Lighting Tips

Recommended Posts


I was taking a few snaps at my lads break dance "event" on the weekend there and was not overwhelmed by my images. Mostly due to the light in the place it was held.

Had to boost my D40 to 1600iso and still could get a shutter speed faster than 1/40th, which is not ideal when try to catch the motions of these little break-dancers.

Anyway, I did have at my disposal that weekend a pair of SB800s which I had considered bringing and setting up in whichever room was being used for the show but concerns over questioning parents and not a great deal of strobist experince etc and thinking that there would be plenty light from the large windows of the building I decided to chance it.

I could well have used the on board flash but I really hate the results that gets in these kinds of situations.

Anyway, to my question.

I've drawn up a little sketch of the layout of the room, it's a converted church hall with rooms converted for functions and sporting activities. The room used for the day is one of the sporting halls, maybe full sized badminton court dimensions, with three large windows on one side and artificially lit by a bank of fluorescent lamps on the ceiling.



Whilst I was there, fussing over settings on the camera and bemoaning the light, I figured that the only place I could put the flashes had I taken them would be on the window sills, which I thought would defeat the purpose as that's where the natural light was coming from anyway (although as the sky darkened they may have proven useful). There was no possibility to put the anywhere else as all three (non-window) walls were lined with parents and spectators and no place to put the speed lights.

Can anyone tell me if that was a correct assumption and maybe advise where you would have tried to place the flashes (bearing in mind the limitations of the room - and actually if there were no limitations) and the settings you may have used?

More info: my position is the X in the sketch (Y is for the performers) - another gripe was that movement was a bit restricted, I couldn't just get up and move around the room taking pics.

Here is a view from one end of the room, though you cant see the third window (would have been to right of camera), taken by my lad after his session was complete. Gives you a slightly better idea of the room.


(that's an edge of me on the left. The first adult face with the white trainers and pointy nose)

Enough rambling.

Appreciate any tips/ideas/etc for the next time I am in a similar position.



Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a lot of flash experience, but I would say bounce the light from the flash off the wall behind you or the ceiling.

And could you make the images smaller please. They are insanely large for no apparent reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea if you have light stands bouncing it off the white ceilings would help.

What would you be using to trigger the flashes?

Link to post
Share on other sites

^^ When I do interior imaging normally at work (crime scene stuff) that's my normal practice - mounted on camera bounced up onto ceiling or wall if the ceiling is dark. That was a consideration but it was initially location of the flashes. Would have been easier if there hadn't been parents strung out around the hall.

As for triggering - it's a little D40 i have and no wireless triggers so would have been triggered by the on board flash - I have a light scoop which I have on occasion used as a baffle stopping the on board flash from illuminating what's right in front of it but the mirror on the scoop punches it up into the air enough that the sb800s on SU mode can catch it and fire off.

I really should just get out and experiment with the flashes.

about the images - they scale down fine on my browser, mibi ust slow buffering in from imageshack? who knows?

Link to post
Share on other sites
As for triggering - it's a little D40 i have and no wireless triggers so would have been triggered by the on board flash

You can put anything on the hotshoe and it'll work fine... Pocketwizards, SB800 as CLS Commander, cybersyncs, etc.

The D40's pop up doesn't work as a CLS commander. Technically it'll trigger the SB800 units if they're in SU-4 mode, but that's a great set up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.