fbpixel

Moderators: E.J. Peiker, Greg Downing

All times are UTC - 5 hours

  
« Previous topic | Next topic »  
Reply to topic  
 First unread post  | 41 posts | 
by john on Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:24 am
john
Lifetime Member
Posts: 11978
Joined: 01 Nov 2003
Member #:00404
I'm currently in Costa Rica doing some hummingbird photography and am having some issues with ghosting I could use some words of wisdom from some experts out there.  I am using 5 flashes...4 surrounding the bird and one on the background.  The flashes are less than a foot from the point of focus and my settings are ISO 200 to 320 (depending on the chest color of the bird) F22 shutter speed at 1/200 th sec and flashes set at 1/32.  Setup is in the shade so no light hitting the bird and I understand the principle of underexposing to eliminate ambient light from the equation.  It seems no matter what adjustments I make I still end up with wing ghosting on 80 or more % of the shots.  Is this normal or am I still doing something wrong.  Any help is appreciated....I'm stumped! I should add that I am using 3 YN 460 II flashes and 2 YN 560 IV flashes all set to 1/32.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:37 pm
User avatar
E.J. Peiker
Senior Technical Editor
Posts: 80472
Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Location: Arizona
Member #:00002
It is likely that the two types of flashes are the problem.  If any of the flashes on the bird have a different flash duration you will get ghosting.  The background flash can have a different duration.  My suggestion would be to go to a 4 flash set-up using the three 460's on the bird and one of the 560's on the background.  Those two flashes have different guide numbers so they will also have different flash durations for the same power setting.  I would also recommend not using f/22 as diffraction will rob you of fine feather detail, f/13 or even f/11 for smaller birds will give you plenty of DOF and still prevent the ambient exposure.  See my recent posts in the bird gallery, all were taken with 4 identical flashes, ISO 200, f/11 to f/14.

If this doesn't solve the problem then there is probably something wrong with one of the flashes or triggers causing a slight delay in one of the flashes but my money is on the two different types of flashes.
 

by john on Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:59 pm
john
Lifetime Member
Posts: 11978
Joined: 01 Nov 2003
Member #:00404
Thanks EJ...I will give this a try and report back tonite!
 

by Vivek on Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:25 pm
Vivek
Lifetime Member
Posts: 751
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Member #:01186
EJ is right and the different "light output time" for the two flashes is likely the culprit. One should use the *SAME* flash model for all the flashes precisely for this reason. We used YN560-IV last year and there were no issues. You can go down to three flashes for the bird (all YN560-III) and then use a YN560-IV to light the background. That may help somewhat. If you try this, please let us know.
-- Vivek Khanzode
http://www.birdpixel.com
 

by Greg Downing on Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:59 pm
User avatar
Greg Downing
Publisher
Posts: 19293
Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Location: Maryland
Member #:00001
The flashes must be identical, as EJ states, and all must be set to the same power (as it appears you have). If they are all the same flashes then perhaps one or more of them is near end of life, or otherwise defective and should be eliminated. 4 flashes should be all you need. As EJ and Vivek said the background flash can be a different flash or set to a different power, to a degree. The key, for me anyway, is the arrangement of the flashes and whether or not it looks natural or flat.  :) Hope that helps. 

Image
Greg Downing
Publisher, NatureScapes.Net
Visit my website for images, workshops and newsletters!
 

by Mike in O on Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:42 pm
Mike in O
Forum Contributor
Posts: 2050
Joined: 22 Dec 2013
Greg Downing wrote:
The flashes must be identical, as EJ states, and all must be set to the same power (as it appears you have). If they are all the same flashes then perhaps one or more of them is near end of life, or otherwise defective and should be eliminated. 4 flashes should be all you need. As EJ and Vivek said the background flash can be a different flash or set to a different power, to a degree. The key, for me anyway, is the arrangement of the flashes and whether or not it looks natural or flat.  :) Hope that helps. 

Image




Greg that is a really nice shot but I think that is what everyone is trying to avoid...an obvious flash shot.
 

by Greg Downing on Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:37 pm
User avatar
Greg Downing
Publisher
Posts: 19293
Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Location: Maryland
Member #:00001
Mike - funny you should say that as I was trying to demonstrate that in order to create some shadow and direction to the light, as it would be in nature, you have to carefully position the flashes so you don't have a. flat lighting or, worse, b. lighting that appears to come from multiple directions. I thought I picked a shot that demonstrated that instead of the all-too-common straight flat-lit flash shot. Based on your comment I suppose I failed.  :)
Greg Downing
Publisher, NatureScapes.Net
Visit my website for images, workshops and newsletters!
 

by Mike in O on Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:52 pm
Mike in O
Forum Contributor
Posts: 2050
Joined: 22 Dec 2013
Greg Downing wrote:
Mike - funny you should say that as I was trying to demonstrate that in order to create some shadow and direction to the light, as it would be in nature, you have to carefully position the flashes so you don't have a. flat lighting or, worse, b. lighting that appears to come from multiple directions. I thought I picked a shot that demonstrated that instead of the all-too-common straight flat-lit flash shot. Based on your comment I suppose I failed.  :)


Doesn't make it bad Greg...my favorite shots just happen to be when i can't figure out how they were done, I am always amazed on how you guys get the shot.
 

by john on Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:47 pm
john
Lifetime Member
Posts: 11978
Joined: 01 Nov 2003
Member #:00404
Thanks EJ...you were correct!  3 flashes on the bird and a much better success rate.  The only ones that show the occasional shadowing now are the real power turns....I guess that's where a 4th flash might help?  Thanks for Joining in Vivek and Greg...Nice shot.  Once I get the lighting nailed down I''ll be ready to try my luck at adding some flowers.  This has been greatly helpful. And yes....F 14 gives much better detail as well as buying a bit of extra distance for the flashes so it isn't quite as harsh.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:19 am
User avatar
E.J. Peiker
Senior Technical Editor
Posts: 80472
Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Location: Arizona
Member #:00002
Glad we could help! :)
 

by Greg Downing on Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:56 am
User avatar
Greg Downing
Publisher
Posts: 19293
Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Location: Maryland
Member #:00001
Do note that adding a 4th flash to a 3-flash set up will gain you exactly and only 1/3 of one stop of additional light - which is negligible.... You would have to go from 3 flashes to 6 flashes just to gain one stop of light. You should get no ghosting at all when shooting at 1/16 or 1/32 power (if there is no ambient present) even if the bird is doing summersaults.
Greg Downing
Publisher, NatureScapes.Net
Visit my website for images, workshops and newsletters!
 

by john on Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:16 pm
john
Lifetime Member
Posts: 11978
Joined: 01 Nov 2003
Member #:00404
Image


Thanks Greg.  I guess I must still be on that fine line between ambient light and flash then.  I'm trying to keep it from having that over flashed look.  Guess I'll underexpose a bit more.  Here is an example for the ghosting. (processed on a 10 year old 12 inch laptop so not sure how colors are)
 

by Brian E. Small on Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:01 pm
User avatar
Brian E. Small
Forum Contributor
Posts: 2744
Joined: 20 Aug 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Member #:00479
Agree with E.J. and Greg that very likely the two different flashes are causing problems. I don't know if it would make a difference but have you tried shooting at 1/64th power?
 

by neverspook on Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:18 pm
neverspook
Forum Contributor
Posts: 1028
Joined: 14 Jan 2006
Greg Downing wrote:
Do note that adding a 4th flash to a 3-flash set up will gain you exactly and only 1/3 of one stop of additional light - which is negligible.... You would have to go from 3 flashes to 6 flashes just to gain one stop of light. You should get no ghosting at all when shooting at 1/16 or 1/32 power (if there is no ambient present) even if the bird is doing summersaults.


That's interesting, Greg. I am having trouble figuring out why an extra flash would only provide 1/3 stop of additional light. Can you explain?

Thanks,
Roberta Olenick
www.neverspook.com
 

by john on Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:33 pm
john
Lifetime Member
Posts: 11978
Joined: 01 Nov 2003
Member #:00404
Brian E. Small wrote:
Agree with E.J. and Greg that very likely the two different flashes are causing problems.  I don't know if it would make a difference but have you tried shooting at 1/64th power?




I haven't tried 1/64 power Brian.  I find I'm a foot away with the flashes now and would have to move even closer to do that especially now that I'm just using 3 flashes on the bird.  As they are set at constant 35mm it doesn't leave much room for error to light up the birds when I get in closer.  Every species seems to have its distinct spot where they like to bounce off the feeder to and its often out of the lite area for the bigger birds.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:33 am
User avatar
E.J. Peiker
Senior Technical Editor
Posts: 80472
Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Location: Arizona
Member #:00002
neverspook wrote:
Greg Downing wrote:
Do note that adding a 4th flash to a 3-flash set up will gain you exactly and only 1/3 of one stop of additional light - which is negligible.... You would have to go from 3 flashes to 6 flashes just to gain one stop of light. You should get no ghosting at all when shooting at 1/16 or 1/32 power (if there is no ambient present) even if the bird is doing summersaults.


That's interesting, Greg. I am having trouble figuring out why an extra flash would only provide 1/3 stop of additional light. Can you explain?

Thanks,
Roberta Olenick
http://www.neverspook.com

If you have three flashes on the subject each one represents 1/3 of the illumination,  Adding another one adds an equivalent amount of light as each of those three (assuming they are placed at the same distance, so that would be the equivalent of another 1/3 compared to the original 3 flash set-up.  Alternately, if you have 4 flashes at equal distances, each one provides 1/4 of the light - it's just a matter of perspective :) 
 

by neverspook on Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:05 pm
neverspook
Forum Contributor
Posts: 1028
Joined: 14 Jan 2006
E.J. Peiker wrote:
neverspook wrote:
Greg Downing wrote:
Do note that adding a 4th flash to a 3-flash set up will gain you exactly and only 1/3 of one stop of additional light - which is negligible.... You would have to go from 3 flashes to 6 flashes just to gain one stop of light. You should get no ghosting at all when shooting at 1/16 or 1/32 power (if there is no ambient present) even if the bird is doing summersaults.


That's interesting, Greg. I am having trouble figuring out why an extra flash would only provide 1/3 stop of additional light. Can you explain?

Thanks,
Roberta Olenick
http://www.neverspook.com

If you have three flashes on the subject each one represents 1/3 of the illumination,  Adding another one adds an equivalent amount of light as each of those three (assuming they are placed at the same distance, so that would be the equivalent of another 1/3 compared to the original 3 flash set-up.  Alternately, if you have 4 flashes at equal distances, each one provides 1/4 of the light - it's just a matter of perspective :) 


Sure, it would add 1/3 of the illumination, but is 1/3 of the illumination equivalent to 1/3 stop?
 

by ronzie on Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:44 pm
User avatar
ronzie
Forum Contributor
Posts: 457
Joined: 26 May 2011
Location: 40 miles North of Minneapolis, MN, US
Member #:01779
f stops are based on a formula which includes the area of a circle which determines the amount of light hitting the sensor. Therefor it is a square law effect.

Stops on an aperture ring are marked in doubling the amount of light. f/5.6 squared is 31.6. f/8 squared is 64, twice the area of f/5.6.

1/3 of a stop = 2/3 increase in light.

Now you can expose my error in thinking about this. :)

This linked article has the theory behind f-stops but more importantly has f/stop scales of full, half, and one-quarter makings with the light variation for each value.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-number
 

by Greg Downing on Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:42 pm
User avatar
Greg Downing
Publisher
Posts: 19293
Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Location: Maryland
Member #:00001
neverspook wrote:
E.J. Peiker wrote:
neverspook wrote:
Greg Downing wrote:
Do note that adding a 4th flash to a 3-flash set up will gain you exactly and only 1/3 of one stop of additional light - which is negligible.... You would have to go from 3 flashes to 6 flashes just to gain one stop of light. You should get no ghosting at all when shooting at 1/16 or 1/32 power (if there is no ambient present) even if the bird is doing summersaults.


That's interesting, Greg. I am having trouble figuring out why an extra flash would only provide 1/3 stop of additional light. Can you explain?

Thanks,
Roberta Olenick
http://www.neverspook.com

If you have three flashes on the subject each one represents 1/3 of the illumination,  Adding another one adds an equivalent amount of light as each of those three (assuming they are placed at the same distance, so that would be the equivalent of another 1/3 compared to the original 3 flash set-up.  Alternately, if you have 4 flashes at equal distances, each one provides 1/4 of the light - it's just a matter of perspective :) 


Sure, it would add 1/3 of the illumination, but is 1/3 of the illumination equivalent to 1/3 stop?


Yes - 1 stop is always double or half whether it be aperture, shutter speed or flash output. So if you have 3 flashes and you need to double the amount of light for one stop you need another 3 flashes at the same power to add one stop, with each flash providing 1/3 of that full stop. 
Greg Downing
Publisher, NatureScapes.Net
Visit my website for images, workshops and newsletters!
 

by Greg Downing on Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:44 pm
User avatar
Greg Downing
Publisher
Posts: 19293
Joined: 16 Aug 2003
Location: Maryland
Member #:00001
John,

It's hard to say if it's ambient light or not but one thing to check is to take a shot without flash with the bird in the target zone and see if you get anything registering. If you do then you will get ghosting. You cannot have sun shining on the bird.
Greg Downing
Publisher, NatureScapes.Net
Visit my website for images, workshops and newsletters!
 

Display posts from previous:  Sort by:  
41 posts | 
  

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group