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gregles
25th November 2009, 09:53 PM
Just wondering if anyone can give any advice on the appropriate setting for the in camera flash when I want to use it to lighten the foreground in a landscape shot. I have had poor results so far when I would like to cast some light on the foreground to capture some detail resulting in the whole scene ending up darker than when taken without the flash.

Any ideas welcome thanks

Greg

Zuiko
25th November 2009, 10:57 PM
I'd suggest manual exposure mode and adjust the flash output to suit the main exposure. The in-camera flash may not be powerful enough to have much effect on all but the closest detail.

dbutch
25th November 2009, 10:58 PM
Try using the camera on manual and meter for the scene, that way the camera isn't trying to balance things.

Dave

EH1
26th November 2009, 12:56 PM
I don`t think the built-in flash is powerful enough for what you are trying to acheive!

stevednp3
26th November 2009, 01:43 PM
I dont think the built in flash will do what you need, you'll need an external flash and move it off camera to focus on the area needed

gregles
26th November 2009, 04:40 PM
Thanks for the replies. Moving to manual:eek: That remains the dark side for me - most shots are in aperture or shutter priority, I feel safe there:o

I was looking for a way of using the flash just to lighten the immediate foreground as I would usually have a rock or a tussock of grass there to provide some interest. Most often when I have a nice sky that I am capturing then the detail in the foreground gets lost and ends up as a silhouette. I mostly use the sigma 10-20 so get very close to the foreground subject so with just a little pop of flash I might get the detail I want ? When I have tried to use the flash everything in the captured frame goes dark.

Zuiko
26th November 2009, 05:21 PM
Thanks for the replies. Moving to manual:eek: That remains the dark side for me - most shots are in aperture or shutter priority, I feel safe there:o

I was looking for a way of using the flash just to lighten the immediate foreground as I would usually have a rock or a tussock of grass there to provide some interest. Most often when I have a nice sky that I am capturing then the detail in the foreground gets lost and ends up as a silhouette. I mostly use the sigma 10-20 so get very close to the foreground subject so with just a little pop of flash I might get the detail I want ? When I have tried to use the flash everything in the captured frame goes dark.

When you use the flash with the camera in auto mode the camera bases the exposure on the flash output, which is fine if you are taking a picture of a person at close range.

However, for what you are trying to achieve manual exposure really is the best method - and it needn't be scary! When I started that's all there was! :rolleyes: Just set the aperture as you would in 'A' mode, then turn the shutter speed dial untill the centre point on the exposure indicator bar is reached. With a simple twist of the dial you've done what the camera would normally have done for you, and this will not be changed in any way by the flash firing.

However, the built-in flash is another problem. Firstly, it's doubtfull if it has enough power to achieve what you want. Secondly, it probably only has coverage for a 14mm focal length and if you are shooting at 10mm objects near the bottom of the frame won't be illuminated anyway. Even if they were covered, the lens would be between them and the flash unit, casting them into shadow, if you are very close.

So off-camera flash is the solution. Don't worry if you haven't got an FL36 or FL50, a cheap non-dedicated manual gun will do fine. Fit a slave trigger unit to the flash gun's hot shoe socket and trigger by firing the camera's built-in flash. You'll have to get the correct exposure from the flash by trial and error, by moving it nearer to or further from the object you wish to illuminate, but feedback on a DSLR is immediate and a few practice frames costs nothing. There is a way of calculating the flash to subject distance, but I won't scare you with that!

A better solution however, if you are trying to balance foreground exposure to a bright sky is to use a graduated ND filter - but these work best with manual exposure too!

Hope this helps. :)

photo_owl
26th November 2009, 05:38 PM
you can get round some of the issues you mention my operating the camera upside down (most tripods will handle this).

manual camera exposure control is a must IMO - and easiest

stevednp3
26th November 2009, 09:11 PM
You could also try using a touch and light the area you want and then play with shutter speeds to get the effect you want, Painting with light can also work great in the later hours of the day.

gregles
26th November 2009, 11:15 PM
Thanks very much for the replies. I need to take some time to digest the information you have provided and have a play about with settings, a torch and camera positions. I have been considering getting an external flash and have been having a look at the older t20 and t32 units which come in at quite reasonable prices

Just wish there was someone closer who could show me how to.....

I will of course have a go and let you know how I get on:)

Thanks again

Greg

BobS
10th December 2009, 09:42 AM
Hi Greg, at the risk of being dumbed down by traditionalists, perfectionists and other "ists", might I suggest 'photoshopping' your shot on a computer.