1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Group Flash strategies

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by cculler, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. cculler

    cculler

    313
    Aug 12, 2008
    Seattle-ish
    I'm going to be second-shooting a wedding this coming weekend, and I'm curious as to the best method for group shots (e.g. Bridal Party formals, etc). (I have 2 strobes, triggers, stands, and umbrellas)

    Should I bounce off the umbrellas @ 45 degrees, or would using a bare flash work better? It will be midday, under harsh sun, so the need will be for fill light and softening shadows.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  2. Hey cargasm! The awesome thing about flash photography is that there are so many creative ways that you can light a group. One way is to simply face their backs' to the sun and expose for the faces, using no flash at all. Something like this:

    cristyjason-3.

    Then, of course, you could find some nice shade and put them there, like this:

    cristyjason-6.

    With one bare, off-cam-flash, I will often hit them from the side to give a nice directional look, like this:

    kriskristin-25.

    Again, the possibilities are endless! Think about what look you are trying to accomplish and then think about how you can best get this look. Umbrellas will give a softer light, where bare flash will give a harsher light. Two lights will be able to light more even, where as one light will be more directional. Etc, etc. Hope that helps!
     
  3. cculler

    cculler

    313
    Aug 12, 2008
    Seattle-ish
    Thanks Brian. That's great advice, and those shots are killer! I'll be stoked if mine turn out half as well!
     
  4. Holy shizzle Brian, those are some real serious shots. Awesome images.

    Are you saying you used only one bare light for #3 ? Looking at the shadows (with my very limited knowledge) it appears to be coming from cam right but the girl far right legs confuse me - is the light from camera left on her legs direct sunlight ? Hmm her bouquet shadow is also suggesting light from cam right. I think. LOL.

    Once again wonderful shots.
     
  5. hensil

    hensil

    55
    Jan 19, 2007
    Abu Dhabi - UAE
    Hi cargasm66,
    If you are using flash in mid day for fill then use bare because umbrellas will cut down the flash light intensity. Remember your are competing with sun light.
     
  6. jfrancis

    jfrancis

    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Remember to watch your shutter speed outdoors also. If you go above 1/250 because the ambient is bright, then you will need to be in FP mode (and your flash intensity will diminish accordingly).
     
  7. ShadowForce

    ShadowForce

    793
    Mar 26, 2006
    Dayton, OH
    Sorry John but what is "FP" mode?
     
  8. It stands for "focal plane" mode, and allows your flash to sync with your camera at high shutter speeds. You can read about it on page 60 of your sb800 owners manual.
     
  9. ShadowForce

    ShadowForce

    793
    Mar 26, 2006
    Dayton, OH
    Thanks Frank!

    I suppose out of pure ignorance I haven't payed much attention to ambient light when shooting with flash in the past. I'm going to start playing with shutter speeds, etc. and examine the difference.
     
  10. jfrancis

    jfrancis

    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    The balance between ambient and flash is the true art of flash photography IMO. Understanding that shutter speed controls ambient, and aperture controls flash is one of the most liberating revelations in photography.
     
  11. find shade, any shade
     
  12. Thanks, my friend!

    In #3, it is one bare light, about a foot above eye-level and to the right. The shadow that you are seeing is the shadow from the light hitting her dress.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.