Most of this roll was used to experiment with my new SB-28. I’m shooting film without a flash meter or a dSLR to meter with so perfecting flash will be a steep learning curve. Here are a few conclusions I came to based on the exposures (feel free to correct me if you know better):
-When the camera’s meter reports underexposure using direct flash with TTL in the daytime, the subject will be exposed harshly and the background will be underexposed (to the point where the afternoon sky is black).
-The bounce card has very little visible effect on the subject unless the camera aperture is on f/8 or wider using TTL in the afternoon sun.
-The bounce card can be utilized more effectively by setting the flash mode to Auto in the daytime. Set the flash aperture down two stops from the camera aperture for a decently filled in subject (e.g., if the camera aperture is at f/8, set the flash to think the aperture is at f/16).
-To get a good fill flash in the daytime, set the flash to Auto, then set the flash to think the camera aperture is two stops wider (e.g., if the camera aperture is f/8, set the flash to think the aperture is f/4).
-At night when the flash is the only major source of light and the flash is set to TTL pointing directly at the subject, try not to use an aperture any wider than f/5.6 (otherwise there’s too much flash power and the subject is blown out).
-Get a the cheapest Nikon dSLR and figure it all out in an hour as opposed months.
Here is a shot with and without fill flash:
The above photo is without flash. Here I’m side-lit and you can’t see my eyes at all. I’m also underexposed relative to the background.
Here I have direct flash lighting up my sweaty mug. My face is now well exposed relative to the background and more prominently a subject. While the light could be softer, it doesn’t necessarily look unnatural – it looks like I’m front-lit by the sun.
Lighting guys always emphasize taking the flash off the camera and never using direct flash, but I think that level of perfection is more relevant to studio work and paid professional work like weddings. I have no intention to do either. I just like to shoot while hanging out, walking around or traveling. So for me, the flash stays on the camera.
Here are a few shots from a morning at the park a few days ago. All pictures with me or Amy in them are shot with a fill flash: