Portrait lighting using compact camera's flash

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by jones, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. jones

    jones Guest

    It's a long story but I need to take some indoors portrait and full
    length pictures using someone's compact camera.

    Other than the ambient lighting in the room, all I will have is the
    compact's own tiny flash.

    I was thinking of getting a basic standalone flash and firing it
    using a light-sensitive trigger. What sort of cost is a basic flash
    trigger for that sort of job?

    Is there any ingenious way to block the direct light from the camera
    flash hitting my subject but still let the light trigger the
    standalone flash.
     
    jones, Nov 6, 2009
    #1
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  2. jones

    tony cooper Guest

    Unless you have other uses for the flash, why not just pick up some
    clip-on utility lights from Home Depot and illuminate the area? Four
    lights, as shown here <
    http://hubsphotographytips.blogspot.com/2008/09/cheap-photo-studio.html
    If the light needs to be diffused, just hang a piece of lightweight
    cloth over each one. Make sure you don't leave the lights on long
    enough to start the cloth burning, though.

    Combined with room lighting, you might have a white balance problem.
    That's correctable in most post-processing programs.
     
    tony cooper, Nov 6, 2009
    #2
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  3. There are various "peanut" and hot-shoe optical slave triggers
    available from Wein and other manufacturers. I think they usually go
    for about $20.

    Sure - use a bit of aluminum foil or white card to deflect the light
    from the built-in flash sideways or something. The slave triggers are
    pretty sensitive _if_ everything is happy working together. (I had
    endless problems with my optical slaves until I discovered that they
    really hated being under-volted by even a tiny bit. Proper voltage and
    they were happy.)
     
    Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner, Nov 6, 2009
    #3
  4. But those will only work if you turn off both the red eye reduction
    pre-flash and the metering pre-flash in the compact camera. I suspect
    few compact cameras permit you to turn off the metering pre-flash. In
    which case you'd have to get one of the more expensive kinds of
    optical trigger which is capable of ignoring the appropriate number
    of pre-flashes.
     
    Chris Malcolm, Nov 7, 2009
    #4
  5. jones

    J. Clarke Guest

    FWIW, the Wein Peanut Slave Digital goes for 35 bucks or 3 for 75--I'd buy
    it somewhere where I could try it though unless I had specific feedback from
    someone with the same model of camera as I had--it works fine with my FZ20,
    but doesn't work with my Coolpix 990 for example.
     
    J. Clarke, Nov 7, 2009
    #5
  6. jones

    Guest Guest

    there's no preflash on a coolpix 990 so any slave will work, or just
    use a sync cord.

    for cameras that use a preflash, there are slaves that are compatible.
     
    Guest, Nov 7, 2009
    #6
  7. WRONG. You fuckingly useless troll. Stop handing out advice for which you
    have no knowledge. You're wasting the time of people far more valuable than
    your pathetically inexperienced and ignorance-filled life will ever be.
    Unless you have FIRST-HAND knowledge of what you speak, keep your ignorant
    and inexperienced "suspicions" and assumptions to yourself.

    Many P&S cameras have manual flash modes with no pre-flash events. If there
    is a Manual mode on their P&S camera, chances are very high that it also is
    equipped with a manual flash setting, often having 3 or more different
    fixed-output levels.

    And here's one of those "more expensive" slaves that handle cameras that
    don't have manual flash modes. With a very nice tilting bracket that allows
    you to angle any inexpensive (or expensive) flash unit for bounce-flash
    lighting.

    http://www.adorama.com/SZ23504.html

    For just one of many models available out there.

    $33.50, wow, an extra $13.50! Nobody can afford something like that! That's
    so much more expensive! <eye roll>

    I personally own two of these. The bracket is extremely sturdy, the locking
    mechanism to hold the flash at the angle of your choice is very secure and
    locks down solid. Build quality was surprisingly much better than I had
    ever expected for that price. When the slave unit is switched to
    digital-camera mode it adequately ignores all pre-flash events on all
    camera settings that have tested it with, with a variety of P&S cameras. I
    only have to remember to turn that off when I switch my cameras to manual
    flash output modes. (Now, you might ask, why on earth would he buy a slave
    that fits into a hot-shoe for his P&S cameras? Because all my P&S cameras
    have hot-shoes, but not all my flashes are of the lower trigger voltage
    limits of today's digital cameras. I also like firing the flashes held on
    extension brackets or mounted on tripods further away from the cameras,
    situation dependent. Mostly when photographing more distant wildlife at
    night with focused strobes so as not to impart red, blue, orange, or
    green-eye in the images. Rare is red-eye ever a problem in wildlife flash
    photography.)
     
    Educationg Trolls Is An Endless Task, Nov 7, 2009
    #7
  8. jones

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Go away, asshole troll.
     
    Ray Fischer, Nov 7, 2009
    #8
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