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Old Jun 26, 2006, 8:15 AM   #1
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Happy new owner of a 580ex here. This is my first time to own a flash unit, andI'm delighted at the results of bounce flash paired with the catchlight card supplied with the 580.

My direct flash results, though, aren't as impressive, and I'm wondering whether there are any ways to get good photos in situations when bouncing light is not an option (e.g. outdoor concerts, high chuch ceilings).

I've been reading about diffusers like the Sto-Fen Omnibounce and the Light Sphere, but so far it's still not clear to me whether they're for direct flash or whether they're just aids for bouncing. If anyone could point out the difference and perhaps give suggestions for improving direct flash, I and those new to flash photography would very much appreciate it.
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Old Jun 27, 2006, 9:53 AM   #2
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Diffusers are used for direct flash. I can't imagine why one would use them for bounce flash, but that may just be a limit of my imagination.

I use the Omnibounce when I need a diffuser. It cuts down on the harshness of direct flash. It doesn't look as good as a properly-exposed bounce flash (you don't get the fill shadows of bounce flash, so people still look kind of flat, but the appearance is much better than that washed-out look of direct flash -- and you're less likely to get those stupid shadows on the wall if folks are standing too close to a background).Like you, I use it when bounce is not an option. The different brands of diffusers have proponents, but I don't think that there's enough difference in what I've seen to be particularly concerned about that. Any diffuser will do pretty much the same job.


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Old Jul 15, 2006, 7:58 AM   #3
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Check out "The Flip-it" About $30 delivered and does wonders for flash.

http://www.joedembphotography.com/flipit/

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Old Jul 16, 2006, 10:50 PM   #4
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takipsilim wrote:
Quote:
Happy new owner of a 580ex here. This is my first time to own a flash unit, andI'm delighted at the results of bounce flash paired with the catchlight card supplied with the 580.

My direct flash results, though, aren't as impressive, and I'm wondering whether there are any ways to get good photos in situations when bouncing light is not an option (e.g. outdoor concerts, high chuch ceilings).

I've been reading about diffusers like the Sto-Fen Omnibounce and the Light Sphere, but so far it's still not clear to me whether they're for direct flash or whether they're just aids for bouncing. If anyone could point out the difference and perhaps give suggestions for improving direct flash, I and those new to flash photography would very much appreciate it.
Direct flash can be harsh unless it's turned down a bit, especially when using the flash for fill. Try negative FEC of at least -1 on your next direct flash shot, and you should see significant improvement.

Regarding diffusers, both the Stofen Omnibounce and the Lightsphere work well, but they do things a little differently. The Omnibounce not only diffuses the flash, but sends the flash in every direction, causing the light to bounce off of every surface in range of the flash (Hence the name "omni" (many) bounce...). The Omnibouce usually works best indoors, with the flash head at a 45 degree angle. This is the best $20 you can spend to improve your flash photography.

The Lightspere improves on the flash by increasing the surface of the light source. This is the same premise that a softbox is based on. You take a small light source (bulb) and soften it by dispursing it through a larger surface. The Lightsphere usually works best with the flash head pointed straight up, although you can also angle the flash head at 45 degrees if there's a nice bounceable cieling above you. This gives you the benefit of diffused and bounced light at the same time.

Hope this helps,

Chris M
www.imagineimagery.com

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Old Jul 18, 2006, 11:46 AM   #5
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Lumiquest also make a mini-softbox that I've used many times. It's a more directed light, but softened & diffused. From about 4-5 feet away, the light looks very similar to a regular softbox.

http://www.adorama.com/LQSBM.html
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Old Aug 15, 2006, 7:47 AM   #6
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Kalypso, do you have any images (or know of links to some) taken with the lumiquest softbox?
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