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The Power Of A Flash

Amber convinced me to get a flash last Saturday (it didn’t take much)… It was kind of spur of the moment, but I think the results are going to be worth it. Little concerned about the flashes battery life… but thats what Energizer quick charges are for :-).

Lets talk through this just a little… It might be fun. All photos were shot with my Olympus E-510 using a 8mm Fisheye lense. Please note, that all photos probably could have been adjusted to look better… but I’m lazy. The flash I purchased (and am using in these shots) is a ProMaster 7500EDF (not the nicest flash, but most for the money I could get for my model)

The gallery I will be talking about can be found here. Please note, if you mouse over the image, and click on “photo info” you can see what settings the camera was shooting at the time… Although it doesn’t do a good job talking about what flash it used.

The first 4 photos in the gallery were without flash. You’ll notice I had to increase the ISO to get event a decent amount of light with this particular lense. It’s not that this photo is bad, but there is a *ton* of noise (coming from the ISO), and overall, just not the best photo in the world. I’ll also make note of the shadow coming from the top bar, notice how it’s coming towards the camera…

No Flash

The next 3 were the camera’s on board flash. The first two were taken in auto mode, while the last in manual, with a higher iso. Make note of the sharp shadow coming from the  top beam again. Also make note of the shadow on the floor, which is coming from the lense. Overall, this is better than no flash… but still has some undesirable effects.

On Board Flash

The Next 2 were the first ones shot with the new flash. Note the shadow is no missing on the floor. The ceiling shadow also got a little bit longer because the flash was higher. I had the flash shooting “mostly” up, simply to keep the far side of the room dark for what I’m about to do.

Now for the next 2… These demo one of the cooler features of this particular flash. The flash contains a fill in flash. Basically a second, less powerful flash, that can be used to help fill in the area nearby when your throwing the flash with the zoom (or when your shooting “up”). Again, notice the ceiling shadow… How there are now two of them :-).

The last 3, were using something called an Ultrasoft. The first shot I fired with the fill in flash on accident… The last 2 had the fill in flash off. Notice how (especially with the fill in flash off) the shadow on the ceiling (although now even bigger because the flash was raised another 3 inches) is now “softer”… It doesn’t have the clean edge it had before (which is actually a good thing. Also notice how everything is also a tad bit more evenly hit (I still had the aperture set wrong, but its close).

Flash with Ultrasoft

I’m not sure to be honest how often I’ll shoot with the Ultrasoft, but it does produce a nice effect… But even without the Ultrasoft, the photos are definitely turning out better than they were with the camera’s flash (plus, my subjects aren’t being blinded by a strobing flash). To see a few more photos (most taken with the flash, check out some of the ones I took last night).

If anyone has any advice for taking some cool shots with a flash, feel free to comment!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Matt Holland April 20, 2010, 4:45 pm

    I am getting one of these very soon .http://alienbees.com/b800.htmlYou can never have too much light. I'm up to 5 hot shoe strobes now.

  • Justin Gehring April 21, 2010, 7:01 am

    If only I was a professional like you Holland… Sadly, my wife only lets me spend so much money on electronics/camera gear/etc :-)… It was you that inspired her (and me) to get a flash with Richard's wedding photos… I'm sure your lense and camera overall played a huge role as well, but the flash was definitely the biggest difference. (It might have something to do with who was behind the camera too, considering my camera was never in my hands)