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Flash usage for landscape photos?

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Sunesha, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Sunesha


    May 3, 2007
    Malmoe, Sweden
    I tend to use the built-in flash on my D80 for litting up foreground subjects in my landscape photos. Thou I find the results are often disappointing. I just started to try this out.

    The built-in flash is giving a un-natural light, to much hard shadows. Also to bright light. I tried a bit different ways but came to the conclusion that built-in flash isnt enough. It also tend to be bright in the middle and lesser light in the corners.

    Also the problem that going under 22mm I get shadows in my photos...

    So I was thinking off investing in some off nikons flashes. Maybe one SB800 or one SB600 and one SB400.

    But I dont have experience if this would help my situation. As I just want some objects to be properly lighted. This especially in the late day shoots to bring forward the foreground. I tried to use the HDR effect, but I think even my bult-in flash does a nicer resultat. I think HDR isnt funny as I live southern sweden that day without windy conditions is rare.

    Maybe some other things than flash can help me out. As long as I can carry things by foot I am allright. I am old army guy so I dont care so much about weight as long it is on my back when transported.
  2. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    I've used strobes for years to do what I understand you to want to do. The larger units have higher outputs and can be zoomed in or out to change the amount of spread of light. You can also add diffusers to change the character of the light and colored filters to change the balance of the light. Nikon's latest CLS system makes remote flash firing very simple, with no cords. I used 2 SB800s on stands yesterday to do some bird portraits, triggered by the SU800 (I don't have on board flash on the D2x) and the results are great.
    Even with the on board flash of the D200, you should be able to dial in some flash compensation if there is too much for your tastes. My old ratio from the film days was about -2.3 on the flash for a filled look, but not so much that it was overpowering.
  3. Maybe you already know this, so sorry if it's redundant. The light from an on-camera flash doesn't reach out very far..................certainly not far enough to do you any good for "landscape" photography. Even larger units used for wedding parties won't make it out much farther than 50 feet.
  4. Perhaps it would be best if you posted a picture of what you are trying to do and then we could give you better advice. Using flash to light people in the forground outside is done all the time and it works great when done properly.

    Here is a link to a thread started by one of our members recently. See image #3 for an example of using flash in a landscape setting. Balancing foreground flash with a brighter background is a learned thing. You might also look at this tutorial to help you with your learning process.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  5. Sunesha


    May 3, 2007
    Malmoe, Sweden
    Thanks alot all,

    Seems like that flash is a whole subject that havnt touched at all.

    As a example here is one, dont care about the washed out colours. Havnt color profiled for internet use. So if you are on PC just check the foreground flower.

    I not so happy with results, nothing that I would keep. I was backed up in the with small "river"(hehe :p  dont know the english word for it). So I was in the shadows, so I tried use the flash to balance the light so the flower wont just get out as "shadow" profile. But got so strong shadows so it looks like hold a par of flowers in front of the camera. The sun was 9 o clock from the photos middle point.

  6. Well that is not all that bad. In bright sunlight like that you could well have a forground that was nothing more than a silhouette. When I am using flash in this manner I put my camera on manual and expose for the background letting the flash (on TTL) expose the forground properly. The other laternative is to keep your camera on program and your flash on iTTL BL and let the CLS do it's thing. I find that on manual I have more control of what I want the background to look like.
  7. Something I have done with wide lenses on a camera with a built in flash (N80, D100 for example) is to turn the camera upside down--that way the "shadow" is in the sky!
  8. Sunesha


    May 3, 2007
    Malmoe, Sweden
    I have set the flash on TTL in custom settings. As I am not really learnt how the flash does in manual. I mostly does my stuff in Manual exposure as I found that the D80 is very dependent what under the focus area when judging exposure. I found that TTL works great at evening shoots and midday sun shadows on human faces.

    I gotta try out manual a bit more I think. Havnt even touched it. I am thou happy that even my entry level D80 I got so much control over the camera.

    Thanks alot, I did some reading on my flash on the Thom Hogans instruction book I bought.

    In that photo I think I would like to have flash to light up a bit more to the left off me. I read that SB-600 was wireless.
  9. Sunesha


    May 3, 2007
    Malmoe, Sweden

    Thats really smart, never even came to my mind. Gotta try this.
  10. madone


    Jan 9, 2006

    Wow! Now that is why I read these forums. Tips like this I never thought of but yet so elementary. :biggrin:

    Thanks Palouse, I'm gonna try that!
  11. BigPixel

    BigPixel Guest

    You'd still have a shadow though. Better to use a dedicated strobe, off camera preferably.
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