Getting started with flash photography

Photography knowledge exchange.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
BeMoreAssertive
Posts: 24
Joined: December 27th, 2012, 8:24 am

Getting started with flash photography

Post by BeMoreAssertive » August 30th, 2014, 5:35 am

So I'll be heading off to the tropics soon and want to start shooting all those herps at night, but I'm a little lost with where to start with external flashes, I've barely even used the on camera flash. I have a Canon T3i, 100mm f/2.8 macro lens and 300mm f/4 L. I've read that the Canon speedlight 430 ex might be the best bang for the buck, but like I said, I don't know how to approach tropical night photography. Any insight would be appreciated.

User avatar
justinm
Posts: 3423
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Re: Getting started with flash photography

Post by justinm » September 2nd, 2014, 7:01 am

I have the 430 EX II. It's a good light but a little strong for macro, great for night stuff. You will want to look into something to diffuse the light at the least. The Sto Fen diffusers are a standard as they're light durable and cheap. For Macro work maybe look into a softbox that fits over the flash, and spreads it and softens the light. I hope that helps.

http://www.amazon.com/Stofen-Omni-Bounc ... mni+bounce

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... x+diffuser

User avatar
Nshepard
Posts: 377
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:08 am

Re: Getting started with flash photography

Post by Nshepard » September 2nd, 2014, 1:14 pm

Best online teach yourself flash tutorial out there. It is not about herps but the basics are the same.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

I use a couple different set-ups in general but prefer to go lightweight when hiking in the jungle at night. Usually, shot in-situ stuff with a single off camera slave flash (Canon 430EX) and sometimes use the pop-up flash (stepped down) for additional lighting and to trigger slave flash. Sometimes when I have extra energy, I run around with two slave flashes. Either invest in or DIY some nice diffuser for your flash that is light and can take a beating (at be wet all of the time). Diffusing the light coming out of your flash is how people make 'great light' and great properly exposed and well lite images while hiking in the jungle.

MonarchzMan
Posts: 341
Joined: September 8th, 2011, 5:12 pm
Location: Oxford, MS

Re: Getting started with flash photography

Post by MonarchzMan » September 4th, 2014, 8:36 pm

I'll generally shoot with MT-24EX twin flash for most of my macro work with a homemade diffuser (same as what Alex Wild uses for his invert photos). Otherwise, I'll use the 430EX flash with a softbox diffuser. Both work quite well in the tropics, in my experience. If I use the 430EX, I'll have it remotely triggered by the camera, so I can adjust angle of lighting, and, if too harsh, back the flash away from the subject a bit.

BeMoreAssertive
Posts: 24
Joined: December 27th, 2012, 8:24 am

Re: Getting started with flash photography

Post by BeMoreAssertive » September 5th, 2014, 6:02 am

Great, very helpful. Thanks for all the good info, guys!

Post Reply