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I am getting a lighter edge on the bottom of my images... I have googled and can't seem to find anything that points me in the right direction to the cause. Any ideas?

Info:

  • Canon 6d
  • OrLit Speedlite RT-600
  • Gary Fong Speedlite diffuser

The whiter edge is there regardless of landscape or portrait shot (portrait shot is on the right side which would be the bottom of the image.) However it is not on every shot!

Landscape Shots - shot one after the other:

  • ISO 100
  • 85mm 1.2
  • 1/640
  • Speedlite set to high speed sync

Image without light edge

Image with light edge

Portrait shot:

  • ISO 200
  • 85MM 1.2
  • 1/400
  • Speedlite set to high speed sync

Light edge in portrait mode

Is it my speedlite malfunctioning? What would cause this?

I do have on an accordian style hood on the lens. The hood was not extended, but was at the edge of the lens...could it be reflecting the light back into the bottom of the image? I'm mystified. I shoot raw and will be able to fix in post...

  • 1
    Oh, quick question — do you have the flash pointed forward or straight up? – mattdm Oct 20 '18 at 12:07
  • (Edited tags because I don't think this is canon-specific) – mattdm Oct 20 '18 at 13:54
  • "accordian"? Do you mean accordion? – Peter Mortensen Oct 20 '18 at 21:44
  • Is there an adapted lens involved, maybe one with sub-par adapter that has a light leak? – rackandboneman Oct 20 '18 at 22:14
  • 1
    BTW, the first two shots could just be about the bottom elements in the image being far closer than the rest- flash tends to play badly with such... – rackandboneman Oct 20 '18 at 22:16
8

My bet is on the same thing you guess — light reflected from the diffuser bouncing around badly. This is especially likely if you've tipped the flash to point the diffuser dome forward, as I've seen some people do. The EF 85mm f/1.2L is not a physically long lens and even with a hood you might have the light source protruding way too far forward.

This is easily tested by making some images with and without the flash on. I'd suggest a neutral target (the infamous brick wall shot), and run through a range of apertures and flash power.

Assuming that's it — or actually, even if it's not — I'd suggest replacing the dome diffuser with an off-camera flash and possibly (depending on what you're doing) a larger-yet-portable softbox. That sounds like it might be inconvenient outdoors, but the thing is, it's exactly because you're shooting outdoors. This style of diffuser does increase the effective flash area a little bit, softening light some, but its main effect is to scatter light in every direction. Indoors, that light then bounces from ceilings and walls, but outdoors (or in a large room), the primary effect is simply to waste light. (See When and how to use a push-on flash diffuser? for more.)

You can get that same effect for free and without risk of weird stray light by leaving off the diffusion dome and simply cutting the flash power. So maybe you don't even need to go the off-camera route ... but that's an option that will give you a lot more flexibility.

  • Thanks! Yes I will run through some test today. Always something! LOL ;) Thanks again! – Just4Clicks Oct 20 '18 at 12:02
  • 1
    Added some other unasked advice too :) – mattdm Oct 20 '18 at 12:02
  • Thanks for the added information mattdm. I am actually using both (on and off camera.) BUT for these particular images I was only using on camera flash. However I stopped using a softbox (in the form of a large shoot through umbrella) because of wind and working alone. I went through 6 umbrellas last year. Do you have a recommendation for a stable softbox that can handle wind (we're getting off topic here! LOL) I have tried sandbags BUT they are heavy to carry around AND a windy day (bad wind) actually bend my light stand! – Just4Clicks Oct 21 '18 at 12:37
  • My recommendation would be to find someone to help. That might not be so helpful — sorry. :) – mattdm Oct 21 '18 at 13:38
  • Session yesterday, removed accordion style lens hood, problem solved. Thanks for the help! – Just4Clicks Oct 22 '18 at 14:13

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