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D200 & Lightsphere Flash Technique

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#1 mule_patterson


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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:50 AM

Hey y'all, Here's a sample image from a series I shot recently at a friend's wedding. It demonstrates a simple but clear example of CLS lighting. Afterwards, I include some shooting notes for those looking to buy one of these weird but very useful flash accessories. I don't shoot flash without one anymore... Attached File  group.jpg   281.59KB   40 downloads I used the built-in flash as the Commander - it and the SB800 have a 33 foot communication range so I don't wanna waste a powerhouse light source on Commander duties. A single SB800 and SB600 units were used in Remote mode and controlled at the camera through the Flash menu. Using the SB800 as a Commander permits control through its LCD interface - easier and quicker but you lose the use of a flash unit if it isn't well placed to light the picture. The built-in flash in this series was actually used to provide some fill at close range but I often turn off this flash and just use it to trigger the Remotes. Each unit had a Lightsphere attached. I have modified mine with self-adhesive HVAC aluminum tape as shown here. This is to increase output when positioning the flash head straight on toward the subject where no reflective ceiling or wall is available. Attached File  ls_mod_BRP7877.jpg   70.63KB   34 downloads Mounted on Bogen flash satnds, they were piositioned in front of the group to the sides and close to the outermost individuals - with the Lightsphere/flash head assembly positioned straight up as Gary Fong recommends. This produces the least amount of shadow and maximum 'wrap' on the subjects. It worked in this instance because... The ceiling was about 10-12 feet high - this is a major factor to consider in regard to light oputput - higher ceilings will force you to angle the head toward the subjects for more imllumination. They were placed a little over head height to cast shadows down and behind the group. As you angle the flash head more and more toward the subject, shadows will return as an issue to deal with. At his point more light modifiers are needed to control shadows and illumination - aluminized fabcric reflectors are effectrive. Setting ISO at 100 pushes you to shoot near or at wide open with an f3.5 zoom - a 200 ISO adds a stop of DOF, so these units are working hard to expose well. I always set flash ouptut by +3 in the camera's Flash menu for added available power. Hope this helps...
Brian "Mule" Patterson
Knoxville, Tennessee USA

DSLRs Nikon D300 w/ MB-D10 | Nikon D40
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Lighting (2) Nikon SB-800 | (4) Sunpak 422/433 | (2) Lester Dine Ringlights

#2 quicksilver02


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Posted 11 September 2006 - 12:46 PM

Brian, You nailed this one really well. The exposure looks spot on, and the overall composition is pleasing to the eye. Good job. :) Lee

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