So you need a smaller bounce card. For example, the SB-800 pullout card is 1.75x1.25 inches effective area above the head, and it is plenty for most cases except extreme distance. Just a tad is needed. We know small will not sell on the market, but it works best. Try cutting a sliver from a piece of copy paper or an index card, and use a rubber band.I havent had very good results bouncing off the ceiling - if I use a demb flip-it the faces seem too flat and if I dont use a bounce card I dont like the shadows.
That won't work if the walls are very darkYou can bounce off the ceiling with no problem. Recently I did some photographs at our family's yearly reunion. It was in a private dining room that was about 30'x20'. For the set up, I had the flashes in corners diagonally from each other angled at about a 60 degree angle bouncing into the ceiling. The flash covered the room pretty well. The settings I used on the camera were ISO 200, f/4 and 1/125. When I shot a subject in the middle of the room I had to open up to 2.8 but I was only running the flashes on 1/8 power (or 1/4) and had some room to go on those.
Give it a shot, and with some trial and error you will be fine, but bounce into the ceiling, and you might need to gel to match your lights to your ambient, just be aware.
Neat links,thanksI like Neil van Niekerk's work and the excellent information on using bounce flash presented at his site. For bounce flash check out: http://www.planetneil.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/4-bouncing-flash/
For the simple but effective flash modifiers he uses see:
Info on using bounce flash with dark or non-white walls:
I really like the setup mentioned by a.dickens as an example. One thing I would change however is the ISO. I find that most photogs are trying to use the lowest ISO possible for the least noise. That is a good principle, but it has to be tempered with the reality of the job situation. If you plan on making 16x20" prints of the kid candids, then by all means stick as close to a lower ISO as possible. On the other hand, the D80 can make excellent 8x10" prints at an ISO of 640 ~ 800. Why limit your options? There isn't any Kodachrome in the old DSLR, I assure you. Increase recycle speed, flash reach, or DOF (via aperture), by using a higher ISO where practical.
I did this exact thing shortly after typing the original post (except it was wireless). I intended to post the pictures to discuss the results but am having computer problems.How about holding the camera in your right hand and corded speedlight in your left hand (or holding a monopod in your left hand with the flash at the top)?
Pretty cool indeed. Using a monopod to raise the flash up high is an excellent idea. Good stuff of the wife and kids.How about holding the camera in your right hand and corded speedlight in your left hand (or holding a monopod in your left hand with the flash at the top)?
I've been able to get some (IMHO) pretty cool off-camera candid kids shots using that method...
Pretty cool indeed. Using a monopod to raise the flash up high is an excellent idea. Good stuff of the wife and kids.