Having trouble with the Demp-it

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Debbie H, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Missouri
    Hi, I have the Demp-it and diffuser and love it. I'm shooting this wedding next Saturday under this huge pavilion. The problem I'm having is when I have the Demp-it and diffuser on I think I'm losing a lot of wasted flash just going straight up because I'm have to either raise my ISO way up there and having to the adjust the flash level Manually so it will through enough light. Also this is at 1/250. Also this is with the Flip-it totally forward. I don't want to use direct flash because I really don't want that look. I do have the Stofen diffuser but I'm wondering if I will run in the same problem. Let me add- absolutly no way to bounce flash. The ceilings are 25 to 30 ft. high and no walls to bounce flash off either. Any solutions???:confused: Thanks!!
     
  2. I just had a paid shoot this morning and used the Stoffen pointed straight forward. Most of the light in the situation you describe is ambient light and the flash is just providing fill.
     
  3. I can't see the photo Debbie.
     
  4. Debbie, Have you tried a lower SS so you get more ambient and aren't relying on the flash so much? You should really be able to go lower with the SS (say 1/80) at 5.6 and ISO 400.
     
  5. Tom Young

    Tom Young

    210
    Aug 10, 2007
    Chicago
    That's the kind of environment that can really push a small flash very hard during an event like a wedding. You'll want to keep a close eye out for any problems with overheating which at best can lead to underpowered flash exposures. Having a spare flash to swap in and out for use as your main camera flash can help. Otherwise try and pace your shooting as best as you can.

    The Flip-it, while it will require even more work from your flash, can help out, but apply it carefully. The diffuser accessory will be most effective when shooting close-up's. In a non-bounce environment, you'll usually want to have the reflector angled relatively sharply forward with or without the diffuser in place. Removing the diffuser panel for more distant subjects will help a lot to conserve flash power and still allow you to use the reflector to help model the light. For very distant subjects, you may be best off just flipping the reflector out of the way and shooting directly. One big advantage of the Flip-It is that it's quick and easy to adjust for any particular shooting situation.

    You will most likely want to raise your ISO as much as you "safely" can. Also avoid stopping the lens aperture down beyond f/4 or so unless you really have a need for some additonal DoF. Lower apertures and ISO settings will require your flash to work a lot harder.

    Also, 1/250s may be too fast of a shutter speed to achieve a good balance between you flash and the ambient light levels. If the ambient light levels are low, dropping down to at least 1/60s or so will help. You can go with even longer shutter speeds but that may requre some additonal care with regards to motion blur. "Chimp" your LCD to help determine which shutter speed achieves the best flash to ambient balance under the particular room lighting levels. This is another place where using a higher ISO setting will be an advantage.

    If the ambient light is tungsten, setting your white balance to match and gelling the flash with a 3/4 CTO gel (as a starting point) can help to prevent a mixed light appearance, though it's good idea to take some extra care with a few test exposures ahead of time to be sure that you're getting the look that you want.
     
  6. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Missouri
    Gordan I'm going to try the Stoffen also. And yes it really is for fill. Thanks, Debbie
     
  7. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Missouri
    I'm going to get one up Rodney, Thanks! Debbie
     
  8. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Missouri
    I know exactly know where you are coming from and you are totally right. It is just so hard to handhold even with flash the camera combos. It is around 95 degees in this pavilion and sweat is just rolling off all of us. If you want a more detailed description I have a thread with pictures but the pictures are not with the demp-it. I will get one up when I was using the demp-it. Thanks so much for trying to help!!! Debbie

    Here is the link to the thread



    https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=178990
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  9. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Missouri

    Just a lot of sun and then almost dark. Quite a deal!! Thanks so very much!! Debbie
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  10. Tom Young

    Tom Young

    210
    Aug 10, 2007
    Chicago
    I see! From your earlier post I'd envisioned a dimly lit cavernous hall. I didn't realize you were working in an outdoor pavillion.

    As you know, you'll need to be pretty fast on your feet adjusting to the changing conditions. When the ambient light is bright, low ISO's, a fast shutter speed and (normally) very small lens apertures will be required to keep the ambient light under control but as the sun sets you'll need to be adjusting things towards the opposite end of the spectrum (dark cavernous hall mode).

    The main thing, whether shooting in bright sun, or night time darkness is to set your exposures to best take advantage of the available light conditions, whatever they are at the time. Your flash will then supplement that as needed, to help tone down the contrast, mainly by filling in the shadows.

    Shutter speed will be the primary modulator of the ambient light. Aperture will mainly determine the output requirements of the flash. ISO more or less splits the difference.

    The bright light conditions will be the trickyest as they'll typically require more output from your flash than dark conditions as the flash will be competing with the sunlight. Normal sync speeds would typically require you to stop the lens aperture down about as far as you can to prevent blowing out the sky (or that mirrored floor!).

    You can take advantage of the cameras high speed sync feature to help. That will also require some extra effort from your flash, making it less practical for use with distant subjects but as long as your working within 15 feet or so, it will allow you to use shutter speeds up to 1/1500s or so which will return the option of using wider lens apertures.

    With the flash mounted at the cameras hotshoe, the flash units TTL/BL (Balanced Fill) mode can help to automate problems with balancing flash on subjects that are placed in front of brighter backgrounds, though handling the problem manually will generally give you an additional level of control. A lot depends on your comfort level, but consider giving balanced fill mode a try to see how it works for you.

    For all the problems you'll have to confront, there will be that period just after the sun sets but before the sky darkens completely that you'll likely have some very nice ambient conditions to work under. Take as much advantage of that period as you can. Up until then, pray for some cloud cover! :)
     
  11. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Missouri
    Well this is another issue they have a ton of formals they want done immediatly after the wedding and they want them in front of the backdrop where it is so dark. For a group of 12 to 13 I would at least like to get a correct exposure at a f6.3 or f7.1 would like to go to a f8 but I just don't think I wil get them all lit at an f8. I've tried both of the speedlights on stands with umbrellas but when I go to portrait mode one of them will not trigger. I finally got it to trigger by moving it closer to the group so it would see the on camera flash to trigger. Good gosh this is literally a nightmare. I did tell them I did not have the lighting equipment I would like to have for their wedding. Of course they have no idea what you are talking about if I tell them I need to have my aperture at a f8.:rolleyes: And the mother of the bride asked me if I could get all the formals done in 30m or less:eek:. She has down 20 formals down and several will be with a 3 year old ring bearer that is a wild child. We are going to try and get 7 of the formals done before the wedding starts, the bride and bridemaids. Thanks so much for taking all this time out Tom to just to help me!!! I appreciate it so very much!!! Debbie:smile:
     
  12. gladjo

    gladjo Guest

    That's why I stopped doing weddings. Couldn't take the stress of maybe missing a picture of a lifetime event. Now I only do them for close friends for free. Less stress for me and a pretty darn good album for them. :Glasses:
     
  13. Debbie, if holding the camera in a vertical position is hard, why not use a tripod? Put one of your bodies in the vertical position on the tripod, and the other you can hand hold.
     
  14. jfrancis

    jfrancis

    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Which is why I always use PWs outside . . . :mad:

    Anyway - we are all anxiously waiting to hear how it all turned out this weekend :biggrin:
     
  15. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Missouri
    Yes it has been very stressful just thinking about everything that I will have to capture with out fail. I'm not real sure I will do another wedding again for the same reason. Debbie

    Rodney I have considered that. Tonight is the Rehearsal so I will see how everything is going to be set up. I have tried the monopod which is not bad. I have been practicing everyday with the heavy combo-D300-70-200-flash bracket-SB800 handheld and I do a over kill by shooting for a 45m-1hr without stopping. I'm shooting at SS at 1/60,1/125,1/160 I want some of the ambient light for my exposure because at 1/200 or 1/250 is making the background to dark and I'm not happy with the way that looks. So I'm trying to get my technique of of holding the camera and keeping it steady. Actually the other night I shot for 45 to 50minutes without pausing and only two pics were a little blurry. But still worried about the two pics that were blurry out of about 200 because they could be the must have shots. Thanks, Debbie

    Yes John that is what I need!! Well I'm doing a lot of praying-studying-shooting, and more praying. I have worried about this wedding for about 2 1/2 months now:eek: I'm so hoping more for them of course that I will shoot like I've never shot before and totally nail this for them. At this point I have to keep cool and keep my mind focused on what I need to do. I'm hoping that God is walking beside me and thinking for me tomorrow because I simply can not fail.

    Thanks!! Debbie
     
  16. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Missouri
    I just want to sincerely thank everyone for all your help and support. It has meant so much to me!! Debbie:smile: