Adam Thurlow

Experimenting with a new Flash

Jan. 02, 2010 - Posted by Thurloat

I've been a little behind on my photography posts, but I have not been behind on expanding my horizons and taking all kinds of crazy pictures; most of which will not end up around here. However, for Christmas Dad got me a flash for our camera. He miraculously did this through leaving it in his old SLR camera bag (big thanks Dad!) I've had a heck of a time trying to get it working the right way with the much newer Canon camera.

Just a warning to digital camera owners

"Careful with old flash vs new camera voltages. They could blow the hot seat off your camera if you're not. So do your research in advance to make sure that it's safe with your camera."

—Mr. Ian Munroe

So after about 5 days of toying, learning that the auto settings on the old flash won't communicate with newer cameras, and trying desperately to search online for the manual, I decided to take my own way out and through caution to the wind. I spent a while toying with the shutter speed, aperture and ISO to try and stop the insane hot spots the flash was giving me. I ended up using something along the lines of 100ISO, 1/500, F16. This worked fine for the direct shots, but I'm finding the flash is more useful when I point it somewhere else**....** I really enjoy finding new ways to shoot the same shot, give it different character etc. Setting the angle and zoom of the flash is allowing me to essentially ignore the other lights in the room, and create the exact lighting effect that I want. Hell Yeah! So my experimental subject this time around was my new Keurig coffee machine that was graciously gifted to me by my to be mother-in-law, Mrs Liz Sloan ( thanks! ). Much to my delight, the machine ended up being placed in a fun, cornered part of the room where I could bounce the light off whichever wall, or fixture I wanted! Experiment Results (1/250, F5.0, ISO 100, UV Filter):

Left Wall Bounce

Left Flash by Thurloat

Ceiling Bounce

Top Flash by Thurloat

I'm really excited to learn more about using flashes to set the mood I want, mess around with a bounce board, etc. I'd really appreciate any tips or tricks for use with my new (old) flash , and I swear I'll post some more of my learnings. Jessica caught on to my hobby and thoughtfully gifted a Digital Photography Handbook to me during Christmas, so I'll have a ton more experiments to sod around with! Until next time, I'm going to keep screwing around. Hopefully something cool will come of it.


I forgot to mention the specs on the flash. It's a Focal DT-5000S Zoom flash, with a ton of acronyms and glyphs plastered all over it that I do not understand yet.

Focal DT-5000S Zoom flash

If that means anything to anyone, I'm glad to have been of service.