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Old February 13th, 2006, 06:38 AM
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sportster44 sportster44 is offline
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Getting my flash off camera

I am looking for some input on getting my flash off camera.
What I am looking to do is use a hot shoe adapter and off shoe adapter with cable to get a Canon Speedlite 420 EX off my Elan 7e. My question is: I s this a good low buck way to go to get better lighting on indoor photos, or should I be looking at different options, keeping in mind low buck, easy to use and small.

Thanks


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Old February 13th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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ohenry ohenry is offline
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There are several inexpensive flash brackets available. The problem with keeping it low cost is the cost of the connecting cord to connect the flash to the camera, which is not inexpensive. Canon's will set you back about $40+ for the hot shoe mount cable. It would be considerably cheaper if you are able to use a generic sync chord between the camera and the flash.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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I've already bought the cord and the off shoe adapter. All I need is the hot shoe adapter, but before I get into this, I am trying to ensure that this is a basic way of getting better lighting for portrait style photos. I realize that proper studio lighting is the right albeit expensive way to go; what I am looking to do is adapt what I already have to, in order to experiment with lighting before I take the plunge for a proper set up.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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Are you looking to mount it on a light pole or on your camera? One thing that you should consider for portraiture using your flash as your main light would be to soften that lighting. This can be done with an umbrella (probably the most costly method) or using a diffusion material, either purchased or homemade. One cheap way to diffuse the light would be to use an old (clean) milk jug (the transluscent ones) and cut it to fit your flash.

Your approach is a better way than using the flash mounted on top of the camera, but still falls short of multiple light sources. If you're planning on doing more with portraiture than taking portraits of your family, I'm sure that at some point you will progress beyond a single flash.

Your most limiting resource at the moment is having a single light source. This has limitations, but can also lead to some creative imagery. Softening the light will probably be your most used method, but creating strong contrast and shadows will also offer opportunity.

Good luck with your trials.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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sportster44 sportster44 is offline
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I like the idea of the milk jug to soften the flash.
I am thinking of trying my older Speedlite 199A on the hot shoe adapter, and bouncing it as a secondary light source, but I'm not at all sure if it will work with this set up, or if it will work at all.

Any other recommendations for alternate ight sources?
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Old February 15th, 2006, 03:15 AM
Wade D Wade D is offline
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I use a Vivtar 283 on a custom bracket. I made it myself using 1/8" aluminum 1 1/2" wide. It gets the flash about a foot above the lens and I've never had a problem with red eye. The sync cord easily links the camera and flash. Works really well.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 07:03 AM
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Actually, I'm trying to get it off to about 45 degrees or more from where I stand to get a hopefully more professional look to my photos. I thought about a flash bracket but doesn't it still provide a similar look to the photos?
I've tried bouncing the flash off the ceiling, but in some photos, it looks like people have racoon eyes.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 04:15 PM
Wade D Wade D is offline
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For a more natural look than direct flash I point the flash straight up and rubber band a white card to the back of the flash head so it sticks up about 4 inches above it. Cheap trick and works well. Gives great fill for the shadows.
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