Flash Advice

Have questions about the equipment used for macro- or micro- photography? Post those questions in this forum.

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

pwiles1968
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Leicestershire - UK
Contact:

Flash Advice

Post by pwiles1968 »

Following on from the Bee kind thread, looking for some tips on modifying my flash setup, I have a Generic Speedflash with TTL capability (it is very good) I am using the clip on diffuser and a hood that attaches to the top.

Here are a couple of images.

Image Image

for most shots it is working well but for highly reflective areas, eyes etc I am getting some harsh highlights.

Any Ideas how I can improve the diffusion with this setup I was thinking of attaching some gauze or a handkerchief in front so it almost makes a light box.




OR do I go for a ring flash like this and work on diffusing that instead.

steveminchington
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:30 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Post by steveminchington »

Hi Paul,

Are you using your flash in TTL mode or manual? You only need a tiny amount of flash power close up and that looks like a fairly powerful flash, and TTL doesn't work very well close up as the flash sensor has to read the reflected light and may not be in a good position to do that. If you are not using manual flash, try it, and experiment with cutting the power right down to 1/128th if it has that capability, then increasing it to suit. Check your histogram to make sure you are not blowing out the highlights.

Steve

pwiles1968
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Leicestershire - UK
Contact:

Post by pwiles1968 »

I am using TTL most of the current stuff is hand held the distances vary from shot to shot , the TTL was working fairly well at the longer distance couple of feet or so but the new macro lens plus tubes my working distance has reduced and this may be where I am getting an issue.

ChrisR
Site Admin
Posts: 8591
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:58 am
Location: Near London, UK

Post by ChrisR »

Whoa - that's a hard, narrow light source for macro, which would be expected to give strong highlights.
The angle "subtended" at the subject is about 30º. A partial sky would be say 120º all round, which would be 16 times the size.

Image
With a single flash you're a bit limited, but you can do a lot by
1) moving it closer and especially
2) putting a diffuser around your subject
See Oriomystery's site:
http://orionmystery.blogspot.co.uk/2010 ... -rigs.html

If you've got a wireless/commander mode you can remove the flash and just hold it wherever you can get it, near the subject. It can frighten the bugs off, of course.
A simple piece of paper held round the upper half of the lens with an elastic band would work, but almost certainly scare the bee.

Have a look at Simple Diffuse Illumination FAQ
Chris R

pwiles1968
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Leicestershire - UK
Contact:

Post by pwiles1968 »

That picture is misleading I lifted the flash up so you could see the underside of the hood normally it is folded down and much closer to the subject but maybe not wide enough still.

Ok I get the idea Chris about getting wide diffusion thank you for the feedback I have found a sheet of packing foam the White thin stuff I will try a sheet of that in front of the hood may post more images soon.

ChrisR
Site Admin
Posts: 8591
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:58 am
Location: Near London, UK

Post by ChrisR »

Ah - sorry, I see what you mean, from the angle of the flashgun hinge.

The thin packing I think you mean, has turned out surprisingly "transparent", do try paper!
Chris R

pwiles1968
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Leicestershire - UK
Contact:

Post by pwiles1968 »

OK I have been playing, once the concept of a broad light source clicked, it makes complete sense but not thought about it before. thanks to those that have helped.

Mark 1 this the last post on my bee thread.

Image

Then I played around a bit, found some old pieces in the art drawer and scavenged some clips from an old conference pass to Make Mark 2

Image

It gets a bit much when your kit looks more interesting that the insects you are photographing :), my son asked why I was carrying a sloth round the back gardel LOL.

But this is what I managed to capture with it.

Image

I have only played with light curves I think I can dodge and burn a little to reduce the highlights more but I am quite happy, will play and post result as seperate topic.

I maybe need to make the setup slightly more robust but happy with result so far.

mawyatt
Posts: 2492
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:54 pm
Location: Clearwater, Florida

Post by mawyatt »

Paul,

Here's a good reference for a inexpensive and portable diffuser. Scroll down for images of the diffuser.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/9578475@N02/

Best,

Mike

pwiles1968
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Leicestershire - UK
Contact:

Post by pwiles1968 »

mawyatt wrote:Paul,

Here's a good reference for a inexpensive and portable diffuser. Scroll down for images of the diffuser.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/9578475@N02/

Best,

Mike
What is the disk Material ?

mawyatt
Posts: 2492
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:54 pm
Location: Clearwater, Florida

Post by mawyatt »

Paul,

Sorry don't know.

mawyatt
Posts: 2492
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:54 pm
Location: Clearwater, Florida

Post by mawyatt »

Just took a look at the site. Look at the second flash diffuser, below the first as you scroll down. Looks like he's using a clear plastic thin sheet of a harder plastic that stays well formed around the lens barrel. Then this is covered with not-so-clear plastic that acts as the diffuser, probably polypropylene that's use in packing.

Here's another site with information on DIY flash diffusers (where I got the info on the first site).

http://orionmystery.blogspot.com/2010/1 ... pdate.html

Best,

Mike

pwiles1968
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Leicestershire - UK
Contact:

Post by pwiles1968 »

Yes found the second set that is basically what I have done temporarily with my camera, with the bits I could find in the house, that site is the same as the one Chris linked to, really great ideas for DIY flash diffusers.

I have ordered a small hood for the lens, it is basically a screw in barrel deep enough to put a velcro strap around, I will use it as the base for something more robust.

I am even thinking I may be able to make something that works with the inbuilt flash for use what in out and about and do not have the main rig.

mawyatt
Posts: 2492
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:54 pm
Location: Clearwater, Florida

Post by mawyatt »

Paul,

Here's a link to a cheap eBay diffuser. I ordered one for use when get some time to have some fun., anyway it's only $3 post paid and outside of a short attachment band (you can use a large rubber band for larger flashes) it's not too bad IMO.

Don't know how well it's works though, but looks like it should be decent. For $3, I just decided to give it a try.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-Flash ... 1874604540?

Best,

Mike

pwiles1968
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Leicestershire - UK
Contact:

Post by pwiles1968 »

Cheers for the link, the hood I have does a similar job, so I am ok there it was the light from the hood that was giving me some issues, the material between the Flash/Hood and the subject and the styrofoam does that quite nicely.

pwiles1968
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Leicestershire - UK
Contact:

Post by pwiles1968 »

I have modified my hood a bit further and tweaked my settings thanks again for all of the advice I got.

Modified diffuser
https://flic.kr/p/Tz3V36
https://flic.kr/p/TwaqY5

Sample Pictures
https://flic.kr/p/V1AYst
https://flic.kr/p/Vc3ApT
https://flic.kr/p/Vc3ApT

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic