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I'm beginning to hate mounted flash! Any ideas?

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  #1  
Old 10-28-2011, 07:49 PM
donandjess1117 donandjess1117 is offline
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Question I'm beginning to hate mounted flash! Any ideas?

Hi Everyone,

I recently had to work in low lighting with my mounted flash, which I am not used to using and I got terrible pictures! Any ideas as to what I can do to improve these shots? The harsh lighting and shadows are driving me insane!

If you have a solution, please post how you applied the fix. I am using Photoshop CS5. Thank you in advance!!!

Jessica
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:10 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: I'm beginning to hate mounted flash! Any ideas

Your mounted flash should have a light diffuser that can be flipped up over the flash or attached on top it. If you do not have a diffuser, you should rotate the flash head so that the light is bounced off a light surface like a wall or ceiling instead of directly hitting your subjects. To correct the images in PS, you should be able to obtain good results if you use the Image>Adjust> Shadow-Highlight command. There a a number of other ways to do it in PS but that one should be effective. If you are processing you images in Camera RAW before opening in PS, you can use the Fill, Exposure, Recovery, & brightness sliders to do the same thing.
Regards, Murray
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:31 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: I'm beginning to hate mounted flash! Any ideas

A bit of prevention is better than hours of cure....

You need one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Stroboframe-Ca.../dp/B00009UTLU or something similar. The idea is to make sure the flash is OVER the lens and not beside it. That way the shadows will be cast down behind the subject and not beside them.

And then you need to remember to keep your subjects away from the wall. I used to tell people to trade places, the photographer is against the wall while the subject stands in the middle of the room. Placing your subject against the wall is only used when you want to shoot them with guns.

I second Murray's fix ideas for what you now have.
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:25 AM
rudym rudym is offline
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Re: I'm beginning to hate mounted flash! Any ideas

Gary Fong Lightsphere.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Inverted.html
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:30 AM
rudym rudym is offline
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Re: I'm beginning to hate mounted flash! Any ideas

Then again what type of mounted flash you was using?. So many thing can be done before PS.
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Old 10-29-2011, 05:48 PM
Gary Gary is offline
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Re: I'm beginning to hate mounted flash! Any ideas

Post mis-flashed, select/copy and paste portions of the brick BG to cover the shadows, shifted the lighting with masked curves adjustments, selected the subjects to an alpha channel, blurred the BG for distance appearance and used the alpha channel to remove the subject blurring.

Cheers.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:20 AM
P_fuzz P_fuzz is offline
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Re: I'm beginning to hate mounted flash! Any ideas

what is not to hate about camera mounted flash?... unless, of course, you are terry richardson and making a lot of $$ out of "your style"
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:19 AM
burgerfeet burgerfeet is offline
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Re: I'm beginning to hate mounted flash! Any ideas

Apart from diffusing the light as previously suggested, firing your flash remotely or off-camera using either an extension cord or wireless remote will help. This gives you the freedom to position you flash giving you more control as to where the shadows will fall. You can also increase the distance between the subject and background. This will make the shadow less defined and will allow you to achieve better (shallower) depth of field. The more control you have over the final photo = a lot less retouching and frustration.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:01 AM
Pics2 Pics2 is offline
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Re: I'm beginning to hate mounted flash! Any ideas

In this picture your light is positioned too low. If you put your light in much higher position the shadows will fall lower and won't be seen by the camera. The trade off are more visible shadows in eyes and under the chin, but a simple reflector can fill in the shadows.
The point is to know what look you want to accomplish. Using off camera flash just because everybody is doing it, is pointless.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:39 PM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Re: I'm beginning to hate mounted flash! Any ideas

I always use a flash bracket that puts my flash about a foot above the camera...that drops the shadows behind the subjects so you have no background shadow issues. I then put a simple flash diffuser on the flash to soften up the hardness and the glare of the flash. These two steps combined give me gorgeous images with no harsh bright spots or annoying shadows.

I also use a multi pin extension cord between the flash and the hot shoe...that allows all the sophisticated Thru the lens metering to be done perfectly when the flash is on the bracket.

From a Photoshop perspective...I like Gary's steps and results above.

Ray
Retouch Trainer
Ray@GlamourRetouching.Com
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