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Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

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  • Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

    Due to request from this thread here, I am copying my whole 'Kelas Kamera LM #6' which is copied verbatim from my blog here la. Here goes!


    Apa khabar sumua? Ada sihat? Ada makan?

    Okay… Cikgu LM is back from his Sabbatical and today he will be teaching a new photography topic which is:


    OOOO….. interesting right? Right…..

    Okay let’s get started:

    Firstly, we’ll be shooting our favourite model for this lesson, Urutoraman Nexus, which is placed on the coffee table:

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    Now, for those who has a DSLR with an external flash unit like the SB-800, SB-600 or SB-900 for the Nikon geeks, you are able to mount the flash unit on top of the digital camera or away from the camera too. We will be studying the differences between these two later la.

    For the whole of this Kelas, I will be using the same exposure settings which is F/2.8 and 1/60s at ISO200 with flash mode set to TTL. Reason why I chose F/2.8 is because I want just the Urutoraman to be in the Depth of Field while keeping the background into a nice blur to separate the object.

    “Direct Flash”

    So, for the first example, we will be mounting the flash on the camera and the flash head pointing directly at the model like in the photo below:

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    So let’s take a photo!

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    Fuyoooh…. not bad eh? But you got notice the groin area of the Urutoraman Nexus it’s like ‘running light’. Too bright laa!!! The same goes for his nen nen area also… Also, the background is darker too and please also notice the very distinction shadows on the table.

    So… that’s the effect of ‘Direct Flash’

    “Bounced To Ceiling”

    Ah, for the second try, I will be adjusting the flash head 90 degrees so that it is pointing to the ceiling instead as shown below:

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    Now why would I want to do that?

    This is because when the light hits the ceiling, it is reflected back to the ground. The ceiling acts like a very big source of light. When you have a big source of light, you get a nice pleasing lighting as shown in the example below after I took a shot with this setup:

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    Ah…. BIG difference right? As you can see from the example, there is virtually no shadows on the table, and the background is not that dark too as compared to direct flash technique. However, please note that if you are shooting real human beans, this technique will cause some dark shadows under the chin as well as under the eyebrows. The lighting may look nice but these effects sometimes may not complement the human beans in the photo.

    Now let’s get to the next flash setup:

    “Off-camera Direct Flash”

    Now, those with an SB-600, SB-800 and SB-900 flashes has the ability to wirelessly trigger the flashes using the onboard flash itself. This is famously known as ‘CLS’… a marketing term by Nikon which stands for “Curry LakSa”.


    ….. kekekke…

    Actually is “Creative Lighting System” laa… kekek

    You can easily configure your flash to go into CLS mode via a few button presses (read the manual on how to do that dude)

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    So now we we going to place the configured SB-800 at 45 degrees on camera right, on the table itself near Urutoraman Nexus:

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    (sorry laa.. camera phone very hard to focus in low light laaa)

    So let’s take a shot:

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    Fuyooh…. same effect as Direct Flash On-camera. but it goes give the Urutoraman Nexus a ‘harder’ look. Like more garang like that. So it’s actually up to you how you want to use this setting to bring out the photo you want.

    Let’s move on.

    “Off-camera Bounce Flash (Ceiling)”

    With the flash wirelessly triggered by the camera, we can also shoot the same photo with the flash head pointing to the ceiling as well, even when it’s not on board.

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    Let’s take a shot and see the result:

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    Ha… not bad right? Same effect as bounce to ceiling while flash is on camera. But the lack of shadows seem a bit unnatural laa… unless you want to get this kind of image then it’s okay.

    So, let’s see how we can deal with it on the next technique:

    “Off-camera Bounced Flash (Bounce Card)”

    Now, you just have to remember that a big source of light creates nice soft shadows. This can be seen when you bounce to the ceiling. How about, we DON’T want to bounce to the ceiling but still want a big source of light?

    Well, just get something big for the light to bounce on then!

    Here, I chose a piece of white Styrofoam board which I think you can EASILY get especially when someone just bought a new electrical appliance.

    Instead of pointing the flash directly at Urutoraman Nexus, I rotated it around and pointed it AWAY from the model. I held the Styrofoam board in front of the flash so that the light will be bounced off the board, back to the model, thus creating a big source of light. Easy right?

    See how I did it below:

    Fuyoooh…. so let’s take a shot and see how it goes

    Ha… compared to the earlier one where we pointed the flash directly at the Urutoraman, this is MUCH better. Do you notice that there are no more bright spots on his body, and the shadows are still there but does not have a defined shape? This is very nice!

    Let’s see how we can further improve it using the last technique in my Kelas today:

    “Key light, and back light”

    Well, sometimes with this kind of one light source photo, the ‘other’ side of the model which is in the shadows may not look so nice.

    If the background is dark, then you might not able to separate the background from the model especially human bean’s hair. We do not get to shoot with bright bright background don’t we? *grins*

    So, what do we do?

    Easy! Use another reflector!!

    The light that is bounced to the Styrofoam board, can still be bounced back again to the model. Of course, the intensity of the light may already be reduced by more than half but we do not really need so much light for back lighting.

    Since I am out of Styrofoam boards, I use the next best available reflector which doesn’t need me to hold it:

    YES~! a FREE Domino’s Pizza 2009 Table Calendar. WOAHAHHA…. I like it because it’s WHITE and white is a good color to act as a reflector.

    So, I placed the Domino’s Pizza Table Calendar as close to the Urutoraman as I can without getting it into the view of the lens. To get a better understanding on how I set up the lighting, please look at the diagram below:


    So let’s take a shot and see the result:

    UYOOOOH….. Cantik!!!

    Notice on the right arm of Urutoraman, there is a slight glow of light along the whole limb. Also, the right side of the face is also brought up. With this set up, the shadows is still in one direction because the bounced light from the 2009 Domino’s Pizza Table Calendar is not strong enough to cast a shadow on the table.

    So, the end result is, you get a nice well lit model photo.


    There are many other ways to be creative with how you set up your lighting to shoot models or products. Hopefully this kelas will serve as a basic for you to further explore your flash photography.



    *walk out from Kelas Kamera LM #6*
    Last edited by LoctorMayat; 25-04-2009, 09:39 PM.
    LoctorMayat Kurang Ajar!! Get Lost From My SB700 Thread!!

  • #2
    Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

    "Satu kelas yang sangat merangsangkan. Terima kasih banyak-banyak Cikgu."


    • #3
      Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

      cikgu ini manyak bagus!


      • #4
        Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

        cikgu LM mmg cikgu terbaik di skulah photoMalaysia!!
        hope more pictorial lesson by sifus in d future...


        • #5
          Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography


          • #6
            Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

            easy to understand, cikgu... thank you!!


            • #7
              Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

              waa... the urutoroman very the hensem one


              • #8
                Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

                Perfect intro to lighting in photos for a newbie like me. Te-ri-ma ka-sih cik-gu !


                • #9
                  Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

                  The simple and priceless lighting class technics. Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

                  Come to Ipoh and teh tarik is on me.

                  Terimaaaaaaa Kasih ciiiiiiiiiiikgu.


                  • #10
                    Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

                    Nice class LM with details.


                    • #11
                      Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

                      Interesting....very informative indeed, thanks for the link from another topic though...


                      • #12
                        Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

                        very good tutorial. not so formal. got a bit funny elements there. a very good one indeed


                        • #13
                          Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

                          Teacher, teacher... Wasn't this already done long-long time ago...
                          (i remember seeing it in your website...)


                          • #14
                            Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

                            thanks guys and girls.

                            yes.. it was copied verbatim coz not everybody go to my blog
                            LoctorMayat Kurang Ajar!! Get Lost From My SB700 Thread!!


                            • #15
                              Re: Kelas Kamera LoctorMayat: Flash Photography

                              Very easy to understand.

                              Trima kaseh cikgu!!!

                              P/s: Lepaih ni saya bookmark blog cikgu....