Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Flowers Just Because

Several times a year, I get a nasty 48-72 hour migraine. This weekend, that, coupled with some arthritis flare-ups, left me rather. . . . subdued. My dear, sweet, husband, for no reason at all, bought me flowers!

The perfect thing for practicing with my external flash! I shot toward a bright window, ISO400; f 18; ss:1.3", exposure compensation on camera -.33, and I think the exp compesation on flash was set to +.7.

I've been trying to figure out a good approach to using my flash. Here are the 3 methods I've found, at least in the way I understand them:

1. Set your camera to ISO: 400; f 4.0; shutter speed 1/40 and shoot. The reasoning is that ISO and shutter speed control the ambient (background) lighting, and the burst of light from the flash will "freeze" the action so the slow shutter speed will be fine. The slow shutter speed is suppose to allow the background to have at least some light. With this, I think that sometimes an f of 4 will be ok, like for one person, but in other situations, on want much more of an area in focus and want more than an f of 4.0.

2. OR, With ISO 400, first take a shot in P mode, of the background area, without your intended "model" in the foreground, and the flash off. Look at what the settings are that the camera picks. This is going to determine a good exposure for the background, which will be controlled by the camera settings. Now, set the camera in M mode, using the same settings determined by this "test" shot, turn on the flash and shoot. Camera may set flash correctly, or I adjust the exposure compensation + or -. What I don't like about this is that I'm not sure I'd always like the aperture (f) chosen by the P mode. However, I do have more control over the ambient lighting (background) than I would in the first method.

3. OR, With ISO 200 or 400 (depending on light conditions), shoot in A mode. I pick the f stop that I want. Set the camera exposure compensation at -1.0 (this will slightly darken the bacground); set the flash at +.7 and shoot. Again this may be exactly what you want, although may decide to increase or decrease camera exposure compensation, or flash exposure compensation. It might take some adjusting the exposure compensation on camera and on-flash to get what I want, but I should have more control over the outcome.

So, what do all of you think? Playing with external flash(es), what kind of settings do you tend to use?

19 comments:

Barb said...

Beautiful shot and beautiful flowers. I hope you are feeling better. I was wondering what happened to you. How sweet of Doug.

Barb said...

Actually, I just love it. The flowers look almost 3D after taking a second look.

pat said...

Can't help you with the flash questions. I avoid flash. I've been missing you; hope you are feeling better. Sweet Doug! As a fellow migraineur, you have my deepest sympathies!!!

KRISTIE said...

great colors

Margaret said...

I love your shot of the flowers. I don't know all that much about my flash, but do try the 'dragging the shutter' method you described, which allows the ambient light to be shown, as well as the flash. Sorry about your headaches...I get them, too. YUCK!!!

Maria said...

That husband of yours is a sweet, sweet man! And such a good doctor, too. I mean, is there better medicine that a beautiful bouquet of flowers - especially at this time of year? I hope you are feeling better now. Do you suppose the headache and arthritis flare up might be a reaction of sorts to the flu shots? Sometimes, the immune system works in strange ways . . . I missed your postings.

Shanna said...

I'm not sure about flash. I use strobes. I need to figure flash out though. The thing I did notice about this shot though is that I can see some hard shadows. Did you point the flash directly at the flowers? Did you use a difuser? More questions than answers...I'm no help...LOL

Nicki, said...

How sweet of your husband to bring home some beautiful flowers - hope you are feeling better. No clue on the external flash- it is on the "get down the road" wish list (probably move higher on the list come winter) - but none-the-less, only on the list.

Michelle-J said...

Gorgeous shot!! I have been trying to figure out my flash lately so you gave some great advice....I will be sure to take note!!

Cindi Koceich said...

I think it looks great!
You have a very sweet and smart hubby!!

Jess said...

Looks wonderful to me! What an awesome hubby! I am sorry about your ailments... I suffer from debilitating migraines too and they are HORRIBLE, I wouldn't wish them on ANYONE! Hugs.

tracie said...

Beautiful flowers! Sorry you had such a painful weekend though.

Beth said...

Beautiful flowers! I need to work on flash. If you find a flash tutorial for dummies, let me know!

Tricia said...

Absolutely beautiful photo/flowers!!!

Yolanda said...

What a sweet hubby! Glad you're feeling better. Love the flowers!

Jeanne said...

So sorry to hear about your ailments, but how fabulous that your sweet hubby perked you up with those gorgeous flowers!

Reds said...

Can't help you with the flash questions - haven't played with mine much... but how nice of your hubby to get you flowers - they are gorgeous! Glad you are feeling better!

John Cheney said...

I lofve the vibrant colors of the flowers. Especially at this time of year when everthing turns muddy browns and such.

Flowers said...

3d picture of a flower looks awesome on your blog and make your blog looks great. It looks bright and cheerful. nice combination of colours with creativity.