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 и SB-300. If the flash does not have such a mode, you can cheat even more - set 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 gives the same autofocus backlight. By the way, this is one of the advantages of the Nikon SU-800 from cheap triggers when using external flashes on the remote control. You will find even more subtleties on setting the AF 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.

Add a comment: Boris



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

  • Very informative

  • very interesting. Thanks.)

  • Clea Helena

    Yes, indeed, buying a Helios very quickly teaches you to take pictures) I advise everyone to acquire a Soviet lens with the purchase of the first SLR.

  • ingr

    In the second paragraph, the words "back and" should be removed, since the back light is present in the image. It will really create a “veil”, but it can fight this phenomenon only by replacing the lens, which would “better hold back light”. (although, if there is not a lot of light and the characteristic “picture” is not important, then you can highlight it with a flash)
    I would also add 4 points: if you get good shots in two weeks, then in any case you would take interesting photos with any lens. And if not, but you are still shooting, then you have iron patience, high demands and, perhaps, someday, you will be lucky with a really interesting moment.

  • SONY

    It is not entirely clear why a cheap high-aperture fix “will accustom you to basic concepts such as shutter speed and aperture, make you more carefully select a composition, feel the frame, etc.” ...
    Setting the high-aperture fixture does not interfere in any way with continuing to shoot with full automatic aiming the camera “in that direction”, being fully confident that “for such money the camera should do everything for me”.
    Moreover, I personally know people who have been shooting with film mechanics for several years, but have a very vague idea of ​​what shutter speed and aperture are ... Fortunately, amateur film allows you to stretch a miss by 3 stops, so half of the shots these people still somehow succeed.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I had in mind the installation of a manual fast aperture, I apologize, but neither autofocusing nor automatic iris control will be there. And no program or film will help to extend the slip in focus, only there can be a 2x2 cm print.

      • SONY

        Nothing prevents once and for all setting f / 2.8 and forget about the presence of an aperture on the lens.
        You really have to think about focusing, but turning the ring until the confirmation light comes on is not the most creative work. And it clearly will not "teach you to basic concepts such as shutter speed and aperture, make you more carefully select the composition, feel the frame, etc.".
        I’ll even say more: personally, manual focus somewhat distracts me from building the correct composition, and I want to press the shutter immediately after focusing ..

        • Arkady Shapoval

          The lack of this 2.8 on a number of lenses hinders, they will not list. There is no light bulb on Canon :) As practice shows, all my friends who began to use manual optics in addition to autofocus, personally, by my standards, increased their skills in creating better photographs - and this is an indicator of skill. Do not think that I force everyone to take a manual, etc., personally for commercial photography I use only autofocus, no one cares there, so much that you stand and focus with your hands.

  • SONY

    > Canon has no light bulb

    I have a Canon EOS 550D - there is a light bulb there. More precisely, a green LED. Plus the point of the AF sensor flashes red.

    > As practice shows, all my friends who began to use manual optics in addition to autofocus, personally, by my standards, increased their skills in creating better photographs - and this is an indicator of skill.

    As practice shows, everyone who really uses at least some lens for its intended purpose, increase their skills in creating better photos :-)
    Another thing is that skills can increase very, very slowly, if you shoot only in the style of “crooked faces of my homies at a booze” :-)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      As far as I know, Canon does not have a focus confirmation indicator with a non-chipable manual lens. Did you mean the focus confirmation light? And is she really there? :) Thanks for the comments :)


    Thank you again. I quote “There is a simple way out to buy yourself a manual cheap high-aperture prime lens” - I agree. Help with choosing plizzz! HELIOS 81H -400-450 UAH, NIKON lens series E 50mm 1: 1.8 600 UAH or Nikkor-S 50 f1.4 Kogaku UAH 800 ????? I also plan to use it for macro through a reversing ring. Thanks in advance.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      All three are good. I would take Helios-81n.

  • Orward

    Arkady, and where in the SB-910 turn off the pulse itself and leave only the infrared focus illumination? And then in my AF-C mode the spotlight on the camera does not work and in the dark it can be difficult

  • Orward

    I forgot to note that on my SB-910 in AF-C mode, by default for some reason the flash does not light up in red. This is in AF-C mode.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      In AF-C mode, the backlight does not work, you cannot turn it on. The AF-S has a “spotlight” illumination.

  • Orward

    so it in this mode not only does not work on the flash, but also in the viewfinder. It is not thought out or what? Or is the mode so specific that does not require it?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This mode, I wrote about this feature in this article.

  • Alexey

    The SB-910 seems to have a regular LED backlight (illuminated in red), rather than infrared.
    Or is it infrared?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      LED light. I will fix it.

  • Konstantin

    The whale lens for manual focusing makes the process of photographing very entertaining ... turn off AM and have fun! =)

  • Denis

    "Buy yourself a manual cheap fast prime lens"
    On this occasion, I want to name another version of this action: There is a Nikonovsky 18-55 whale. There is no money to buy a new lens now. So before buying a new lens, I decided to set the kit to a fixed distance of 35 * 1,5mm for the crop, turn off autofocus and switch to M mode. As for me, a good option when there is no money for a new lens, but you want to learn.

    After a short walk, I realized that I no longer wanted to shoot right and left, because focusing takes time, which I don’t want to spend on cards that I will delete and I have more responsible approach to the content of the frame.

    Thanks for the helpful tips. :)

  • Marina

    Hello! Save! There is a nikon d 3100 camera and a nikon sb 900 flash. HOW do I get the flash to ignite from the built-in!?! already exhausted, everything fails ((

    • Arkady Shapoval

      1. Go to the SB-900 menu, find the SU-4 mode there, turn it on.
      2. Exit the SB-900 menu, put the SB-900 in Slave mode using the flash enable lever.
      3. On the camera, go to the flash control menu. Choose mode M, power 1 \ 64 or any other to taste. Save the settings.
      4. Install the SB-900 in the field of view of the camera
      5. Shoot for your own pleasure.

      • Marina

        Thanks a lot! Only I have such a misfortune as I can’t find this su 4 mode in the flash. And there is a manual and a car and TTL, but su 4 not (((Help, please!

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Instructions page B-20, Remote-> Su-4.

  • Denis

    Arkady, thank you! Yes, the SU-4 mode is really very interesting, I always thoughtlessly ran through it when flipping through the SB-900 flash menu. It turns out that even my unpretentious Nikon COOLPIX L100 camera is capable of “setting fire” to SB-900 set to SU-4. Only with the power of the SB-900 itself needs to be worked a little for different scenes. Moreover, the SB-900 works in a standard room without even being in the field of view of the camera - the built-in flash light reflected from the light walls probably acts.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, the light trap works according to the difference in contrast and illumination, even from the walls you can set fire :)

  • yuriy75

    When using manual lenses (I have Helios 44-2) in low light conditions, focusing through the viewfinder is not necessary at all. The focus ring has a distance scale and a depth of field scale, if you understand how to use them, the shooting process is much simpler. I set the distance to the subject, compose the shot in the viewfinder, and take it.

  • Nastya

    On the nikon sb700 flash, will the focus backlight work at all focus points?
    Carcass nikon d5100!
    Thank you!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, at all, but only in AF-A, AF-S mode

  • Dmitriy

    Thank you so much for your work! Found the answer to my question !!!

    For some reason, some Nikon CCDs do not illuminate the subject with the AF-assist beam in single-point focusing mode if a non-center point is selected. As far as I know, all Nikon cameras provide a single-point focus-assist lamp when the center focus point is selected. ”

  • Igor

    I shoot on Nikon D80, lenses 18-105 f3.5-5.6 and 50mm f1.4. Focus on both lenses began to work poorly (mainly focuses on the background). Is there a problem with the camera or lenses? Is it possible to fix something without a service center (I just think that they will send it to Moscow, which is too long in time)

  • Paul

    Hello))) Very useful info you have ... mulberries))))) I have a question for you. How did D3 come to me from day one? I was surprised by one circumstance: the autofocus illumination on the 800 flash stopped working. What's the matter? Is there any solution?

  • Sasha

    Tell me - is it possible to use, and in what cases is the on-camera light used?

    • quickvox

      When you need to take a picture of an object behind which the sun shines (or simply strong light).
      Well, in dark rooms (at discos) when you need to quickly catch a person in the frame.
      Here, of course, it’s not worth talking about highly artistic work.

  • Denis

    Hello Arkady. You have shown how to set up Su-4 for cameras that do not have CLS. I have d5100 and sb700, I just can't turn on the M flash control mode on the camera ... maybe it's not there? Then how do you light the flash? Thanks in advance.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There is a mode, most likely it is available only in P, A, S, M modes

      • Denis

        It is in these modes that I try to work ... But I cannot find the M mode specifically for the flash. Please tell me how to find it?

        • Jury

          CUSTOM SETTINGS MENU -> item E Bracketing \ Flash -> item e1 Built-in flash control.

  • Denis

    It is in these modes that I try
    work ... But, I can not find the mode
    M for flash.
    Please tell me how it
    to find?

  • Oleg

    The link in the article to myself is very invigorating.

  • Elena

    Tell me, please, is it possible to turn off the pulse in the SB-700 flash, leaving only the autofocus backlight, and if so, how can I get to this setting in the menu?

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