Technique & Process 1B: Task 1: Flash (Speed Lights)

4th February 2014

What were the aims of the activity?

To learn how a Speed Light (flash gun) works on our cameras, working on Manual settings and working out Guide Numbers to achieve a correct exposure using flash on a subject.

We worked out different Guide Numbers (well, apertures) for different distances of flash. We did this by using a light meter to measure the aperture/exposure. We tried head-on flash, bouncing the flash off of the ceiling and walls and on to the subject – to find out the different effects flash can create.

I used my Canon 5D Mk iii camera and my Canon 430EX ii Speed Light.

What did I get from doing this?

This task opened up a whole new world of flash photography for me. I had no clue what a Guide Number was before this task. It was complicated for me to grasp at first because I don’t feel very confident mathematically working things out. However when I did it a few times I became familiar with using the flash on Manual and using trial and error as a way of concluding what looks best. But using the light meter enabled us to get the correct aperture which we then had to times by how many feet the subject was away from us (the first test was 10ft away). So the aperture read on the meter when testing the flash was 8.3 so 8.3 x 10ft = 83. That is the guide number of my flash gun. Then to get the aperture we had to divide the guide number by the distance so 10ft divided by 83 = 8.3, which rounded up is f11.

We also had to keep an eye on our camera screens because they were all set – intentionally or unintentionally – at a screen brightness that affected our perception of the exposure either negatively or positively.

Did I fulfil my aims?

I created some good results from this task however I definitely need to do it more to be able to properly grasp the concept.

———————————————–

Head on flash:

 1/125 sec, f18, ISO 200, 50mm lens length. The subject was 7ft (?) away and the flash was set at 1/2 power (?)

IW9B2518-01RESIZED 1/125 sec, f22, ISO 100, 47mm lens length. The subject was 5ft away and the Flash was set at 1/2 power.

IW9B2520RESIZED 1/125 sec, f16, ISO 100, 47mm lens length. The subject was about 5ft away but stepped to the side slightly. Power at 1/2.

IW9B2536RESIZED 1/125 sec, f16, ISO 200, 73mm lens length. The subject was about 4/5 ft away and the flash was set to 1/2. This is too bright, sooo…

IW9B2537RESIZED 1/125 sec, f22, ISO 200, 73mm lens length. The subject was 4/5 ft away and the flash was set to 1/2 power. This a better exposure.

IW9B2551RESIZED 1/125 sec, f13, ISO 100, 73mm lens length. The subject was about 8ft away and the power was 1/1.

Bounced off of the ceiling:

IW9B2531-01RESIZED 1/32 sec, f4, ISO 800, 47mm lens length. I thought I had bounced the flash off of the ceiling but my file info is telling me the flash didn’t fire…

IW9B2533RESIZED 1/32 sec, f4, ISO 800, 47mm lens length. The subject was 5ft away… I thought I had bounced the flash off of the ceiling but my file info is telling me the flash didn’t fire…

IW9B2549RESIZED 1/125 sec, f4, ISO 100, 32mm lens length. The subjects are about 5-10 ft away however because of bouncing off the ceiling the settings had to be up to the brightest.

IW9B2556RESIZED 1/125 sec, f5, ISO 100, 70mm lens length. Subject about 8ft away. Power 1/1.

IW9B2561RESIZED 1/125 sec, f5.6, ISO 100, 47mm lens length. Subject about 5ft away. Power 1/1. Notice how the closer the subject is when bouncing flash off of the ceiling, the harsher the shadows on the face?

IW9B2563RESIZED 1/125 sec, f5.6, ISO 100, 75mm lens length. Subject about 8ft away. Power at 1/1.

IW9B2597RESIZED 1/125 sec, f4, ISO 200, 24mm lens length. Subject about 20ft away. Power at 1/1. Flash angled up but slightly back.

IW9B2598RESIZED 1/125 sec, f4, ISO 200, 24mm lens length. Subject about 20ft away. Power at 1/1. Flash angled up but slightly forward.

IW9B2617-01RESIZED 1/64 sec, f5.6, ISO 400, 55mm lens length. Subject about 5ft away. Power 1/1. Diffuser used.

IW9B2622RESIZED 1/32 sec, f5.6, ISO 400, 67mm lens length. Subject about 6/7ft away. Power 1/1. Diffuser used.

Bounced off of a wall/surface:

IW9B2576-01RESIZED 1/125 sec, f5.6, ISO 100, 105mm lens length. Subject about 5ft away. Power 1/2.

IW9B2582-01RESIZED 1/125 sec, f5.6, ISO 100, 24mm lens length. Subject about 7ft away. Power 1/1.

IW9B2596RESIZED 1/125 sec, f4, ISO 200, 24mm lens length. Subject about 8ft away. Power 1/1.

IW9B2579RESIZED 1/125 sec, f5.6, ISO 100, 88mm lens length. Subject about 7ft away. Power 1/1.

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