by Don on 28/03/2017 - 02:35

Papa_Lazarou

Link Posted 28/03/2017 - 13:20
I like the last three, although focus seems to be a little off in most of the images. I would suggest checking your lens micro AF adjustment.
My Flickr Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/philnmorgan/
Last Edited by Papa_Lazarou on 28/03/2017 - 13:28

McGregNi

Link Posted 28/03/2017 - 13:57
Don, there's some interesting creative effects going on there! It's a real play on the sunlight and you've made the flashes seem like an extension of the suns reflections.

Off camera flash is certainly a 'next step', but I often try and promote the simpler stuff, if only becuase it's often more realistic for us earthly mortal flash photographers So many times I've seen books or internet articles about flash that are just frankly pie in the sky for many of us, in the scenarios, models used and complexities of set-up. I'd like to see more of us using simple, manageable techniques with equipment that we can actually carry and set up in practice in the real world. Often, for me at least with kids in tow, that does mean a single on-camera flash. So it's about extracting the best possible results within those constraints.

Thanks also Papa, I'll check the fine tuning ....it may be the D FA28-105 that needs attention. Am I right to assume that the camera AF adjustment s done the same way for both screw drive and DC focus types ?
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

Papa_Lazarou

Link Posted 28/03/2017 - 14:03
Sorry NIgel, my comments were to Don for his last images.

NIce work Nigel, by the way.
My Flickr Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/philnmorgan/

McGregNi

Link Posted 28/03/2017 - 14:10
Ok great ......(I think ) .... so I don't have to check the autofocus then ?
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
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