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1st time really using CLS

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Miguel, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. Miguel


    May 12, 2006
    Norwalk, CT
    I finally made an attempt at using CLS for some shots I did at a wedding. I was amazed at how simple it was to set up and with the quality of light I was able to get from an SB-800 fired through a 48" umbrella.

    D3/24-70 w/SU-800 & SB-800 fire through 48" umbrella

    NIKON D3    ---    24mm    f/6.3    1/100s    ISO 400

    NIKON D3    ---    36mm    f/8.0    1/100s    ISO 400

    NIKON D3    ---    24mm    f/5.6    1/60s    ISO 400
  2. So, did you use the umbrella for the getting ready shot also, or just the more formal images?
  3. leahp26


    Apr 28, 2008
    Southern NH
    These are great images Miguel - did you have the SB800 on TTL? Did you increase or decrease the compensation? I see you have pocket wizards - did you notice any big difference in using the CLS vs. the pocket wizards? Sorry for all the questions!

    I really like the #2 mirror concept. On #1 I might crop or clone out the duffle bag on the right of the shot.
  4. Miguel


    May 12, 2006
    Norwalk, CT
    I only used the umbrella for the getting ready shots. The formal portraits were shot with on-camera fill flash. Tha park we were shooting at was mobbed with bridal parties and I didn't have time to play around.

    SB-800 on remote and set to ttl on SU-800 +1ev. I've found that if I don't increase the ev I get underexposed images, but only with remote flash. On-camera flash is usually dead on.

    I only have used the pocket wizards with my monolights, but I would say the CLS system is somewhat easier since it meters itself and you can get by without a flash meter. Unless you're in a tricky situation.

    As for the crop, you are right. I didn't crop any of these, they are basically right out of the camera. The bride is going to make her own prints and will need to the images cropped based on the print size. I didn't charge enough to do any extra processing. LOL...
  5. Miguel, these are great. A really fine example of how the easy to use CLS can produce high quality images.

    I was most intrigued by your comment regarding the +1ev required when using off camera flash. I have found the same exact thing with my own photos. I wonder if anyone can explain why you have to dial up the ev to get a properly exposed shot?
  6. Miguel


    May 12, 2006
    Norwalk, CT
    Thanks Mitch.

    I'm going to have to try the Auto Aperture mode and see if I still need to dial up the ev. I've only worked with ttl so far.
  7. A nit picking comment and a thought.
    Almost anytime you're using a compatible Nikon flash/camera combination, you're going to be using CLS (Creative Lighting System), which includes the sophisticated off-camera flash capability which Nikon calls Advanced Wireless Lighting. In other words, mounting the Sb-800 on the hot shoe is also CLS. What you've done is use AWL, a subset of CLS. It's a nomenclature thing, but Nikon's implementation of flash photography is so complex that I think it's important to use the correct terminology.

    Second, I'd think long and hard about supplying someone a disk with my unedited work and then allow them to do what they wish with the images, especially if I were getting paid. You live and die by your reputation in this business and I doubt if the bride is going to do your work justice when she crops and prints your images. If she does a poor job and then shows the pictures around, your good name will be associated with whatever she does. My concern would be that her friend, for example, just might say, "What fruit cake shot these? I want to be sure not to hire him for my upcoming wedding".

    What you've done, in effect, is to turn your work over to a (most likely) totally unqualified photo editor and image processing technician who is going to represent your work to the public. I doubt if you'd pay someone to do this; why let someone do it for free?

    It might be OK, but I wouldn't count on it. I figure the job is less than half done when I transfer images from my memory card to my computer, but I'm sort of old school when it comes to things like this.
  8. jimeast


    Mar 17, 2008
    Metrowest. MA
    Nice Shots

    No Text
  9. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    I agree 100%. Even if I was doing it for free, I wouldn't turn over unedited images.
  10. Miguel


    May 12, 2006
    Norwalk, CT
    Nit picking is right. You're right about the Creative Lighting System and the term CLS referring to the overall Nikon flash system, but I would have to believe most who read my post still understood what I meant. I have seen the term Advanced Wireless Lighting, but never seen the acronym AWL, that's new to me.

    Second, the images are not "unedited" as you put it. They have been color corrected, exposure adjusted and sharpened. So they are not straight out of the camera. The only thing that has not been done is the cropping. Also I do not "live and die" for my reputation in the business. I'm sure there are some who do, but I'm not one of them. I'm sure the bride wont do as good of a job cropping the images as I would, but I hardly think anyone will think I am some sort of "fruit cake" as you put it. Members here in the forum look at images and evaluate them beyond what the average person would. So of course we notice things that they may not pick up on. If I never shoot another wedding again I'll be okay with that. I never got in to photography to make money. I got into it because I truly love it.

    Thanks for you comments.
  11. Miguel


    May 12, 2006
    Norwalk, CT
    The images are not "unedited", they just are not cropped.

    The bride had no intentions of buying prints from me, so how would I be able to crop them with out knowing the prints sizes?
  12. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Sorry - just going by what you said - "right out of the camera".
  13. Miguel


    May 12, 2006
    Norwalk, CT
    I was referring to the crop, but I guess I wasn't clear on that. My mistake.
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