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View Full Version : The available light,indoor, night time with fill flash tips, thread.



gallet
4th March 2009, 09:22 PM
Many people have asked me how I get such great indoor candid shots. Ok only one person has but then I don't talk to people. Can't stand the blighters, Anyhoo...

If your digital camera has a function where you can set the flash to TTL and knock the exposure back, like on the D70 where you can set it to -1.5 stops for example then use that. Or maybe -2.0 stops.

Works well indoors with normal tungsten lighting. ie normal room lights. In fact normal room lighting is good, it may look a little flat but it will be in fact very contrasty and the flash will ease this up a bit and add some colour interest.

Use the Daylight setting for the colour balance which will make everything very warm, the Flash will bring back the flesh tones and fill the shadows with a bluish light, (it didn't look bluish).

Use about ISO 800 and a shutter speed of 1/30 of a second. Set your camera to Shutter speed priority and leave it at 1/30. This is great for people because it allows for a little bit of movement. So there will be some very warm blurry bits if there is movement but the bluish balanced bits will be sharp as the flash will freeze the action. Where the blurry tungsten bits overlap the sharper flash bits, the flesh colour will be nicely balanced.

Another advantage of this is that things that are in the distance because will not be black and featureless.

Fruit without flash, and with flash.

http://xs137.xs.to/xs137/09103/fruitnofill341.jpg
http://xs137.xs.to/xs137/09103/fruitwithfill901.jpg
http://xs537.xs.to/xs537/09103/hands685.jpg

The Soopa Villainz
25th March 2009, 02:41 PM
First up, what camera are you using? D70 maybe, as you know the flash function. Second thing is this.
Use about ISO 800 and a shutter speed of 1/30 of a second. Set your camera to Shutter speed priority and leave it at 1/30. the ISO at 800 is ok but, the 1/30 shutter speed makes anything look blurry if hand held. I myself think a shutter speed of 1/60-1/80 is way better for hand held work.

cabel
25th March 2009, 03:39 PM
I hope your daughter is over 16!

also a low f stop lens is useful.

I personally find 1/30 fast enough for hand held stuff on stationary objects but iso800 can still be a bit too noisy.

good tip with playing with the exposure settings, hadn't thought of that one for some reason ,)

The Soopa Villainz
25th March 2009, 05:27 PM
I personally find 1/30 fast enough for hand held stuff on stationary objects but iso800 can still be a bit too noisy.


I hardly go over 400 ISO for that reason. Even though nikon say the D90 is good at noise reduction.

gallet
25th March 2009, 08:20 PM
OK now remember that there's no right or wrong here, it's all just an opinion. My background is theatrical photography and so I'm used to shooting at slow speeds, it's possible to hand hold a blad at 1/4 sec no worries, so 1/30 is not too slow to hold and of course at wider angles it's even easier. 1/30 is chosen deliberately and I would not go faster because it provides the right amount of blur when using flash.

It allows for unexpected movement or none at all. So one can get some delightful surprises. You know that shot by Bresson with the french kid and the loaf of bread as he's skipping over a puddle? Me either, but that perfect blur at the right moment is just one of those happy accidents and it's a good thing to allow for these moments.

So the principle is this: Normal room lights usually tungsten, floro kitchen lights or mixed lighting with lamps is good too. Use the flash colour balance so everthing will be very very warm and a bit blurry from movement. The camera is set for S or speed priority so it stays on 1/30 and the aperture will be adjusted automatically. Then on a D70 you can pop up the flash and set it to TTL and knock back the flash exposure by 1.5 or 2 so that the fill flash will approximately equal the ambient exposure. This is why blur is good, because the flash will freeze any movement and also bring the colour back but the blur will still be there. Let me know if this is not clear.

As I said earlier this also keeps the whole scene lit so there are no really dark areas.

Now if you don't have TTL flash where you can knock it back automatically by 1.5 2 stops, then it can still be done with the flash set on manual. I'll describe that a bit later.

Here's an example of what I mean, again, it's not a brilliant shot but my best shots would not be suitable for publication. You can see that the hand is blurred but the flash has also stopped it and sharpened and colour corrected it as an overlay. Interesting effect. There is no post processing at all on this shot.

http://xs137.xs.to/xs137/09133/_hand484.jpg



Mod edit: Text deleted.

fishboy
26th March 2009, 10:16 PM
I don't think one should stick to set rules with this stuff. One has to decide how much movement they want to convey, assess the direction of movement, subject-camera distance etc to achieve the desired look. I think using shutter priority and maintaining a shutter speed of 1/30 sec and dialling back the flash output somewhere between 1-1.66 stops is a pretty useful guide, but depending on the environment and the subject, one might want to consider using aperture priority or manual modes. It's not too hard, review your shot and adjust - too much movement? Make the shutter speed faster. Subject too bright? Reduce the flash output until it looks right.

Aperture priority: f 4.0 at 1/20 sec. Flash set to ETTL. No flash exposure compensation, but rear curtain sync was used to emphasise movement.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32269817@N00/3386660591/

fishboy
26th March 2009, 10:35 PM
Once again, it all depends. The whole image will look blurry at 1/30 second if a shaky crackhead is using a 80mm lens. A surgeon with steady hands who knows how to brace a camera against his body with a 35 mm lens would nail an acceptably sharp shot, I'd wager.

Subject blurriness will depend on the speed and direction of the subject's movement. If the subject is a greyhound racing across the horizon, it's going to be blurry at 1/30 sec. A snail gliding directly towards the lens less so. Not all photographic subject matter is created equal is my point.

Sitt

www.sitthixay.com


Second thing is this. the ISO at 800 is ok but, the 1/30 shutter speed makes anything look blurry if hand held. I myself think a shutter speed of 1/60-1/80 is way better for hand held work.

soulman
26th March 2009, 11:07 PM
The rule of thumb for handholding is 1/focal length for film or full frame DSLRs. This assumes a non moving subject and that one doesn't want any movement in the image. In other words, and all things being equal, the minimum shutter speed for sharpness is proportional to focal length.

For example, it is not difficult for most people to get sharp - no discernible camera shake - results at 1/30th with a 28mm lens but 1/250th would be required to give the same result when using a 250mm lens.

Some people can do better of course, some not as well.

jubilantjeremy
27th March 2009, 12:36 AM
The rule of thumb for handholding is 1/focal length for film or full frame DSLRs. This assumes a non moving subject and that one doesn't want any movement in the image. In other words, and all things being equal, the minimum shutter speed for sharpness is proportional to focal length.

For example, it is not difficult for most people to get sharp - no discernible camera shake - results at 1/30th with a 28mm lens but 1/250th would be required to give the same result when using a 250mm lens.

Some people can do better of course, some not as well.

Well, there's two big variables - film speed and available light.

soulman
28th March 2009, 05:33 PM
Well, there's two big variables - film speed and available light.These have no bearing on what I'm saying. Nobody can get a sharp image from a handheld 500mm lens at 1/15, regardless of whether it is during a bright day, or at dusk; or whether they are using ISO50 or 400. It's the same reason why you can't handhold a telescope.

donnnnnny
7th April 2009, 05:41 PM
totally agree with the above post
the rule of thumb in slr photography is 100mm lens minimum shutter speed 100/1 sec
cheers donnnnnny

LithgowLights
11th April 2009, 08:28 PM
These have no bearing on what I'm saying. Nobody can get a sharp image from a handheld 500mm lens at 1/15, regardless of whether it is during a bright day, or at dusk; or whether they are using ISO50 or 400. It's the same reason why you can't handhold a telescope.

Exactly. I can usually use a ratio of 1.5 for myself. so about 1/60th sec and a zoom of 100mm and nail 90% of the shots acceptably. But theres times I cant (too much coffee? lol).

Edit: Sometimes I push that further to say 200mm at 1/60 to 1/100 sec, but the success of the shots drops dramatically - maybe 10% at 1/60 & 200mm but if you have the time for multiple shots & can accept they might fail then it might work for you too.

My wife of the other hand is the opposite - for a 100mm zoom I'd want 1/150 to 1/200 sec as no matter how much I try and teach her, she wont brace her arms & think about her breathing when composing a slow shutter speed shot...

chrome
23rd April 2009, 09:42 AM
It should also be noted that an uber fast lens can help a great deal.

They don't make the 28mm f/1.4 anymore but if you can get your hands on one, it makes an ideal lens for shooting in marginally lit indoors situations.

roboboy
25th April 2009, 12:51 AM
totally agree with the above post
the rule of thumb in slr photography is 100mm lens minimum shutter speed 100/1 sec
cheers donnnnnny

That's 100 seconds mate...:p just to clarify: The "Rule of Thumb," as first mentioned by "soulman" is that the shutter speed for hand held photos should never be slower than; 1/(focal length) .

To create that motion blur effect with the crisp end exposure you at least need the flash set to "rear sync" first. I do not think the D70 built in flash would be enough to pause any significant amounts of motion. I used the D70 flash for close up fill light, but much of the time shooting in daylight it definitely would not cut it, without being up close and center weighted.

BTW the SB-800 or even the 600 are incredible flash units and can be used wirelessly with the D70 without further purchase of peripherals. I would highly recommend them.

gallet
29th July 2009, 06:29 PM
The "rule of thumb" thing, only refers to those with the DT's. I have easily held a blad at 1/4 sec with an 80mm lens wide open, and had it razor sharp. 1/4' second for a standard 50mm on a 35mm reflex is no problem if you hold your breath, concentrate and release the shutter smoothly.

Anyway, here are a few recent shots using a tungsten lamp plus on camera (D70) flash knocked back 2 stops. Some of the effects are very much like a Man Ray, solarised look, particularly around the hand on the second shot. These are unretouched except for downsizing for the web in photoshop and cropped a bit.

exposure was about 1/4 second and the camera was deliberately rotated or moved during exposure.

Contains Nudity: http://xs941.xs.to/xs941/09313/soft266.jpg - NSFW

Contains semi-nudity: http://xs141.xs.to/xs141/09313/arm875.jpg - semiNSFW

[Mod Edit: Removed embedded photo of nudity]

spargo
29th July 2009, 06:35 PM
I'm obviously missing something. Are these photos meant to be good, or demonstrating some kind of ability to take handheld shots indoors with or without a flash?

My severely handicapped brother could take a better photo during one of his unfortunate epileptic episodes.

NathR32
29th July 2009, 06:40 PM
WTF is this thread about again? I got no clue on what this is supposed to achieve.

I thought I had already commented in here but obviously not.

swoffa
29th July 2009, 07:36 PM
I think he likes the blurred look......or he's cross eyed.

Else it's just an excuse to post a pair of boobs.

roboboy
29th July 2009, 09:22 PM
I probably just don't understand the whole "art" thing, but it seems the whole slow shutter rear sync blurred look is back and pleasing to the eye.
Also please don't let those last pics be of his daughter.

p.s. thread of the week?

Exocet
29th July 2009, 09:42 PM
This thread has gone about three steps beyond what we feel comfortable with. Also, "art" or not - nudity isn't acceptable on MacTalk. Lets not make that mistake again.