Help me get started with the OM-D and the FL-600r

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by ryanlogic, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    I have agreed to help my friend with the photography at his wedding.

    It's a Muslim wedding and so there are two halls separating men and women. He hired a professional photographer for the women's hall, but asked me to do my thing on the men's side. I am a little nervous but it's a free job and I think it will be fine because expectations are low...

    I have the OM-D and the Oly 75mm, 45mm, and The panny 25mm. And I couldn't be happier with the combination.

    I usually just shoot raw in aperture priority and come out with some great shots.....

    The hall is a little dim, which shouldn't be a huge problem for my primes but... If I want to keep things in focus it might get a little dim for the smaller aperture settings.

    Long story short, I bought the FL-600R and an omni bounce!

    I got it to work in RC mode and TTL with the little flash as a trigger. I understand all the menus and how to change the setting in the flash itself and in my OM-D. But I realized that there's a lot I need to learn.

    I've been playing around trying to get the settings right in my house but the flash keeps throwing me such a curve ball. The geometry of my usual work flow is completely disrupted by the presence of a flash!!!

    I immediately tried to shoot in aperture priority like always and the shots keep coming up dark with odd shadows and completely unexpected results.

    once in a while after I fiddle with stuff I can get good shots using it as a fill flash but for the most part my shots are crap ;)

    I really just want to put the flash on my tripod and place it next to me or put it on banquet tables and stuff while shooting to keep things illuminated but I guess I'm going to have to do some more homework before I can completely understand what should be done.

    any suggestions?
  2. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    Ok I am not an expert. But I can tell you what works for me.

    If you use the flash on aperture priority and auto-iso, the camera defaults to iso 200. What I found was that it tends to underexpose the ambient light leading to bright flash/dark shadows.

    In a dullish room if you increase the iso to 800 or even 1600, use manual to underexpose the ambient by about a stop and then use the flash to 'fill-in' you tend to get a pretty good balance between ambient and flash and little in the way of flash shadows.

    Using this method you can also get pretty natural shots with the flash on camera (especially if you have a wall or ceiling to bounce it off).
  3. christofp

    christofp Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 21, 2012
    I don't know if my recent experience can help, maybe you have another issue. But anyhow...

    I too had a hard time with RC mode and bounce flash.

    Until recently I learned that the master flash can influence the exposure very badly (causing under exposure), especially in bounce mode.

    With the help of another forum thread I found a solution (an IR filter that blocks the master flash). Since then I have much better pictures in RC mode.

    I wrote a posting about the issue here:

    Solution for my OMD remote flash issue: "Metz IR bracket": Micro Four Thirds Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

    So my advice in short form: Try some RC mode pictures while blocking the direct master flash light on the scene with your hand, a cardboard or even better with some IR filter.

    With the IR filter, I can get consistent results putting the flash on a tripod and shooting around in a room with 50m². Raising ISO from 200 to 800 might help too. But be careful: if your room is much larger or higher or has a dark ceiling, bounce flashing might not be possible.
  4. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    I'm going to go take some test shots while covering the master flash and see what happens.
  5. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    By blocking the clip on master flash I am unable to make the triggered flash fire unless it is right next to me....not sure I need the IR blocker.

    As for bumping up the ISO, it does work sort of but I guess I'm just not getting the dramatically improved lighting I expected.

    The white balance is kinda wonky too. It's probably just the lighting in my house I have multiple color temperatures and bulb types going on but things just seem orange when I use the flash. I have been playing Roth the flash white balance and there are two settings auto and flash respectively but it seems like sometimes I get warmth with both.

    another thing I keep getting a slow shutter speed on aperture priority that makes it hard to get a good shot when the subject is moving... Even if they are just waving their hands and talking casually.

    It may be failing logic, but I would think that with the flash I would be experiencing less motion blur.

    I need to make sure I am getting nice and crispy images when I shoot this wedding.

    If things get too complicated I will just turn the flash off and utilize the wide apertures like I always do.... At least the results are predictable (for me).
  6. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    The big day is no time to be experimenting. So, bring your flash but shoot in the way you feel comfortable. In other words, if you feel you can get a good shot without flash, shoot the way you normally do. Find good sources of light (big windows are great). Or just mount the flash on the cam and bounce off ceiling.

    On another note, if he's not paying you, you really shouldn't feel responsible for anything. :wink:
  7. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    I definitely don't feel responsible but it is my buddies wedding so I want to make things come out decently you know?

    the flash was more of an impulsive add on so I will definitely play with it but I'm certainly not going to rely on it

    The ceilings are a bit high so bounce flash might not work.....

    ImageUploadedByMu-431376158104.691090.jpg ImageUploadedByMu-431376158126.572186.jpg
  8. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Strobist: Lighting 101

    you might be able to get away with bounce flash at full power.

    My only experience with flash photography is what you're getting. But after reading the strobist, it's clear that the kind of results I was hoping for will require full Manual control.

    You'll want to adjust your exposure just the way you want it with the ambient light, and add the flash like you're painting with light.

    I would dim the lights in your house and grab some stuffed animals for subjects and play with manual settings.
  9. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    Is is possible to trigger the flash without using all the TTL stuff?

    Like can I just make the flash go off and adjust everything in the camera myself.

    in RC mode all the parameters change automatically supposedly to help me but it messes up the intuition I've developed while learning how to shoot without a flash.
  10. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Nice post, I was actually thinking of signung up for a class as flash also confuses me. Looking forward to seeing suggestions and if you're able to get a good workflow together.
  11. gnb40

    gnb40 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 9, 2011
    Sorry for being off topic but I want to thank christofp for his post. I've been fighting with wireless TTL now for a few months. I was so frustrated that I went to shooting on manual with my flashes. Just a few minutes ago, I tried putting a IR filter over the camera flash and TTL seems to be working fine. I have a standard set up for taking pictures for eBay and other sell boards... TTL failed every time. With the filter, it's working great.
    Thanks again,
  12. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    Hey guys, wedding is over.

    I learned a lot.

    1.) flashes are easy to use but very hard to use properly.

    2.) the Olympus 75mm is a good lens.

    3.) the panny 25mm always comes to the rescue.

    4.) I'm not good at flash photography... at all...

    5.) wedding photography is not my thing.

    I am pretty happy with some of my shots but I couldn't get the flash to magically make my pictures better so I just stopped using it....

    Learning how to use flash is kind of like knowing how to juggle with three balls and then adding in bowling pin or something cumbersome. You have to switch up your entire rhythm and adjust to the difference in weight... It was a humbling experience.

    Without the flash, the hall was dim so some of the shots have a considerable amount of noise, but I did the best I could do.

    I simply couldn't get good shots with the flash without playing around and this was definitely not the right time to mess around.
  13. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    bummer, I'm debating on whether or not to get into flash photography... and it seems I'll
    have to invest quite a bit more time learning for the few times I'll need it...
  14. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Brian Y.
    About to dive into flash with the 600 this month. Scared. But you just have to do it. I've been spoiled by fast glass but recently I wish I had a flash as well as fast glass.
  15. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012