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Black BG with soft light what am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Photography & Camera Basics Forum' started by David Payne, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. David Payne

    David Payne Always on Premium Member

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    20171204_204755.jpg
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    I am trying to get a black background with soft light from the side/below.

    I have set my camera and off camera flash as above. It does not show on the photo but the flash focal length is flashing at 14mm.

    As I am using a Nikon D5100 I have to use the pop up flash to fire the off camera flash. I place a piece of foil over the flash to direct it away from the subject. I have set the camera so that there is no image when taking a picture without flash f22 ISO100 1/200sec.

    If I let the pop up flash illuminate the subject it produces an image.

    Now my problem is the pop up flash is making the off camera flash fire but I am not getting a image even though I have increased the aperture a stop at a time.
    Which setting/setting are wrong?
     
  2. tenchy

    tenchy Rain maker Administrator

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    Ok first thing that strikes me is you are doing a good thing looking for a black image with settings without the flash, but those settings (f/22) are not what you are using later. I would confirm the shutter/ISO/aperture you want to use gives black.
    Then introduce the flash.
    You have the flash on manual (good) and I see it's on 1/128th power. That's a very low amount. I would set up the camera for black and the settings you want and instead of tweaking the aperture up the flash power a stop at a time. (1/128th then 1/64th and so on.)
    You should start to get a lit image.

    Whether you light the subject and keep the BG blak will depend on the subject to BG separation and the spread of the flash. Shielding it from the BG will help. I've used a cereal box in the past :)
     
  3. David Payne

    David Payne Always on Premium Member

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    @tenchy Thanks. It's your tutorial I have been trying to follow. I have a black BG behind the image.
    I will follow your tips above tomorrow.
     
    tenchy likes this.
  4. tenchy

    tenchy Rain maker Administrator

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    It's a little easier with triggers but looks like you are on top of the triggering with shielding the pop up.
    Oh I would add getting the black image with the pop up going but shielded. So then you know only the flashgun is lighting the scene.
     
  5. Kevin Fox

    Kevin Fox Always on Premium Member

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    Isn't there a setting on nikons to use the pop up as a trigger? That way it fires right before the shutter opens and then fires the remote flash when the shutter does open. The 5100 should have it and the flash should be in remote mode.
     
  6. David Payne

    David Payne Always on Premium Member

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    There is on the higher spec cameras not on the D5100. Nikon call it Creative Lighting System. But not all cameras gave all the functions. The D5100 does nof have the commander function. But it's Christmas and a trigger is on Santa's sleigh.
     
    Kevin Fox likes this.
  7. Scoob100

    Scoob100 Well-Known Member

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    I would zoom in the flash to restrict the light spill onto the background. 14mm on a bare flash will give a very wide spread of light (if you need to soften it then use a modifier / diffusion panel etc). Also make sure there is good separation between subject and background and ensure the flash is angled so it is not directed straight at the background (you could also attach card to the side of your flash to prevent spill onto the background if required - similar to barn doors on a studio light). If you had a dark frame in your image with no flash this should give you the desired results.
     
  8. Minor Problem

    Minor Problem Always on Premium Member

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    I wonder if the pop up flash's ttl pre flash is causing the slave to fire before the shutter is open. Have you got the on board flasg set to manual rather than ttl?
     
    Carmen likes this.
  9. Carmen

    Carmen Forum Geek :) Honorary Life Member

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    Agree with Minor problem. It's possibly pre-flashes setting the other flash off before the shutter open. Set onboard flash to manual to avoid this and turn down the power as much as possible on the onboard flash.
     
  10. David Payne

    David Payne Always on Premium Member

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    No I haven't. I suspect that that is my problem because I could not get a lit image on any setting of flash or aperture.
    Thanks

    Thanks.
    I have the on board flash set as low as it will go.

    Thanks for this. I have just discovered that the Yongnuo YN568EX flash defaults to 14mm when the diffuser panel is deployed which I was doing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2017 at 9:35 AM
  11. tenchy

    tenchy Rain maker Administrator

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    Makes sense and I think my Canon Flashes do the same.
    The fresnel thing is meant to broaden the beam so it is logical to have the flash as wide as possible.
     

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