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View Full Version : 580EX Let Me Down... What Went Wrong?



convergent
11-06-2006, 12:11 PM
I covered a championship soccer game over the weekend, and right after the game there was an awards ceremony that I wanted to get some shots of. I threw on a 580EX because the lighting had really dropped off. I took a couple of test shots of both teams to get things dialed in... shot with 1DMk2N and 24-105mm f/4 L IS. I shot Aperture Priority and ISO1600, 1/250s, f/4. I took a couple of test shots of one team (see image 1), then turned my attention to team 2 (see second image). The teams were side by side and I basically just took a few steps over to get in front of the second team, and fired. The first shot of the second team, and all subsequent shots taken with flash were completely blown out. I checked the EXIF and it was the same on both. I ended up turning the flash off and shooting without it. Any idea what went wrong here?

1.
http://www.northeastfoto.com/gallery/files/3/2/2/web_flashright.jpg

2.
http://www.northeastfoto.com/gallery/files/3/2/2/web_flashwrong.jpg

zacker
11-06-2006, 12:27 PM
did you inadvertantly put it into manual mode.. ? the flash i mean..

convergent
11-06-2006, 12:33 PM
Nope... I didn't touch the flash... just pointed in a different direction.

zacker
11-06-2006, 01:02 PM
weired... i though maybe the sun light was changing and since you turned the flash made a radical adjustment..is it still doing this?

Teresa221
12-03-2006, 02:34 AM
I'm not sure I can help too much, because I'm totally not a flash person (though, I will be purchasing the 580EX and a lightsphere in the next few weeks :happy ). I thought one of the benefits of flash was NOT having to crank your ISO? Just curious why you had it so high if you were using the flash.

If I were to venture a guess though, it looks like in the 2nd one you aimed the flash downwards (as well as the camera since you took the picture while standing and the kids are obviously on the ground...) and the light totally reflected off the grass and just blew out the picture.

I'm doubly no-help since I don't do either sports or flash photography :) Do you bounce the flash during doing sports photography? Or have some sort of diffuser on the flash? If you don't, maybe that would help in the future?

zacker
12-03-2006, 08:37 AM
Id look into the AV mode... I believe Manual mode might be the ticket.. you can crank up to 1/250 and (depending on ambient lighting and flash-to-subject distance) try F 11 or so. Hey, what was the aperture you shot with? try a larger f number and a tad longer SP.. remember, sp=control ambient, AP= controll flash lighting!
lol I do see the quandry here, one set of shots looking good, move a few steps and the next set blown out.. I think the cam or flash just had a brain fart!

convergent
12-03-2006, 01:38 PM
I'm not sure I can help too much, because I'm totally not a flash person (though, I will be purchasing the 580EX and a lightsphere in the next few weeks :happy ). I thought one of the benefits of flash was NOT having to crank your ISO? Just curious why you had it so high if you were using the flash.

This is a common misconception of flash photography. I'm sure you've seen the typical "point and shoot" flash picture where the subject is very "flashed", and the background is completely dark. When doing flash photography, what you ideally want is a picture that doesn't look flashed. In order to keep the image from looking flashed, you need to pay attention to the ambient lighting. You use the camera settings to control ambient light, and the flash (using ETTL) will take care of filling shadows on the subject. This is where the term "fill flash" comes from. If you are shooting a Canon DSLR, M, Av, and Tv let you setup ambient with the camera, and then the flash is fill. If you shoot in P, however, the camera drives the flash to control the lighting of the whole scene.


If I were to venture a guess though, it looks like in the 2nd one you aimed the flash downwards (as well as the camera since you took the picture while standing and the kids are obviously on the ground...) and the light totally reflected off the grass and just blew out the picture.

The camera was aimed about the same in both shots... and I do have a lot of other shots from this shoot that exhibit the same problems. I think, after much discussion about this problem with other folks, that the problem was that the flash wasn't properly seated in the hotshoe. This left the flash to fire at full power rather than metering from ETTL.


I'm doubly no-help since I don't do either sports or flash photography :) Do you bounce the flash during doing sports photography? Or have some sort of diffuser on the flash? If you don't, maybe that would help in the future?

This wasn't really what I'd call a sports picture... since the athletes weren't doing anything but standing there. When shooting sports with flash, bounce is an option. The thing is, that this was outside, so there would be nothing to bounce the flash off of. ;)

Neutron Jack
12-03-2006, 10:32 PM
I'm looking at the first picture, and it doesn't look to me like the flash was on (or maybe just didn't fire when it was supposed to....that seems unlikely, though)......any chance you routinely turn your flash off when you aren't using it, and maybe didn't turn it on? I'm looking at the player thats taking a drink in the first picture, and the shadows on his chest from his arm because of the field lighting just look a little too pronounced to have been flashed. The 2nd blown out picture looks kind of like what I'd expect to see on an ISO that high, and flashing something that close. Also, you can see that the flash lit up all the way to the bleachers on the 2nd shot, so unless a small mushroom cloud went up when you fired it, I think the most likely answer is either you didn't turn the flash on for the first picture (or you had just turned it on when you took the picture- not fully charged), or you had it set to no-fire master from a previous shoot and set it back to normal for the 2nd shot (or the switch was just hanging between positions) . I say the second scenario because I've done that ( and felt really stupid)-the flash fires just before the exposure just to transmit setting info to slaves, but doesn't affect the exposure--leads to a lot of head scratching...which is what I hear you doing.

Sorry if I sound like a know-it-all, because I don't know Jack (no pun intended)--just offering a possible scenario.

Jack

zacker
12-04-2006, 07:11 AM
even still the 580 is an awesome flash and in full TTL shouldnt blow out a shot..unless it metered something really dark or it was accidentally put into manual mode.. mike was the ISO set high?

zacker
12-04-2006, 07:14 AM
F4 is kind large for a flas shot to me, esp at ISO 1600..Hmmm Jack said it looked like no flas was used in the first pic, looking at it it does look like the flash didnt fire.. look at the shadowas on the field, they are leading off th the right... Hmmmm. Just a thought, does the exif say the flas fired? although, the exif would prolly say it did because it detected the unit on the cam was "On" so it might be lying..lol