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Spring Flowers with Flash

Lubbyman
Posted 20/03/2023 - 13:19 Link
Another thread reminded me that it has been a long time since the AF 160FC ring flash came out of the cupboard. So late afternoon a couple of days ago I went into the garden with the flash on the K3 + F 135mm, only to find that its batteries were flat. Having charged the batteries I took it out again yesterday. Here are a few of the results, all belonging to Mrs L. and growing in pots on the patio.

Thoughts, comments etc. welcome as usual.

1. Miniature cherry
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2. Contorted hazel
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3. Tulip
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Steve
JohnX
Posted 21/03/2023 - 17:13 Link
They look great!

Would you mind sharing the settings please Steve?

Twas my thread that prompted you to get the kit out and play, and I'm now minded to do the same. But, as I've never used it I have no idea where to start!

Suppose I could always look for the eBook one of our ex-supporters on here created. Or I would if I could remember his name!
Mannesty
Posted 21/03/2023 - 17:44 Link
JohnX wrote:

. . .Or I would if I could remember his name!

That would be Nigel McGregor user name McGregNi

His guide is available at https://www.pentaxforums.com/articles/photo-articles/comprehensive-pentax-flash-...
Peter E Smith - flickr Photostream
Edited by Mannesty: 21/03/2023 - 17:54
JohnX
Posted 21/03/2023 - 18:34 Link
Cheers Peter!

Wonder what's happened to him?
Lubbyman
Posted 21/03/2023 - 21:42 Link
JohnX wrote:
Would you mind sharing the settings please Steve?

Twas my thread that prompted you to get the kit out and play, and I'm now minded to do the same. But, as I've never used it I have no idea where to start!

It was indeed your thread that was the inspiration for getting the flash out. Thank you.

There was a lot of trial and error to get these pictures and I'm not showing the failures. The flash manual calls this approach taking 'test pictures' rather than 'trial and error', so I don't feel guilty about doing it!

A few things were deliberate though. Camera to manual mode, 1/160 (close to flash sync speed of 1/180) and f8 (for depth of field but not too much). ISO 100 to ensure that background in shadow would be dark. I knew I'd be working close to the minimum focal length of the lens which is about 0.7m. By luck more than judgement this was within the distance range for the flash at the chosen camera settings. Flash was set to manual, the rest was a matter of trying different flash outputs (adjusted from the flash mode dial, not in camera) until I was happy with the result. I did try changing the flash output left/right ratio (via the switch on the flash head), not expecting it to make much difference at 0.7m and it didn't - slight difference in some highlights/reflections.

Post-processing consisted of cropping then adjusting curves to darken the already quite dark background in the 1st (miniature cherry) and 3rd (tulip) and increase the contrast in the catkins in the 2nd (contorted hazel). Nothing major, just slight enhancements. The lighter background in the 2nd is because the lawn (if it deserves that name after being ravaged by last summer ) wasn't in shadow.

I hope that helps. The big thing is to fit the flash to the camera (with charged batteries :wink then experiment.

Steve
JohnX
Posted 21/03/2023 - 22:38 Link
Thanks Steve. Now I know why I've never been into flash!
Lubbyman
Posted 22/03/2023 - 10:10 Link
JohnX wrote:
Now I know why I've never been into flash!

It sounds like the same reason I've never been into flash - it all looks so complicated!

However, if you're not wanting to do fancy multi-flash work or get a specific look to a photo it's really just a matter of attaching flash to camera and experimenting until you get something you like. Having shutter speed limited to 1/180 sec (flash sync speed) or greater took some getting used to for me, particularly for daytime when there's plenty of ambient light as well as flash light. But working out why the first few shots of a session aren't what I was expecting helps me to remember!

The really difficult part comes at the end - remembering what you did so you can do it again another day .

Steve

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