Shooting with Flash (And Motofest 2018)

Samathy
Samathy
Jun 5, 2018 · 4 min read

Talking about shooting with an on-camera flash at Coventry Motofest 2018.

I’ve never really used my flashgun before, mostly because on the odd occasion that I have used it at a shoot I ended up with under, or over exposed images and thus never wanted to risk wasting time and shots just to practice.

Last Saturday I decided to seriously try out my flash at an event where my photos were purely for myself, rather than with the intent to sell them.
I was shocked to find my results to be fantastic!

“The prettiest girl is riding in the ‘Stang!”

The day was probably quite appropriate for shooting with an on camera flash.
It was a little overcast and although bright-ish, things just were not popping very much.
So adding some light from a flash worked well.

The subjects seemed to work for flash too, shiny cars!

A row of MGs

I found that to get the exposure right I had to dial up the shutter speed or aperture so my camera was showing a couple 0.1 stops over exposure, otherwise the image would look too dark. Despite using i-TTL mode.
I wonder if this is because of using a diffuser and angling the flash at about 60 degrees, some of the light would be directed upwards and not hit the subject.

Using the flash without a diffuser was terrible, all images just had hugely over-exposed sections where the flash hit.
The regular hard-plastic diffuser that came with my flash is ‘fine’ — but the new one is certainly better. It results in a softer light that is much more directed towards the subject than the plastic one.
Instead, I used a diffuser I’d got from Amazon a few days before.

Flash comparison — Both same shutter, aperture and ISO. The left is lit with the new diffuser, the right with the hard plastic one.

From the above comparison it is clear to see that the new diffuser provides more light more widely spread across the image.

Example of a portrait photo where the flash is being bounced towards the subject well by rotating the diffuser.

The added benefit of this item is that it has a reflector in the back on the inside — allowing me to easily shoot portrait with on-camera flash and just rotate the diffuser so that light is still being bounced toward the subject from the front. Rather than the light ended up hitting the left or right side of the subject.

Below are a bunch of my favourite images from the event. But I got about 100 good ones.

It was a lot of fun being able to try out new equipment without the pressure of having to produce good images.

I now feel confident to get good photos with an on-camera flash.

Shooting different subject for once was also fun! When shooting static subjects one has a lot more time to choose the composition of an image. Although I note now that most of my images see the subject square in the centre of the frame.

60% of the time, works every time
Whatever level of zip ties you’re on, you’re not on this level of zip ties.
Lego block engine cover in a Nissan Cube
An Aston Martin V8 Vantage in Gulf livery
More Gulf livery, this time on a VW Golf.
Jacuar
I also got to try out my 100mm macro lens — although it is certainly too long a focal length for shooting cars.
Ford V8 with Holley carburettor.
I call this one “I like to chop up pedestrians” — also thats the smallest number plate I’ve ever seen.
More lights = Better
Skele says Hi.

Samathy

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Samathy

Magical Code Fairy | CompSci @covcampus | @PrideCov Trustee & LGBT Activist