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Neil's Book ON CAMERA FLASH (Plate 5-28)

jcalex3642jcalex3642 Member
edited January 2014 in post-production
Neil, got your book and it's a revelation to read; but I have a question on Plate 5-28.
In the picture you made of the lovely (Puerto Rican?) bride, I just can't figure out how you were able to "place the EV at (+)0.7 EV" and then "added flash at -2 EV." You say nothing about whether you were in manual mode or TTL mode (in either flash or camera) when you made those settings (or whether you were using Nikon or Cannon -makes a difference when using camera and flash compensation at the same time). I can't seem to reconcile this no matter how I try. Please be more specific about how you accomplished this - in either manual or TTL mode (or both) and whether the compensations were made on the flash or camera (or both).


  • TrevTrev Moderator

    Neil shoots Nikon, (Canon also for workshops, etc) and with a Nikon if the camera is in Manual Mode, and the Flash is in TTL Mode, you can adjust both which will only affect the flash output, but the Camera Body's compensation itself will have NO effect on the ambient light as long as it's in Manual Mode.

    eg: Camera (Manual Mode only) you can put a +1.0 EV, then on the Flash (in TTL) you can put a +1.0 EV which is accumulative therefore flash output would be the equivalent of +2.0 EV.

    This is only on Nikon, body in Manual, Flash in TTL.

    Now without seeing the image, I am presuming what Neil did was probably meter for the bride's dress, but when metering for white you need to add around 2/3rds of a stop, ergo the +0.7 EV on the body, and even if in manual which he shoots, he's metered, but then opened up the Aperture by another 2/3rds of a stop.

    That would give a pretty accurate exposure in manual for whites.

    However, then he added flash and obviously at those settings -2 EV, it was purely for fill flash for eye sockets, just to lift shadows, plus with the camera already on a +0.7 he needed to be mindful of the flash's accumulative properties when doing so.

    Presumption on my part re the precise settings, but that's how Nikon Camera Body (manual) and Flash (TTL) works.

  • Trev, thanks for the lucid, detailed explanation. I understand perfectly now. Your explanation is the only way the description of that shot makes sense! I just lost sight of the fact that "+0.7 EV" could be done by either the EC button on the camera (not used in this instance because Niel was in the camera manual mode) or by simply opening up the aperture that much (which he obviously did).
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited January 2014
    Actually I was a little wrong in that. If he opened the Camera itself as in Aperture, with no +EV on body which makes no difference in manual mode anyway therefore ambient exposure needed to be done via Aperture, [or ISO] as EC only affects the flash, so therefore the flash would have been at a full -2.0 EV.

    I think the explanation of +0.7 EV would have meant once he got a neutral reading in camera he then would have opened the aperture, so in theory the +0.7 EV is correct, but just not on the Exposure Compensation itself since it has no effect in manual mode.

    It's all in the wording. :)

    But basically that's how it works.
  • I understand what Neil did was the following:
    1) With the camera in manual mode, using the camera's exposure meter took a measure of the girl dress, framing only the white dress. To the exposure achieved he added 0.7 EV using the aperture value, ie if the opening was at f/5.6, then he added 0.7 EV, bringing this to f/4.5 to achieve the correct exposure.
    2) Then he went to the on camera flash and put FEC -2 EV to fill in the shadows.
  • Thanks Trev and Amedina for your comments. I believe we're all on the same page in understanding what Neil most likely did.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    jcalex3642 said: n the picture you made of the lovely (Puerto Rican?) bride, I just can't figure out how you were able to "place the EV at (+)0.7 EV" and then "added flash at -2 EV."
    In writing for multiple systems and cameras, the challenge comes in in trying to be as informative as possible on a generally accessible level.

    What I meant there was that you can't zero your needle for the white. You need to pull up the exposure.
    Similar to that explained in my 3rd book, Direction of Light, with the sequence of images of Anelisa in the white dress.

    It's a similar thought process to here:

    So now we have the basic exposure for the ambient light, which is as metered off the dress, but bumped up by 2/3rds of a stop.

    Then I add TTL flash, at -2 EV.

    I hope it makes sense now.
  • jcalex3642jcalex3642 Member
    edited January 2014
    Neil, it, totally makes sense. Thank you for responding. In my opinion, your books, in tandem with your Tangents blog, are unparalleled in quickly and substantially helping to raise the level of expertise of the average amateur photographer (interested in on-camera and off-camera flash) to a much higher standard. The techniques you espouse, along with a strong and intimate knowledge of the equipment you use (and the specifics of their interactions) are impressive. It's enough to actually rekindle an old passion for photography (left to wither away and die over the years). I'm speaking of myself, in particular. Thanks for helping me see an old friend in a fresh, new light (both figuratively and literally).
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