10D+550EX+OmniBounce=Too Bright

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by isaac|1, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. I just got a 550EX flash and OmniBounce to go with my 10D, and I
    wanted to try it out at a Christmas party. So, after getting
    permission from my wife that I could bring my camera/flash to the
    party and take pictures instead of mingle and be sociable like I was
    supposed to, I started shooting. After about 5 shots my wife pulled
    me aside and told me that I was banned from taking pictures the rest
    of the night because the flash was too distracting and too bright. I
    could have used FEC to dial down the flash, but my histogram showed
    that my shots were properly exposed as is. I was taking all of the
    shots with my OmniBounce and the flash pointed at the white ceiling
    or at an angle. Is it normal for a 550EX flash to be too distracting
    or bright ? Do most flash photographers normally underexpose so that
    they do not interrupt people with the bright light ? I don't
    understand how I was supposed to get properly exposed shots by
    letting the flash control the brightness, while not emitting so much
    light that it distracted everyone. I need some advice please...
    (BTW, I was using a 17-40 f/4 lens)
  2. What ISO, aperture, and shutter speed were you shooting at? I usually shoot at 400 to conserve battery power and, if the ambient light allows, with a slow shutter speed so that the flash is working mostly as fill.
  3. Try taking of the omnibounce and boucing straight up, I have a client who is an international lecturer, he hates having the flash go off in his eyes during a lecture but doesn't mind at all if I bounce.
  4. Omnibounce spreads light "everywhere" and the flash has to put out that much more to compensate for the light that is directed away from the subject. The "misdirected" light hits most people in the room on virtually every shot. Your best bet in your situation is to ditch the omnibounce, go for a 45 deg. or so bounce off the ceiling, and you'll be surprised how close your results will be compared to omnibounce. The shadows created from the DIRECT light from omnibounce are about the same as without it (from the subject's perspective, it's still a tiny 1x3 inch light source). Omnibounce can help you where there are additional reflecting surfaces in the room like white walls nearby OR where the ceiling is really low (where you really need to spread out the flash reflection to get softer lighting on the subject) OR where the subject is very close (the flash that goes up and behind you can actually help serve as "fill" when it returns off the ceiling back toward the subject). The downsides of omnibounce are 1) flashing/annoying everyone, 2) reducing output and 3) picking up wall colors.
  5. Bah!

    Once people start seeing the photos, they won't mind!

    I use my 10D and 550EX at parties regularly. They just laugh at me for all the camera toys I lug around. I usually shoot ISO 100 with the omnibounce pointed at a ceiling.

    BTW: I get more complaints about the power of the flash from my P&S than I do from the 550EX.
  6. I think the real solution is that you need to start going to better parties.
  7. And leave your wife at home in the kitchen, preparing a late-night-return piza for you, chilling a beer, and waxing her legs so she doesn't snag the lingerie.....

    (Sometimes, I miss this sight. I mean site, honest.)
  8. Simple, if they don't like the flash then don't take pictures. Then the next day you have a reason for having no photo's.

    I usually only do events and parties when they actually want a photographer otherwise put it away cause no one is interested.
  9. I have never recieved such complaints from my guests. Perhapes you should have waited until sufficient adult beverages had been consumed, and then taken the photos.
  10. hmm i agree that flashes are annoying.. would it be impossible to take pictures without it?? how low is the lighting?? I think you could pull off ISO 1600 + NeatImage on the 10D without problems.. easier still if you have an IS lens..
  11. In MY parties, we usually are at least 4-5 people with cameras, and it's became a tradition to be half blind when you get out of it! Most people use P&S cameras with a flash at full power! (Not me tough) SOme people even bring sunglasses!
  12. Throw out the omni bounce and simply bounce the flash off the ceiling or walls. I find that (a) the lighting is far far better than when I use my omnibounce, and (b) the subject doesn't get blasted in his/her eyes as the light is diffused and comes from up above. I'm sure most people wouldn't mind this.
  13. Dumb question: Is it not the intention to use the omnibounce AND bounce the flash? The omnibounce will then direct a PORTION of the light to the subjects (for pretty flash catchlights) while the bulk hits the ceiling.
  14. Many factors can contribute to your flash seeming too bright. Since you are bouncing
    flash off the ceiling and have a omni attached your flash is probably using most of it's
    power to get a proper exposure. Hence the bright flash that has broader coverage to
    disturb more people. Also the height of the ceiling could have a huge factor in how
    your images are exposed. If they are too high then you could have underexposed
    photos. The ambient volume of light in the room relative to your flash can affect the
    way people perceive the brightness of you flash. I recommend using your omni-
    bounce at a 45 degree angle so you still get nice bounce light but also get some soft
    directional light as well. If you are concerned about using less power aim the flash
    straight ahead and use a high iso. Any way you cut it flash is disturbing but not as
    disturbing as a flat histogram.
  15. Just to pick up quickly on another point -

    "John Kantor , dec 22, 2003; 03:59 p.m.
    What ISO, aperture, and shutter speed were you shooting at? I usually shoot at 400 to conserve battery power and, if the ambient light allows, with a slow shutter speed so that the flash is working mostly as fill."

    Forgive me for I have not answered this myself through successful experimentation; will this technique will only work in shutter priority? Is it just a case of adjusting ISO and slowing the shutter and the camera works out the rest?

    Might it be that as well as annoying the guests yet these photos are likely to be richer in contrast and potentially more interesting?
  16. ...as well as annoying the guests *less*

    Sorry, its late.

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