Photo tricks. Part one.

Very often you have to take pictures in conditions in which neither the automation nor the capabilities of the camera can simply convey the plan. In such cases, you have to come up with new methods and ideas, create something from improvised means, just to get the right frame here. Yes, and it’s unlikely to ever appear on the camera “take super photo” mode, you’ll have to do everything as always - with your head and hands.

Camera with "Wedding" mode. Trick :)

Camera with “Wedding” mode. Trick :)

Of course, professionals will consider these thoughts as epic and clear recommendations to everyone, but believe me, there are a lot of people who will find this useful.

  1. When you need to take pictures indoors in low light without flash, autofocus goes crazy and can't focus. And it is highly undesirable to use the autofocus illumination with the built-in lamp (spotlight) - you can use an external flash. To do this, turn off the pulse itself in the flash menu and leave only the diode red focus backlight. This mode of use is on all native Nikon flashes but SB-400 and SB-300. If there is no such mode on the flash, you can cheat even more - switch the flash to manual mode, set the minimum power (usually 1\128), turn the flash head in the opposite direction from shooting and use the same red autofocus backlight. Similarly, you can use the Nikon SU-800 Remote Commander wireless flash control unit, which itself acts as a headless flash and provides the same autofocus assist beam. By the way, this is one of the advantages of the Nikon SU-800 from cheap triggers when using external flashes on a remote control. You will find more subtleties on setting the autofocus backlight here.
  2. No hoods? It doesn’t matter, you can always hand block access to the lens back and side light. It's simple, if you see that the lens gives a glare, or a veil from backlight, try using your hand in front of the lens (only so that your hand does not fit into the frame) make a curtain from the sun or other light source. It really helps often, sometimes, even when there is a lens hood, I have to slightly cover the lens with my hand so that I get as little backlight as I need. Such a focus easily rolls with long-focus lenses, but with short-focus ones, you need to be very careful not to remove your own hand. The disadvantage of this method is that you need to hold the camera with one hand, sometimes it is very difficult.
  3. No flash diffuser? For example, on SB-600 - no problem, elastic from the bundle of money for which this outbreak was acquired and business card the familiar dentist will do his miracle. Using an elastic band, we catch a business card on the flash head and get a diffuser card. It is much more convenient to use the flash in fill mode with it. Well, if there is no gum or business card - just direct the flash at the ceiling, walls, etc. and carefully look what happens. The disadvantage of this trick is that the flash head will mainly adjust to the focal length of the lens, and not stand at a wide angle if it had a native reflector or diffuser diffuser card.
  4. There is a desire to quickly and cheaply learn to take pictures? And at the same time, do not finish the photo school and fully master the capabilities of your new DSLR? There is a simple way to buy yourself manual cheap fast fix lens and shoot him for two weeks. Seriously, this kind of practice will very quickly teach you basic concepts such as excerpt and aperture, make you more carefully select the composition, feel the frame, etc. Yes, and just press the button and get a picture - it will not work, each frame will need to be done wisely. This is a wonderful workout, after which you will have a completely different attitude to such an ordinary whale lens, and to photography in general. Personally, I often arrange for myself such quests to support dexterity.
  5. Very I want to control my new flash remotelyBut is there no command mode in the camera? Little known will come to the rescue flash mode SU-4. So for control with the simplest camera Nikon D40 such flashes as SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910 just on the flashes in the menu, activate this mode and put the flash in slave modeon camera Nikon D40 (or, on absolutely any arc camera, even a soap box) raise the built-in flash. External flashes located far away will be "set on fire»Built-in flash Nikon D40However, you will have to answer for the expo metering yourself. The disadvantage of this control is the work with shutter speeds not shorter than 1 / 200c (sometimes 1 / 500c).

Procedure for controlling flash units SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910 from amateur cameras that do not support Nikon CLS

  • On the camera, go to the flash control menu. Select control mode 'M' (Manual). Set the power to 1 \ 128 or 1 \ 64 or any other to your liking, or as needed. The built-in flash will simply ignite the external flash. Save your settings.
  • Go to the menu external flash, find the SU-4 mode there, turn it on.
  • Set the flash to Slave, usually with the flash enable lever.
  • On the external flash select control mode 'M' (Manual, usually done with the Mode button). Set the power required for shooting. The flash will fire at this power in remote control.
  • Place an external flash in the camera's field of view.
  • During shooting, the built-in flash will give one light pulse, which will ignite the external flash. Take pictures for your pleasure.

Please note that flash SB-400, SB-600, SB-400, SB-300 do not support SU-4 mode.

These are the tricks and tricks you can use to save money, achieve the desired result in photography, and sometimes just for pampering and leisure. Want more? You can read similar thoughts in the section “photo articles ".

Do not forget to press +1, tweet, like. Thank you for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 68, on the topic: Photo tricks. Part one.

  • Vasya

    Hello, I just bought an sb700 for a D90 camera today, this is my first flash when I use the shutter button in the camera, on the front of the flash, only one AF-assist lamp lights up, but there is the same light nearby, but why it doesn’t light along with the one constantly on, please tell me, is this normal? That is how it should be? It should be? Thanks!

  • Alexander

    If not too late, March is already a month. Unfortunately, the manual for the SB-700 does not indicate that the AF-assist illuminators can be switched on separately or together. Perhaps this is to save batteries and depends on the selected focus point - in the vertical or horizontal row. automatic focus area selection both emitters work, highlighting a cross. On the SB-700, the emitters were wired in series and always switched on together. Of course, this is not a malfunction, but a more economical circuit.

  • anonym

    And to Elena's question from 19.01. You can turn off the pulse on the SB-700 by leaving the autofocus illumination on by entering the MASTER mode and placing - (three lines) in front of all the M, A, B flashes. This is the next position after -3.0ev. If at least one of the positions M, A or B is set to any EV value, and not -, the flash will fire.

  • Zhenya

    Interested in a question! Is it possible to use focus illumination on the D3100 with a manual lens? I use only manual focusing, the Nikkor 50mm f / 1.4 Auto lens, in poor lighting conditions, the work of this bulb is really not enough))

    • Arkady Shapoval

      You can not.

    • Aydar

      On Aliexpress, you can pick up a Chinese flash, not TTL, manual, powerful and with a pivoting head, which has a focus assistent LED backlight, manually turned on by a button, a “stupid flashlight”. I myself have one.

  • anonym

    Arkady, many thanks for the site and the tremendous work you have done. I have a question: you wrote here about nikon flashes, I'm wondering if there is a function in canon flashes similar to SU4 in nikon flashes? Thank you in advance.

  • anonym

    I don’t understand ... "In AF-C mode, the backlight does not work, you can not turn it on." Flash sb700 + D7000. That is, in TTL mode, with AF-C, the flash behaves as you like? Sorry for the question, there were no instructions when buying, but I can't figure out how to set up the bundle correctly. Where can you read in detail on the modes and tricks of the sb700?

  • Andrei

    As far as I understand, SU4 mode is only in Nikon’s native flashes. What do you recommend if the flash is made in China but is compatible with Nikon? How to set fire to it remotely?

  • Nicholas

    Arkady, I feel pretty stupid, but even after reading the entire instructions from the SB-600, I could not find how to turn off the flash pulse itself, but leave only the focus backlight. Tell me please.

  • Boris

    “When you need to take pictures in a low-light environment without a flash, autofocus goes crazy and cannot focus. And it is highly undesirable to use the autofocus illumination with the built-in lamp (spotlight) - you can use an external flash. "
    Could you give me at least one example when it is undesirable to use the built-in illumination, but the illumination from the flash is normal? It somehow does not occur to me how this can be

    • Lynx

      * In most cases, when it is unnecessary for the subject to be distracted by the fact that it is being shot.

      • Boris

        And if you illuminate not with the built-in lamp, but with the flash lamp, then the object will not be distracted?

        • Lynx

          the flash does not shine with a lamp "illuminating everything", but with strips of red LED - much less distracting, although in the twilight of the church - somewhat undesirable))

          • Boris

            And, in this case ... Got it, thanks!

          • Boris

            And in terms of efficiency? All other things being equal - which is better to use, can you tell me?

            • Lynx

              When the flash is installed and turned on, the stripes still work, when it is off / off, only the flashlight.
              the question of best depends on the situation

        • Jury

          It also happens vice versa - my cat is indifferent to the built-in lamp, and runs around the room for red stripes :)

  • Vladimir

    in the considered mode - is there a red eye effect? Because the flash only fires once

    • Alexey

      It will not, because the red-eye effect appears only when light reflected from the retina of the eye enters the lens. Since the external flash is located higher, it is impossible to achieve such a reflection.

  • Bakhytzhan

    Arkady thanks for your work !!!

  • Jury

    Hello. I have a Canon 650 carcass, I bought a triopo 586 flash. And the AF illumination constantly blinks on it, and it should kind of light up when I press the shooting button for the first time. I can’t figure out where and what to configure.

  • Dmitry

    Will the focus backlight work on the Nikon sc-29 sync cable with sb-400 flash? Camera d3100.

  • Veniamin

    What is the button on the SC-29 sync cable for?

  • HeroZendz350

    Interestingly write, vital. But, in order to make a really popular site, you need to not only talk about something, but also do it in an interesting way :)

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