My Indoor Project & Journey into Off Camera Flash

Fuji Dave

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This is going to be an on going project while trying to get my take on Still Life, I hope that it will be the following camera's... Sony RX100 III-A7 III-A7C-Fuji X100V. I will be using on camera flash with the Fuji but need to learn how to use my Godox flash with the A7III and A7C.


On the Terracotta image I put the RX100 3 on my mini tripod set the timer to use, exif will be on Flickr.
Edited in C1 and Nik Collection.

The Soldier by Dave, on Flickr
 
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Paul
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That's nice Dave. Good lighting on the figure - I assume it is quite small? I also like the background, is it a continuous one, it looks to be?
 
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Fuji Dave

Fuji Dave

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That's nice Dave. Good lighting on the figure - I assume it is quite small? I also like the background, is it a continuous one, it looks to be?

Thank you Paul, yes the the figure about 3in in height and I was lucky to get a original box with 4 soldiers and a horse. I plan to take an image every day and try to understand how natural light can play a part in the image taking, I plan to use my Godox flash and Nissin MF18 ring flash as I really need to learn how to use a flash.

The BG is a black sheet that I have.
 
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Fuji Dave

Fuji Dave

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Just to say as well I will use our small bedroom when taking the images, plus my little table top that I put up and use. I have the Sony TT685s flash and a Fuji one too and the Nissin MF18 macro ring flash.
 
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Fuji Dave

Fuji Dave

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So I got 3 cameras charged up for today, but only used the Fuji X100V for my choice. I used the on camera flash but had it turned down and had the X100V on one of my mini tripods, using a flash for some reason has always scared me and I don't know why. Yes it was only the on camera flash but for me I have to start right at the beginning and I hope to start using one of my Godox TTL685 soon. We only have a small bedroom in our flat so I put my little table on the bed then cheated and put the tripod on some books. I closed the blind as the sun was coming through strong and I just sat there and watched how the light hit the main objects that I was photographing as I remember being told ages ago by @Phil V about lighting plus @Garry Edwards on taking an image of glass so the bottle of Bud is really a test. All my first shots was showing a shadow using the flash, so in between shots I was moving the pieces about and trying to set the right shutter speed and also using the EC plus I also took a quick mobile shot to show my bad set up but as I really did enjoy it I will properly set up on a solid base next time. Any other tips from you all would be great as some times I do struggle knowing what setting to use, so I look at the back screen and think Yes I like that. Enough rabbiting and here are todays images.


Terracotta Soldier by Dave, on Flickr



Terracotta Horse by Dave, on Flickr



Golden Elephant by Dave, on Flickr

The pull back shot.

Pull Back Shot by Dave, on Flickr



The bottle of Bud was just a quick test really as in a few days time I want to have a go at taking a photograph of a Glass Giraffe so that will be good fun. On a good note, I really enjoyed setting up and using the flash.

Flash turned right down and side bed lamp switched on, with lighting coming from the window on the left hand side.

Hi Bud by Dave, on Flickr
 
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Fuji Dave

Fuji Dave

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Here is the colour version with the same settings on X100V.

Terracotta by Dave, on Flickr
 
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Fuji Dave

Fuji Dave

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So today I thought I would use a black back ground and the X100V, one of my favourite pieces I have ( After my Egyptian stuff) is my chief, he's about 6in in height and using the Fuji I just love the colours in Astia Soft again used the on camera flash and not a lot of editing at all today. Tomorrow I will have a rest as going for a bike ride and chill out.

Chief Sitting Bull by Dave, on Flickr

Then a close up shot.


Chief by Dave, on Flickr


Then a straight Jpeg in Acros film sim.


Chief in Acros by Dave, on Flickr
 
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Garry Edwards
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A couple of suggestions . . .
1. Don't use the flash on-camera, it's just a convenient place to put it but it should only ever be used for very gentle on-axis fill. You can do a lot with just a single flash, but the best position is nearly always well to the side or above. Lighting from above always looks natural, because in the real world nearly all light comes from above. Light from the side, and especially at fairly acute angles, creates texture, which will work well for nearly all of the subjects you've shown here. By all means use natural light too, but it's very hard to control its direction so far from ideal.
2. Only have the camera higher than the subject when you absolutely need to show the top, which hardly ever happens. Whenever the camera is high it makes the subject look smaller, more submissive and less important. The height was OK with the bottle (but nothing else was) but all other subjects are well worth re-taking with the camera at least a bit lower, and in some cases pointing upwards a bit.
 
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Fuji Dave

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A couple of suggestions . . .
1. Don't use the flash on-camera, it's just a convenient place to put it but it should only ever be used for very gentle on-axis fill. You can do a lot with just a single flash, but the best position is nearly always well to the side or above. Lighting from above always looks natural, because in the real world nearly all light comes from above. Light from the side, and especially at fairly acute angles, creates texture, which will work well for nearly all of the subjects you've shown here. By all means use natural light too, but it's very hard to control its direction so far from ideal.
2. Only have the camera higher than the subject when you absolutely need to show the top, which hardly ever happens. Whenever the camera is high it makes the subject look smaller, more submissive and less important. The height was OK with the bottle (but nothing else was) but all other subjects are well worth re-taking with the camera at least a bit lower, and in some cases pointing upwards a bit.


Sorry for the late reply Garry just got back from a bike ride, thank you for the tips and I will try those in the next day or so.
 
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Fuji Dave

Fuji Dave

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I have just put in an order for a XproS TTL trigger and a lenCarta Smartflash, so my journey will begin once they arrive even though I'm scared.
 
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I have just put in an order for a XproS TTL trigger and a lenCarta Smartflash, so my journey will begin once they arrive even though I'm scared.
Fear of the unknown inevitably succumbs to knowledge:)

So, just 2 things:)
1. Work out your shooting position first and then put the camera on a tripod.
2. Make full use of the modelling lamp, that's what it's for. Don't bother with the light stand at first, just switch it on and get someone to walk all around the set slowly, pointing it at your subject. And, when you're happy with the lighting effect, Put the lighting stand up in that position and clamp the light to it. Now try raising and lowering the height until the lighting looks best.

You now have your starting point. Feel free to take some test shots using just the modelling lamp (at very high ISO) to confirm the light position. Now do it again, leaving the light where it is but adding a reflector, again moving it around until you're happy with the effect. Remember that the inverse square law applies to the reflector (as well as to everything else) so, the closer the reflector is to the subject, the greater its effect will be.

And then it's time to use the flash. Decide on the ideal aperture for DOF, then take as many test shots as you need to find the correct power setting.

Now, what's scary about that?
 
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Fuji Dave

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Fear of the unknown inevitably succumbs to knowledge:)

So, just 2 things:)
1. Work out your shooting position first and then put the camera on a tripod.
2. Make full use of the modelling lamp, that's what it's for. Don't bother with the light stand at first, just switch it on and get someone to walk all around the set slowly, pointing it at your subject. And, when you're happy with the lighting effect, Put the lighting stand up in that position and clamp the light to it. Now try raising and lowering the height until the lighting looks best.

You now have your starting point. Feel free to take some test shots using just the modelling lamp (at very high ISO) to confirm the light position. Now do it again, leaving the light where it is but adding a reflector, again moving it around until you're happy with the effect. Remember that the inverse square law applies to the reflector (as well as to everything else) so, the closer the reflector is to the subject, the greater its effect will be.

And then it's time to use the flash. Decide on the ideal aperture for DOF, then take as many test shots as you need to find the correct power setting.

Now, what's scary about that?


Thank you very much Garry, I do look forward to my journey even though it does frighten me.
 
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Fuji Dave

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@Bebop this is where my images will go.
 
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Sorry Dave - only just popped in here. I contacted them as I didn't know how to get that protector off either - I didn't know if it was a screw or lever and was worried about breaking it - it's a lever and then a bayonet fitting. I will watch that video, although I understand now. The lady at Lencarta directed me to one that changed the main tube. I guess we are such beginners they don't realise we need instructions just to get the protector off!

@Bebop this is where my images will go.
Great idea!
 
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Fuji Dave

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Sorry Dave - only just popped in here. I contacted them as I didn't know how to get that protector off either - I didn't know if it was a screw or lever and was worried about breaking it - it's a lever and then a bayonet fitting. I will watch that video, although I understand now. The lady at Lencarta directed me to one that changed the main tube. I guess we are such beginners they don't realise we need instructions just to get the protector off!


Great idea!

Just have to figure out how to put the softbox on when I unpack it..lol
Even though I don't have a clue what I'm doing, this is going to be fun.
 
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Just have to figure out how to put the softbox on when I unpack it..lol
Even though I don't have a clue what I'm doing, this is going to be fun.
It's sometimes easier to assemble the softbox, then lay it face down on the floor.
You can then fix the strobe to the softbox (as it's easier to hold / maneuver the light than the great big softbox).
Then pick up the combined strobe / softbox, and fit on your stand.
 
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Fuji Dave

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It's sometimes easier to assemble the softbox, then lay it face down on the floor.
You can then fix the strobe to the softbox (as it's easier to hold / maneuver the light than the great big softbox).
Then pick up the combined strobe / softbox, and fit on your stand.

Thanks Jonathan.

Glad I have said this is all new to me, but I'm really looking forward to it now.
 
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Fuji Dave

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You have to make sure the controller is set to the same channel and group as the light Dave.

Then change to the setting you want by selecting the group (with one of the side buttons) and then choose the setting you want with the mode switch.
 
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Fuji Dave

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You have to make sure the controller is set to the same channel and group as the light Dave.

Then change to the setting you want by selecting the group (with one of the side buttons) and then choose the setting you want with the mode switch.

The room is so small here, but I will try again but take a quick shot with my phone and put it up as I know it's me doing it wrong.
Thank you too.
 
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Fuji Dave

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Just checked camera Menu and as it's on silent it says Wireless Flash Off ?
 
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Fuji Dave

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:banana::banana::banana:


First EVER off flash test, OMG I'm going to love this, I will now put the softbox on and try.

Not good/fantastic or great but for first time I'm chuffed and now I will NOT be affraid of off camera flash. So my fun starts now.


Test by Suzie Law, on Flickr
 
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Fuji Dave

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OH I do love this Smartflash, and now I think I can say I'm not scared of my journey trying off camera flash, these were taken with the Sony A7C + FE 90mm on my big tripod plus put the softbox with defuser in and set to the 10sec timer. A lot to learn but I do have to say a Big Thank to @Garry Edwards and @Bebop and everyone else too. These are Raw with a small edit.

Tree Cone by Dave, on Flickr


Egyptian Cat by Dave, on Flickr
 
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Fuji Dave

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A7C + FE90mm and off camera smartflash plus a black BG this time.


Chief by Dave, on Flickr
 
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Fuji Dave

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Looks like you’re out of the starting blocks well done [emoji6][emoji106]

I felt like I was wrestling an octopus to get my softbox on. Good tip re putting it on the floor @Faldrax

It was fun putting the softbox on...NOT.
I have really enjoyed my testing today and look forward to many many more days of learning.

Who said off camera flash was hard :LOL:
 
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Fuji Dave

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My last one from today, but with a black BG.

Marble Bust by Dave, on Flickr
 
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Fuji Dave

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This is a quick phone shot showing how small an area I have to work in, but loved it today.


Step Back.jpg
 
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Fuji Dave

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That’s a whizzy backdrop you’ve got there!

We have so much stuff in the lounge hence why the bedroom is best, tomorrow or Sunday I will try the X100V if I can find the Fuji trigger.
 
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We have so much stuff in the lounge hence why the bedroom is best, tomorrow or Sunday I will try the X100V if I can find the Fuji trigger.
I'm all set up in a room that is being used for work at the moment (even at this time of night), so haven't had another chance to play :(

I'm really relieved to see you'd already set up this thread. I was feeling a bit responsible for setting you off in a new direction. Now I know it's nothing to do with me - phew! :ROFLMAO:
 
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Fuji Dave

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I'm all set up in a room that is being used for work at the moment (even at this time of night), so haven't had another chance to play :(

I'm really relieved to see you'd already set up this thread. I was feeling a bit responsible for setting you off in a new direction. Now I know it's nothing to do with me - phew! :ROFLMAO:

I might actually change the name of the thread soon :thinking:
 
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I'm now back from my "holiday" on the farm, driving tractors and so on, shunting trailers around, taking photos and doing general labouring work commensurate with my capabilities:)
Who said off camera flash was hard :LOL:
Tfhat would be you then:)
A7C + FE90mm and off camera smartflash plus a black BG this time.
OK, much better than your unlit one but . . .
Please try this American Indian (and perhaps some other subjects) with the softbox at the LEFT HAND FACING SIDE of your subject, slightly behind and pointing slightly forward. This will produce a much more dramatic result (which you may or may not like) and will also prevent any unwanted light falling on to the background - which you tell us is black but which doesn't look it because of the unwanted light on it - and see what you think.

You may find that the dramatic result is too much, but you need to try using lights for effect, not just for creating enough light to take a shot . . . The right hand side will of course be very dark, you can lighten it to suit with a reflector - something this size probably needs something around A6 size. Get a hardback book, prop it up on the right hand side, slightly in front of the subject (opposite position to your softbox) and fix the reflector to it, it's as simple as that.

Hopefully, you will have now read my book and understand how the Inverse Square Law works, so will know that the closer the reflector is to your subject, the greater the fill effect will be.
 
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Fuji Dave

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I'm now back from my "holiday" on the farm, driving tractors and so on, shunting trailers around, taking photos and doing general labouring work commensurate with my capabilities:)

Tfhat would be you then:)

OK, much better than your unlit one but . . .
Please try this American Indian (and perhaps some other subjects) with the softbox at the LEFT HAND FACING SIDE of your subject, slightly behind and pointing slightly forward. This will produce a much more dramatic result (which you may or may not like) and will also prevent any unwanted light falling on to the background - which you tell us is black but which doesn't look it because of the unwanted light on it - and see what you think.

You may find that the dramatic result is too much, but you need to try using lights for effect, not just for creating enough light to take a shot . . . The right hand side will of course be very dark, you can lighten it to suit with a reflector - something this size probably needs something around A6 size. Get a hardback book, prop it up on the right hand side, slightly in front of the subject (opposite position to your softbox) and fix the reflector to it, it's as simple as that.

Hopefully, you will have now read my book and understand how the Inverse Square Law works, so will know that the closer the reflector is to your subject, the greater the fill effect will be.


Thank you Garry for the help/tips I plan to have a go tomorrow, the black sheet is very shiny on one side and more a dull matt on the other. I will try a few of my other things I like to photograph and yes I will try the American Indian again, I really do like this lighting now and left a very good review on Trust Pilot for LenCarta.
 
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Thank you Garry for the help/tips I plan to have a go tomorrow, the black sheet is very shiny on one side and more a dull matt on the other. I will try a few of my other things I like to photograph and yes I will try the American Indian again, I really do like this lighting now and left a very good review on Trust Pilot for LenCarta.
Shiny is hopeless, try the matt side.
 
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I have followed this thread with great interest as it mirrors my own attempts at OCF and it makes it clear that I will have to buy some decent gear.
Can I ask what you actually bought for your lencarta set, flash,softbox stand etc and if you are prepared to say where from and how much
 
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Fuji Dave

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I have followed this thread with great interest as it mirrors my own attempts at OCF and it makes it clear that I will have to buy some decent gear.
Can I ask what you actually bought for your lencarta set, flash,softbox stand etc and if you are prepared to say where from and how much

It was thanks to Garry and @Bebop that I got the Smartflash and softbox plus a stand and for someone like me who is totally new to off camera flash I really did like it. My first few shots were crap if I say so my self, but with this set up I feel as though I will get the good/great shots I want.
Price altogether for the Smartflash and softbox plus stand was about £200 but I will get back in a minute as I will check.
 
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