Jump to content

Welcome to NikonForums.com
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Speedlight and camera settings for sunrise, backlit shoot

flash sunrise

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1
mebond

mebond

    New Member

  • Forum Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Country Flag

Hello all,

 

Looking for advice on the best camera exposure approach for a sunrise beach shoot using off camera flash and subjects backlit by the rising sun.  I would like to expose the ambient background -1 EV, and properly light the subjects.  I would also like to control depth of field.  Given that ambient light is changing second by second and there is only a limited window of time, I was thinking of shooting TTL, aperture priority mode in auto ISO (while keeping an eye on those values as the light develops), with an exposure comp in the camera of -1 and offsetting flash comp of +1, adjusting to get the right balance.  I will be using a d810 with a speedlight in a softbox, and a reflector or second speedlight at low FEC as fill.

 

Probably a simple question, but hopefully others on the forum can share the best practice here.  Thanks so much in advance for the help!



#2
Merco_61

Merco_61

    Nikonian

  • Premium Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,197 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationUppsala, Sweden

Site Supporter

I shoot in manual with manual ISO, but with TTL flash, in these situations as I don't have to think about these offsets to compensate for offsets and can concentrate on getting the photo I want instead of having to think like a machine to fool the camera into doing what I want.



#3
etphoto

etphoto

    Loyal Member

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 229 posts
  • LocationCincinnati
I'm a fan of manual shooting because you know what you're going to get with each shot. You are correct though, every minute the light changes as the sun rises but that is a simple fix by just adjusting the shutter speed to keep up with the increase in light Good luck with getting enough light with a soft box (and keeping it standing on the beach with the wind. lol) Depending on the brightness of the sun you'll need to throw a lot of light on your subjects. It easier if you only have 1 or 2 subjects (people) to light up because you'll be able to get the light source closer. Post some of the shots when you get them done.

Twitter: @PhotographyET

#4
mebond

mebond

    New Member

  • Forum Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Country Flag

Thanks for the advice!  I guess i will go manual...I was hoping to take the pics right as the sun was coming over the horizon so I wasn't fighting a lot of ambient light, and could get the best background.  I thought about the wind...may ditch the softbox depending on conditions.  I can have the strobe close so I trust power won't be an issue.  Ambient light changes rapidly just as the sun comes over the horizon, but I probably can keep up with it.  Since the window is a few minutes I was hoping for a "fire and forget" solution.  Sounds like it will be more trouble than its worth.  Again, appreciate the help.



#5
Ron

Ron

    Nikonian

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,454 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationMagic City

I sometimes use a small Westcott Rapid Box handheld in such situations. I use a SC-28 TTL cord to connect it to the camera. It's sometimes difficult to manage both the softbox and the camera... having an assistant really comes in handy here but you can also use a light stand provided you can keep it from tipping. I usually have my camera set to manual and let the flash do the computations via iTTL. Camera exposure is set to properly expose (or sometimes underexpose) the background. The flash takes care of the foreground.  It works surprisingly well but chimping is your friend. There's nothing like instant feedback to insure that you've got the shot.

 

--Ron



#6
morticiaskeeper

morticiaskeeper

    Forum Veteran

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 343 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationTewkesbury, Glos
I would go with manual exposure, so I could control DOF and ISO, but with TTL flash controlled via CLS.

Definitely shoot in RAW and be pretty fast in changing the flash settings on the body.

#7
etphoto

etphoto

    Loyal Member

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 229 posts
  • LocationCincinnati

I would go with manual exposure, so I could control DOF and ISO, but with TTL flash controlled via CLS.

Definitely shoot in RAW and be pretty fast in changing the flash settings on the body.


That's the point in shooting manual flash. Get the exposure correct on your subjects and you don't have to change flash settings as the sun is rising. the only advantage ttl would give you (unless I am missing something) is if your subjects are moving.

Twitter: @PhotographyET

#8
morticiaskeeper

morticiaskeeper

    Forum Veteran

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 343 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationTewkesbury, Glos
Given that time is short, TTL flash should help in controlling some of the parameters. Using the manual exposure for the sunrise.

I know it sounds strange, but keeping the flash on TTL just seems to work. Expose the big picture manually and let the flash control the detail. Most of my TTL metering is a fairly tight spot.

#9
dcbear78

dcbear78

    Forum Veteran

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationGladstone, Queensland
If you shoot manual (camera and flash) your subject will be lit consistently throughout the sunrise. It's the background that will change. This is fairly easily dealt with by regularly chimping and adjusting the shutter speed as you go. This would still need to be done even if you were shooting in TTL.
I guess you could shoot in aperture priority and dial in a -1 or -2 ev exposure compensation. But I'd still shoot that in manual flash.

Another thought, do you have the hardware to do off camera TTL?

#10
mebond

mebond

    New Member

  • Forum Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Country Flag

Hello dcbear78, yes this will be off camera TTL...nikon d810 and nikon speedlights.  I think manual flash will work if I do not vary aperture or ISO, since shutter won't affect the flash exposure.  However, if I end up adjusting aperture or ISO I would have to adjust manual flash output.  Not a big deal, but my inclination is to try manual exposure and TTL flash based on all this input.

 

Really appreciate the serious thoughts expressed by the group...



#11
dcbear78

dcbear78

    Forum Veteran

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationGladstone, Queensland

Hello dcbear78, yes this will be off camera TTL...nikon d810 and nikon speedlights.  I think manual flash will work if I do not vary aperture or ISO, since shutter won't affect the flash exposure.  However, if I end up adjusting aperture or ISO I would have to adjust manual flash output.  Not a big deal, but my inclination is to try manual exposure and TTL flash based on all this input.

 

Really appreciate the serious thoughts expressed by the group...

 

Using CLS?



#12
mebond

mebond

    New Member

  • Forum Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Country Flag

yes, using CLS



#13
dcbear78

dcbear78

    Forum Veteran

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationGladstone, Queensland
I used CLS once. Never again. Bought proper radio triggers after that.

#14
morticiaskeeper

morticiaskeeper

    Forum Veteran

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 343 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationTewkesbury, Glos
I find it wonderful!

I've used it for portraits, erotica, flowers, products and a wedding. The ease of use in changing the balance between channels makes it all worthwhile. Even if I'm carrying the flash, I would rather have it on a bracket using cls than on the camera.

It also allows me to use other people as flash stands - " hold this and point it there!"

#15
Merco_61

Merco_61

    Nikonian

  • Premium Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,197 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationUppsala, Sweden

Site Supporter

AWL works amazingly well if you give it a chance. The advantage over radio triggers is that it is always there as long as your camera has a built-in commander. The disadvantage is that it is line-of-sight only and can be overpowered by high ambient light levels.



#16
dcbear78

dcbear78

    Forum Veteran

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 696 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationGladstone, Queensland

AWL works amazingly well if you give it a chance. The advantage over radio triggers is that it is always there as long as your camera has a built-in commander. The disadvantage is that it is line-of-sight only and can be overpowered by high ambient light levels.

 

That's two massive disadvantages. Limiting the placement of your light and also when you can use it. There's a good reason why nobody who uses serious lighting uses it. And also why Nikon has dropped the feature from it's newest flagship models. I would expect the updated D810 to follow suit.



#17
Ron

Ron

    Nikonian

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,454 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationMagic City

You can get radio triggers that support iTTL. That's what I use.

 

--Ron



#18
morticiaskeeper

morticiaskeeper

    Forum Veteran

  • Forum Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 343 posts
  • Country Flag
  • LocationTewkesbury, Glos
I have never had a problem with triggering, although I do have radio triggers, they have stayed in the bag unless I have needed to slave an old Olympus flash.

Even with the speedlights inside a closed softbox, with the camera behind, they have always triggered.

For my daughter's wedding reception, speedlights were hidden away the night before and turned on as we arrived.

I have been very impressed, and surprised, at how good the triggering has been.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: flash, sunrise