Help Please - Shoot comming up

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Plumballs, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. Plumballs

    Plumballs Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 11, 2014
    Whitchurch, Hampshire
    Real Name:
    Hi All,

    I have been asked to do a project and I am hoping for a bit of advice from the combined knowledge on this site.

    A work colleague has asked me to do a favour for his better half. She is a member of a local martial arts club and they are looking to have a promotional drive, for which I have been asked to take the photos. I do not know the final medium at the moment out of web or leaflet which will obviously have a bearing on the type of shots I take, but I do want to make the most of the opportunity and be a little creative.

    My camera is an EM10 which I have enough experience with to be comfortable with its basic usage. For lenses I only have 3 to choose from Kit 14-42mm, 45mm f1.8 and 40-150 std zoom. I have just ordered 2 Yongnuo YN560 IV speed lights, with an YN560-TX controller, but I am not sure the controller will arrive before this shoot. I do not have experience with off camera flash and do not know how necessary a light stand is as I think it comes with a little stand to rest it upon the floor, and I should also have spare bodies to hold the flash for me? The hall they use is a badly lit fairly small rectangle with white sloping ceilings, so there should be plenty of opportunity to bounce the flash around.

    For settings I am thinking the shutter speed will max out at 180 (please correct me if I am wrong?). ISO I will adjust at its lowest to allow me to work the aperture with the ambient light to be approx. 2 stops under exposed. I think this should allow the flashes to light the subject to stand out from the background??? Should I use second curtain???

    All advice very welcome as this is my first time doing this type of thing.

  2. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Real Name:
    It would help to know what kind of photos. Portraits, matches staged or real, posed photos of moves, groups, individuals, classes, etc.

    Both your idea of adjusting ISO to be about a stop - two under exposure and 2nd curtain sync are good - I would not hesitate to go to 1600. However I would take the shutter speed down to 1/100, 1/60 or maybe even a 1/30th and depend on the flash to freeze action and shoot wide open apertures - unless shooting groups or real matches in which case you may want to close down a stop. Unless you want all of the light coming from the flashes.

    I'd bounce an on camera flash off of one of the walls, windows, curtains, anything but mirrors and have the other flash set to bounce off of a corner ceiling/walls intersection of the room. Set you ambient exposure, then your corner bounce flash (slave mode unless others are using flash) starting at 1/4 power - adjust to get you to about 1/2 stop short of a decent exposure . Then add your on camera bounce flash.

    Photographing martial arts matches is a challenge and it really helps to know at least the basics. If not, I'd use High Sequential shooting.

    This will require that your flashes be at 1/2 to 1/4 or less power to keep pace. Slow the fps until your flash can keep up.

    If all of this is too much, just use direct flash, a good balance of ambient and flash exposure can net you decent photos. Oh, I'd also use manual focus, just focus on an area about 1/3 into where your subjects will be. If you resort to the latter, do take some time and experiment with the bounce flash while your there.
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  3. Plumballs

    Plumballs Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 11, 2014
    Whitchurch, Hampshire
    Real Name:
    Thank you Clint, I really appreciate the great advice.

    Its an after lesson shoot, so I think there will be group shots and the odd promotional pose, moves etc. I totally get what you are saying with ISO as whatever the end medium is it will not be a large print.

    A little concerned with the slow shutters you mention, but that is probably my inexperience. I get the flash freezing movement if its the dominant light at around 2700 of sec or faster, but if the ambient is only 2 stops below wouldn't some motion blur still show?

    Thanks again for the response.

  4. Kazooless

    Kazooless Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 5, 2015
    Real Name:
    Jeff Kazules
    Your max sync speed is actaully 1/200 (

    If you're going to keep ambient light with the flashes, make sure you balance the color (e.g. if the ambient is fluorescent then put green gels on the flashes).

    I'm not so sure the really slow speeds Clint suggests are a good idea if you have action as you would probably get shadows from the motion blur. For static group or single portraits then you should be fine.

    A fantastic resource to learn about off camera flash is His videos are well worth it and even cover similar situations. You can watch a whole set with if you subscribe.

    Good luck,

  5. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 11, 2014
    Real Name:
    Shooting of camera flash is great fun. I came to it looking at videos of Joe Brady... he showed all the basics..

    What will be really helpful is a light meter which caches the flash....

    In terms of light stands: They are helpful, but since it a club, there might be some voice activated once around... or a Justin Clamp:

    I do loke to shoot in such cases with Umrellas. Maybe reflective ones to focus the light - just a bit....