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  1. #1
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    Strobist Gallery- let's see your external flash MTB shots

    Post your best mountainbike shots taken with external / remote controlled flash.

    Feel free to add details of the setup (position of strobes, trigger setup, camera and flash settings), so we can all learn something here.
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  2. #2
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    To get this going, here are a few of mine. I've played around with this stuff for a while but never really worked it all out. My goal for this season is to get a bit more gear (radio triggers and a second external unit) and get a bit better at this, so feel free to criticize.



    Setup: One Nikon SB600 as visible in the background probably at about 1/4 power, on camera flash at 1/8 or something. 1/200 f/5.6 ISO400.


    Older shot. Single SB600 just to the left of the frame (see shadows), set to Auto TTL. Natural light from the top. No on-camera flash. 1/200 f/4 ISO400.


    As above. 1/200 f/4.5 ISO200.

    And finally, one of my first attempts ever:

    I think this was with a single manual strobe just to the left of the camera. 1/200 f/8 ISO400.

    Hopefully I'll have more to post in a few weeks.
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  3. #3
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    These are great. I just got my first MTB after over a decade of no riding (BMX) and I'm dying to get out there with my camera.
    Fav shot is the second one.

  4. #4
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    Nice shots. The second is my fav.
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    some of the best shots ive seen! awesome work

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    yeah 2 and 4 are awesome, Just wish the rider was in focus more like the front wheel.
    But all these shots are great guys, Im giving it a try this weekend for the first time.
    I have 3 lights, stands and remote triggers. Lets see what i can do with my fisheye

  8. #8
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    Thanks. Definitely post your results.

    @Revolver: I'm guessing one strobe from the right of the photo, and natural light from the left?

    Here's something different from last weekend - an attempt to get rid of a distracting background. Done by stopping down the camera (everything is black without flash), then using full flash power on the rider and jump.

    Redlynch DJs by lelebebbel, on Flickr

    1/200s (max synch speed), f/10, ISO200, shot late in the afternoon. One SB600 on a stand from the left, and the pop-up camera flash both at full power. A second strobe from the right would have helped i think.

    Luckily I just received my new flash unit, a YN560II from china along with some radio triggers. Should perfect for this sort of stuff. Seems surprisingly high quality, definitely more sturdy than my SB600, although fully manual of course. Very high power. Having 2 external strobes should really open up some more options.
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  9. #9
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    thats a nice looking shot, another light would have helped but its not always an option unfortunately.
    Manual flash is the only way I know, I have a bunch of 285HVs and love them.

    I must have lived on the strobist blog for months.....

  10. #10
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    The strobist blog is awesome, really a must read for anybody who ever uses flash.
    Link for those new to the subject: Strobist

    First time out with the new ebay radio triggers (YN603) today. Big step forward from the ones I had years ago, so far 100% reliable.

    I was racing and shooting, so not much time to set things up before I had to get back in the shuttle vehicle. Using the sun as a rimlight and a strobe on the right to light up the faces:

    DH2 - 20 by lelebebbel, on Flickr


    DH2 - 22 by lelebebbel, on Flickr
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  11. #11
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    Took a crack at some shots with the flash today. Lots of deletes. This was a reasonable shot. Not the best but not too terrible for the first try.


    Untitled by hogprint, on Flickr
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  12. #12
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    was your flash mounted on the camera for this? The exposure looks good, nice use of the wide angle as well. Flash will really improve shots though once you move the flash unit away from the camera with a cable, optical or radio remote. On camera flash tends to "flatten" the photo.
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  13. #13
    Ballstein Models
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    Yes it was. This was the first time I've brought the flash along and I can now see that the remote actuation gives that dimensional look. Now to get more kit...
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  14. #14
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    I recently purchased a Sony NEX-5n but took it back a few days ago as I thought it was way too much camera for what I use it for but one of the questions I have is how do you get those pictures if you are by yourself? Most cameras give you a 10 second timer and that is very difficult to get in good shots with that little time.

    I know the GoPro will shoot continuosly every 2 seconds (hero 2 i think is faster than that) but for a P&S and even the NEX-5n didn't offer continous shots only 10 shots after 10 second timer.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  15. #15
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    there is a thread in the "passion" forum about self-timer shots.
    These here are taken with a remote controlled flash, but with a person operating the camera. It would be quite difficult to take a self-timer-remote-flash shot, especially since most flash units will only fire once every few seconds at the higher power settings.

    For self timer shots, have a look here:
    Self timer passion! Post 'em up!
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  16. #16
    KoNa KiD
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    couple shots

    Here's a few of my strobist fun. mostly 2 flashes
    First few are shot with my d200, 2x sb600's triggers by paul buff cyber syncs.

    2nd, 3rd and 5th are shot with my d700 2x sb600s and trigger by my pw's

    Also this first shot is actually me. setup the lights and cam and had my buddy click it for me.

    In case anyone was wondering, len's used were 10.5 2.8 fish, 70-200 2.8, 14-24 2.8










    Last edited by lax30; 05-17-2012 at 05:13 AM.
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  17. #17
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    Man, great stuff lax!
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    Stuff

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Salt View Post
    Man, great stuff lax!
    thanks man i really appreciate that. ive got a ton more, i will post up a few more this evening.
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  19. #19
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Great pics Lax!!! I would really like to get into this type of off-camera flash shooting and am looking into gear to work with my Canon T3i and 430EXII. Any tips on triggers or stands? Would love to be able to keep it light and take the camera, flash, stand, etc on the trail with me in the Clik.

  20. #20
    KoNa KiD
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    Great pics Lax!!! I would really like to get into this type of off-camera flash shooting and am looking into gear to work with my Canon T3i and 430EXII. Any tips on triggers or stands? Would love to be able to keep it light and take the camera, flash, stand, etc on the trail with me in the Clik.
    Thanks Alot!!

    Triggers......Well, you could always go with Pocket wizards for triggers. They just released a Plus III, trigger and tranciever that is fairly reasonably priced. However for cost i dont think you can beat the Paul c. Buff cyber syncs. They are pretty small and very easy to use. With these your setting a manual flash value, same with the PW plus3's. The cyber sync stuff was what i started on

    At the moment I am using the PW Flex system with Mini and a AC3 Zone Controller on top of that. With these i can shoot with TTL from the camera or i can mix and match with the zone controller. say group A i want TTL control and groups B and C i want to set manually, i can do all of trhat right from my hot shoe, instead or going to each flash and setting the flash output. The wireless TTL is kindda cool and you can adjust the output of that just the same from the Zone controller. This system also allows me to shot at stupid high shutter speeds.......im talkin 1/8000th with full flash sync with ZERO banding..they call it hyper sync, only down side is recycle time with flashes as its nuking whatever your shooting.

    Stands.....Well most of the time when shooting in the woods i just bring tripods. Lightstands for the most part are only stable on flat ground, so when im in the woods on a hill or steep lander having the telescoping legs of the tripod are a must. Plus having a ball head on your tripod helps with getting the perfect angle. Antoher option you can use is to either get little bungie straps or those gorilla tripods and just use nearby trees to attach them too. People work pretty good for light stands too when you run out of other options, plus they are voice activated......."point it more to the right"

    The options i mentioned for triggers will both work for you canon setup. Sorry for the Long ramble about that stuff but i must not lie i have a problem reguarding my photography addiction.......first step is to admit right??


    Links:
    Pocketwizard® - Wireless transmitters and receivers Pocketwizards product page, has plus 3's and the Flexx and Mini TTl stuff on there too

    Paul C. Buff - CyberSync™Paul buff stuff, linked straight to their product page as well


    Hope that helps!
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  21. #21
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by lax30 View Post
    Thanks Alot!!

    Triggers......Well, you could always go with Pocket wizards for triggers. They just released a Plus III, trigger and tranciever that is fairly reasonably priced. However for cost i dont think you can beat the Paul c. Buff cyber syncs. They are pretty small and very easy to use. With these your setting a manual flash value, same with the PW plus3's. The cyber sync stuff was what i started on

    At the moment I am using the PW Flex system with Mini and a AC3 Zone Controller on top of that. With these i can shoot with TTL from the camera or i can mix and match with the zone controller. say group A i want TTL control and groups B and C i want to set manually, i can do all of trhat right from my hot shoe, instead or going to each flash and setting the flash output. The wireless TTL is kindda cool and you can adjust the output of that just the same from the Zone controller. This system also allows me to shot at stupid high shutter speeds.......im talkin 1/8000th with full flash sync with ZERO banding..they call it hyper sync, only down side is recycle time with flashes as its nuking whatever your shooting.

    Stands.....Well most of the time when shooting in the woods i just bring tripods. Lightstands for the most part are only stable on flat ground, so when im in the woods on a hill or steep lander having the telescoping legs of the tripod are a must. Plus having a ball head on your tripod helps with getting the perfect angle. Antoher option you can use is to either get little bungie straps or those gorilla tripods and just use nearby trees to attach them too. People work pretty good for light stands too when you run out of other options, plus they are voice activated......."point it more to the right"

    The options i mentioned for triggers will both work for you canon setup. Sorry for the Long ramble about that stuff but i must not lie i have a problem reguarding my photography addiction.......first step is to admit right??


    Links:
    Pocketwizard® - Wireless transmitters and receivers Pocketwizards product page, has plus 3's and the Flexx and Mini TTl stuff on there too

    Paul C. Buff - CyberSync™Paul buff stuff, linked straight to their product page as well


    Hope that helps!
    I am such a novice at flash use. I absolutely hate on-camera flash so have only used natural lighting thus far in my short DSLR career (since last summer). Since I live in sunny Arizona natural light is plentiful, but I'm wanting more dramatic lighting for my trail shots to really snap. I've been in a perpetual state of healing for the last few years (hip replacement, neck injury, broken wrist) so the camera has become my escape. Thanks for the tips... I'll be doing some pre-shopping research and then let the experimentation begin! Feel free to add more pics to this thread and be sure to give details of the shot if you can.

  22. #22
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    Not that rad by today's standards, kind of a different thing twenty three years ago

  23. #23
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    Fill flash

    Fill flash should be so subtle you don't notice it. I use it to show the eyes and bring up the shadows.

    <p align="center"><img border="4" src="http://stevewolf.smugmug.com/Mountain-Biking/Sea-Otter-2010/IMG1026/863403782_K4wjJ-XL.jpg"><br>
    <p align="center"><img border="4" src="http://stevewolf.smugmug.com/Mountain-Biking/SeaOtter2011/i-n6jmcdt/0/XL/IMG8682-XL.jpg"><br>
    <p align="center"><img border="4" src="http://stevewolf.smugmug.com/Mountain-Biking/Sea-OtterMountain-BikeRacing/IMG2735/516445048_9HkoY-XL.jpg"><br>
    Last edited by Wherewolf; 06-21-2012 at 10:50 PM.

  24. #24
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    oh man, I love the old school photo's with the big ol Giro helmets

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    DurtGurl:

    What do you use to mount your flash onto your tripod?

    Also, I notice that a lot of people use radio triggers. Are these better than using your on-board flash to trigger the external flash?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lelebebbel View Post
    To get this going, here are a few of mine. I've played around with this stuff for a while but never really worked it all out. My goal for this season is to get a bit more gear (radio triggers and a second external unit) and get a bit better at this, so feel free to criticize.

    Hopefully I'll have more to post in a few weeks.
    These look great!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by miatagal96 View Post
    DurtGurl:

    What do you use to mount your flash onto your tripod?

    Also, I notice that a lot of people use radio triggers. Are these better than using your on-board flash to trigger the external flash?
    You'll want to get light stands with cold-shoe mounts rather than trying to mount the flash to a tripod.

    And yes, radio triggers will work a whole lot better than the on-board flash to trigger...one reason is that radio doesn't require line of sight to work properly, but the biggest thing is that when you're outside in broad daylight, you'll have a heck of a time getting the flash to notice the little bit of a flash your onboard camera sends out to trigger it. The on-board flash trigger works great in controlled settings, but its useless outside. I've had GREAT results from Yongnuo tranceivers, and they're dirt cheap...like 35 bucks a pair, and they can double as shutter release too.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-E-BoB View Post
    You'll want to get light stands with cold-shoe mounts rather than trying to mount the flash to a tripod.

    And yes, radio triggers will work a whole lot better than the on-board flash to trigger...one reason is that radio doesn't require line of sight to work properly, but the biggest thing is that when you're outside in broad daylight, you'll have a heck of a time getting the flash to notice the little bit of a flash your onboard camera sends out to trigger it. The on-board flash trigger works great in controlled settings, but its useless outside. I've had GREAT results from Yongnuo tranceivers, and they're dirt cheap...like 35 bucks a pair, and they can double as shutter release too.
    I've got the Yongnuo RF603s as well, and while they work great, I'd probably get Cactus V5s instead if I had to buy them again. The remote shutter thing is great, but it only works if your camera has a socket for a cable remote, most consumer cameras don't.

    You don't need a dedicated light stand if you have a spare tripod, just get one of these:
    Professional Cold Shoe Mount For Tripod 1/4 - 20 threaded socket adapter SB910 | eBay

    (cold shoe tripod adaptor)

    Advantage of a real lightstand is that you can mount umbrellas and stuff though.
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  29. #29
    Kathleen in AZ
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    I just picked up the Vello Freewave Fusion set from BH.

    Vello FreeWave Fusion Wireless Flash Trigger & Remote RFW-C

    So far I've just played around with them a bit on my pups while out camping this weekend, and it looks like I'll need to run both the flash (430EX II) and camera (T3i) in manual modes. Hopefully I'll get some trail shots soon to share!

  30. #30
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    I just picked up the Vello Freewave Fusion set from BH.

    Vello FreeWave Fusion Wireless Flash Trigger & Remote RFW-C

    So far I've just played around with them a bit on my pups while out camping this weekend, and it looks like I'll need to run both the flash (430EX II) and camera (T3i) in manual modes. Hopefully I'll get some trail shots soon to share!
    Haven't made it to the trail yet, but have been practicing out back with the dogs. Waiting for the toss...



    Action shot at dusk. 1/200, f/7.1, ISO400, flash was at 1/1 but with a diffuser.



    My best shot yet due to on spot focus and panning. Settings were same as above.



    Next... trail shots! I hope my friends will be patient with me cause this takes some set up and thinking.

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    Here's one I took last year. It's hyper-synced at 1/800th sec. with an SB900 and an SB-700 on Pocketwizard FlexTTs. It was shot at about noon, but using hyper-sync really gave us nice control of tough shooting light. I have bunches more and will find a few others, but I really liked this one even if the focus was a bit iffy (at f1.4, the focal plane is only a few inches wide, the back wheel is in focus while the front is not).

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    Here's one that's a little more subtle, one SB-900 inside the corner to light up the face a bit without ruining all the nice stuff the sun was doing with the dust.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    Haven't made it to the trail yet, but have been practicing out back with the dogs.
    That is a great idea. Looks like you are figuring this out quickly. You can also try to use one flash as a backlight if you have two.

    This one here has one strobe at the far left as a back / rim light, and the other (lacking a second stand) on camera, both at 1/8. The orange spot at the bottom is a ghost caused by the sun above the frame.


    29 by lelebebbel, on Flickr
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  34. #34
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by lelebebbel View Post
    That is a great idea. Looks like you are figuring this out quickly. You can also try to use one flash as a backlight if you have two.
    For now I only have one flash and will do the best I can with it... this past weekend I tried to organize a pump track photo shoot along with some killer Monsoon skies, but was rained out. I waited it out and had some good practice with the dogs after the rain stopped. Will try again soon to capture bikers. The PT or jump parks seem like the ideal place to practice since the subjects go round and round and round...






  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by lelebebbel View Post
    To get this going, here are a few of mine. I've played around with this stuff for a while but never really worked it all out. My goal for this season is to get a bit more gear (radio triggers and a second external unit) and get a bit better at this, so feel free to criticize.



    Setup: One Nikon SB600 as visible in the background probably at about 1/4 power, on camera flash at 1/8 or something. 1/200 f/5.6 ISO400.


    Older shot. Single SB600 just to the left of the frame (see shadows), set to Auto TTL. Natural light from the top. No on-camera flash. 1/200 f/4 ISO400.


    As above. 1/200 f/4.5 ISO200.

    And finally, one of my first attempts ever:

    I think this was with a single manual strobe just to the left of the camera. 1/200 f/8 ISO400.

    Hopefully I'll have more to post in a few weeks.
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  36. #36
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    Phottix has a really good wireless system out there for nikon and cannon.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    For now I only have one flash and will do the best I can with it... this past weekend I tried to organize a pump track photo shoot along with some killer Monsoon skies, but was rained out. I waited it out and had some good practice with the dogs after the rain stopped. Will try again soon to capture bikers. The PT or jump parks seem like the ideal place to practice since the subjects go round and round and round...





    love the last photo!!
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  38. #38
    Kathleen in AZ
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    I finally got some trail shots! There's this place on National at South Mountain park in Phoenix called the Waterfall. It is an infamous rocky little DH section that has a big pucker factor and is always hard to capture in pictures due to it usually being in the shade in the otherwise very very sunny Arizona. Being in the shade, it usually looks flat and boring and nothing like the rocky challenge that the rider sees.

    I used my 430XII flash sitting about 10 feet from the riders. It was set on 1/1 with the diffuser in place. I was using the kit 18-55 lens that came with my T3i - all shots at 55mm. Settings were ISO 400, f/10 or 11, and 1/200 or 1/250. I need lots more practice!! Thanks to my Pivot pals for being patient with me today and doing lots of do-overs. It's monsoon season in Phx now which means STICKY and hot. Whew.











    It was so hot and sticky this morning that there were no other riders on the Waterfall except this guy. This shot just happens to have my favorite lighting from my first attempt at trail strobe photography:


  39. #39
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    I've got another one, too. A bit less subtle but I needed all the help I could get to lift the rider off the background on this spot:

    Ash @ the crossover by lelebebbel, on Flickr

    Main speedlight is to the right of the camera at 1/8. Second light visible in the frame also at 1/8. Both set to fairly wide beam (28mm setting iirc).
    Camera is at ISO400, f/5 and 1/320s which was about 1-2 stops underexposure for the background.
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  40. #40
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by lelebebbel View Post
    I've got another one, too. A bit less subtle but I needed all the help I could get to lift the rider off the background on this spot:

    Main speedlight is to the right of the camera at 1/8. Second light visible in the frame also at 1/8. Both set to fairly wide beam (28mm setting iirc). Camera is at ISO400, f/5 and 1/320s which was about 1-2 stops underexposure for the background.
    Maybe I'm missing the obvious, but why would you put a flash behind the rider (and in the field of view)? I do like how he pops out from the lush & busy green background. I don't have that problem (green or lush) where I live!

    Also, I failed to see much difference when I set the strobe to 24mm vs 50mm vs 105mm and figured it was because I was using everything in manual. Maybe I just wasn't really testing it right, perhaps using too much flash? I will think about this next time I am out.

    Of course.... my dream would be to use the strobe in combination with my 8mm fisheye. I have to admit - I have never been so enthused about learning something new as with this whole photography thing. I am scientist engineer type anyway, so am thinking all the time about how to get my next picture. Let's talk tilt-shift lenses next!!! Now THAT looks fun!

  41. #41
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    self portrait, flash 15 feet to the left, 10 feet to the right, both at 1/2 power. radio shutter release taped on the left side of my handlebars.



    pretty much similar setup, but not self portrait



    bmx, but I really like it. a flash on either side but more behind him, and shot on 2 1/4 film

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    Maybe I'm missing the obvious, but why would you put a flash behind the rider (and in the field of view)? I do like how he pops out from the lush & busy green background. I don't have that problem (green or lush) where I live!

    Also, I failed to see much difference when I set the strobe to 24mm vs 50mm vs 105mm and figured it was because I was using everything in manual. Maybe I just wasn't really testing it right, perhaps using too much flash? I will think about this next time I am out.

    Of course.... my dream would be to use the strobe in combination with my 8mm fisheye. I have to admit - I have never been so enthused about learning something new as with this whole photography thing. I am scientist engineer type anyway, so am thinking all the time about how to get my next picture. Let's talk tilt-shift lenses next!!! Now THAT looks fun!
    The flash behind the rider is a rim- or backlight: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backlig...ighting_design)

    It helps providing some "pop" or separation between the subject and background. Normally you'd try to keep it out of the frame, but that wasn't possible with that wide angle shot.
    The BMX shot above (great photo by the way) is a good example.

    The flash zoom setting can be quite important, too. The more you zoom in, the more focused the beam. You get longer range and slightly more isolated coverage. For example, you can get light on the rider but not the foreground if you aim it right. Aim the flash at a wall and try it.
    You can even tape some cardboard to the flash to make a "snoot", if you want a really focused beam of light.
    wanted: Cannondale Lefty w/ V-brake studs

  43. #43
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    Tried this out for myself this past weekend. Here's my ill-timed self portrait. Had the wireless trigger taped to the left side of the handlebar. It was still VERY tricky to set if off! I wish there were a low-profile release button that I could tape to the grip instead of using a bulky trigger. It'd be safer too.

    Anyway...

    _Josh
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Strobist Gallery- let's see your external flash MTB shots-mtb.jpg  


  44. #44
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    cant wait to post some pics

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMX_DBC View Post
    These shots are $$$ !
    The first one really caught my eye. I love it!
    This is sick!!

  46. #46
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    bmx, but I really like it. a flash on either side but more behind him, and shot on 2 1/4 film[/QUOTE]

    WOW!! This is AMAZING!

  47. #47
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    Newer to this, trying that popular product look. Naked 430XII from the left.


  48. #48
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    Static bike shot

    I figured I'd lug my dSLR and flash out to get a nice shot of my bike before it got too thrashed (I've been riding it about eight months). Also, first time attempting something like this while out on a trail ride. I was surprised that everything stuffed into my Camelbak Mule pack just fine. Next time I'm gonna have to try some action shots with friends, bringing my big boy camera wasn't as much of a pain as I had originally anticipated. I'm still a little freaked out about crashing with it in my pack, but I guess I'll just have to ride more conservatively when I have a camera with me.

    Canon 5D mkII, 50mm f1.4
    580EXII with a Lumiquest Ultrasoft on a Gorillapod to the right, stuck on a tree branch.
    Pocketwizard radio triggers

    1/250 sec, f2.0, ISO 50
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Strobist Gallery- let's see your external flash MTB shots-_mg_4002-copy.jpg  

    Loud hubs save lives. http://about.me/splat/

  49. #49
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by splatworldwide View Post
    I figured I'd lug my dSLR and flash out to get a nice shot of my bike before it got too thrashed (I've been riding it about eight months). Also, first time attempting something like this while out on a trail ride. I was surprised that everything stuffed into my Camelbak Mule pack just fine. Next time I'm gonna have to try some action shots with friends, bringing my big boy camera wasn't as much of a pain as I had originally anticipated. I'm still a little freaked out about crashing with it in my pack, but I guess I'll just have to ride more conservatively when I have a camera with me.

    Canon 5D mkII, 50mm f1.4
    580EXII with a Lumiquest Ultrasoft on a Gorillapod to the right, stuck on a tree branch.
    Pocketwizard radio triggers

    1/250 sec, f2.0, ISO 50
    Nice! Every day at lunch I wander over the this forum to see if there are any new cool biking photos... sadly, the answer is usually no. So pls get out there this weekend and snap some riding photos! p.s. Nice bike

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    Nice! Every day at lunch I wander over the this forum to see if there are any new cool biking photos... sadly, the answer is usually no. So pls get out there this weekend and snap some riding photos! p.s. Nice bike
    Thanks! I have a hard time stopping in the middle of a ride to muck around with photos, but it is fun mixing my interests like this. I saw your comment above regarding tilt-shift; I have a Hartblei 85mm f2.8 tilt-shift that I got mainly for product photography. It's nifty for still subjects, but I couldn't imagine trying to shoot action with it! In any case, it *is* a fun toy.
    Loud hubs save lives. http://about.me/splat/

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