Board index Photography Technical Questions Fill Flash for sports action work

Technical Questions

Fill Flash for sports action work

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prinothcat
 
Posts: 662

Fill Flash for sports action work

Post Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:12 pm


I thought I had a fairly good idea how this was supposed to work. Nope, just blew a bunch of time and effort covering a Road Bicycling Race by not setting up correctly. I think my mistake was shooting in program mode. It locked my shutter at 1/250 which is max sync for my D-200. I then dialed back the output on the flash an SB-600 to -0.3 (1/4). I got beautifully sharp foreground, nice bokehed background and non sharp subject. It appears obvious to me that I need to be shooting at more like 1/500 or faster since the sync speed is only 1/250 and the flash wasn't stopping the motion... When I shoot normally with out trying to fill I can make nice images. Today was badly back lit, and very high contrast, so I knew to get faces I needed to shoot fill. Now I need to figure out how to do it right....

I was shooting right on my subjects, +- 10 feet (media creds are the bomb..) using a D-200 Shutter priority, iso 200-400.16-85 zoom at 16 mm. I'm guessing I need to be shooting full manual, with the flash in manual, dialed back to the desire power...

The good stuff is here 2008 Tour Of Utah

dang
 
Posts: 3780

Re: Fill Flash for sports action work

Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:13 am


Hi,
Specifically for Nikon, which you might like to browse: http://www.bythom.com/flashqa.htm

Luminus Landscape & other sites should have good articles too, even if not written specifically about Nikon. You can find a lot of links using Google.

Good luck,
tom

prinothcat
 
Posts: 662

Re: Fill Flash for sports action work

Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:02 am


dang wrote:Hi,
Specifically for Nikon, which you might like to browse: http://www.bythom.com/flashqa.htm
Good luck,
tom

Thanks. I remember that bit of info now that I reread it.. Funny how a single setting will f&%$ an entire day.. I had it mostly right... I was shooting Shutter priority and should have been in Aperture Priority... Oh well there's always next time. I still want to think there is no way around the top end 1/250 shutter sync speed though.

dang
 
Posts: 3780

Re: Fill Flash for sports action work

Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:31 am


prinothcat wrote:Thanks. I remember that bit of info now that I reread it.. Funny how a single setting will f&%$ an entire day.. I had it mostly right... I was shooting Shutter priority and should have been in Aperture Priority... Oh well there's always next time. I still want to think there is no way around the top end 1/250 shutter sync speed though.

I'm not sure about that, since flash duration is shorter than actual sync speed. Instead of cutting back flash power, try bumping it back up. With more power, duration is less.

Pre-adjust for background exposure with metering and lock (Not sure of Nikon terms, sorry) with your shutter at sync speed. Adjust ISO so you can use preferred aperture. Since flash should "fill" only the subject, you should be able to adjust flash compensation inside the camera, and still have the flash at full. Might work with Nikon, might not... check your manual and see what settings you'd need. :wink:

madlights
 
Posts: 911

Re: Fill Flash for sports action work

Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:15 am


I'm not sure on Nikons, but if you can disable your flash sync (or if you have a setting on your flash for fill flash) I'd do as you say and find a good shutter speed and an optimal DOF fstop, and shoot in manual mode letting the flashes TTL metering do the work. If it doesn't work well, then you can use the flash and manually (if you have an override to do so) figure using the guide no. at the specified power settings and distance, and then drop it some to allow for ambient light...which might require a few test shots and adjustments, but might be more consistent...especially when shooting from the same vantage point under the same conditions...if you're moving around a lot, then I'd let the flash sensor circuits do the work as you say using the camera in manual. I may be wrong on some of this, and I know there are many who are really experts on flash use on the forums and are familiar with Nikon's excellent flash systems, which I am not. I checked on Canons, in an extensive article on flashes, and it seems out of the dozens of combinations of cameras and flashes and settings, not over about 3 combos work the same as any other three, so as dang says I'd check your Nikon manual too.


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