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Souwalker
10th of December 2006 (Sun), 17:59
Hi

I've got the 350D and the Tamron 17-50 and Sigma 17-70 and Canon 430ex flash. In 2 weeks time, whole bunch of friends and kids will go to the city to look at the Xmas lights/trees etc.
Bounce photography is out of the question (outdoors). Which lens should I use? Use AV mode with the flash pointing forward? Aperture settings?
Any suggestion would be highly appreciated.
I won't be bringing a tripod as the pictures I'll take will mostly be of friends standing in front of trees, lights and all of our kids etc.
Best Rgds
Patrick

lungdoc
10th of December 2006 (Sun), 18:58
Relatively simple options would include either an index card/flash diffuser method (likely to work if closer to people) or high ISO if existing light permits. Don't fully rule out tripod for these types of pictures - 1/30 ( or even lower) with a 30mm or 1/60 with a 60mm for example may be fine for stationary people but not for hand shaking/movement. Also tripod would let you get in the picture with a self timer...

rammy
10th of December 2006 (Sun), 19:41
Any suggestion would be highly appreciated.
I won't be bringing a tripod as the pictures I'll take will mostly be of friends standing in front of trees, lights and all of our kids etc.
Best Rgds
Patrick

Patrick, I had a similar expericence so hope I can help: this is xmas in Birmingham, Uk.

Use the lens with the widest aperture and use the flash with a diffuser or FEC it - you may not be able to shoot much hand held, without flash, unless you have IS so crank up the ISO.

Here is an example I faced with foreground people (my sister and niece) and background bright light. No PP apart from resizing. I am getting a 580EX which should give me more control. See how the flash has helped with keeping the gals and the lights at the best exposure?

BEFORE (IMG_7788_02.jpg): Without on-board flash - 24-105 F4 with IS on (the background lights would have blown if I metered off their faces!).
AFTER (IMG_7789_02.jpg): With on-board flash - 24-105 F4 with IS on (Hmm, blue faces cause of the flash light but still, better than black!).

I might be able to do some corrective because of the blue light but hopefully this helps you with example of what I have had to face, and maybe you can learn something before your shots.

Good luck and have fun!

(BTW - Don't use on-board flash with a "fat" or "long" lens, I got away with it because I zoomed in after the dark bit at the bottom)

tim
10th of December 2006 (Sun), 20:15
Shoot in Av mode, lens wide open, ISO800, with zero FEC on the flash. Adjust FEC if you want more or less light on the subject. Face the flash directly forward. If the lighting's orange and you want people to match put an orange gel on your flash.

Rellik
10th of December 2006 (Sun), 20:58
Shoot in Av mode, lens wide open, ISO800, with zero FEC on the flash. Adjust FEC if you want more or less light on the subject. Face the flash directly forward. If the lighting's orange and you want people to match put an orange gel on your flash.

I second this. You can probably get away with ISO1600 and PP the noise away later. Also you can experiment with metering for the lights only (so use M mode) then take the picture normally. That way, the lights behind you will still give a glow while people will be lighted.

tim
10th of December 2006 (Sun), 21:04
The only difference betwen ISO 800 and 1600 in this context is how much light the flash will have to put out, so only recharge time, battery life, and noise will matter.

Souwalker
10th of December 2006 (Sun), 21:07
Shoot in Av mode, lens wide open, ISO800, with zero FEC on the flash. Adjust FEC if you want more or less light on the subject. Face the flash directly forward. If the lighting's orange and you want people to match put an orange gel on your flash.

Hi Tim
Lens wide open even with 430ex flash? Won't I be overexposing the lights?
Sigma or the Tamron?
Rgds
pat

Rellik
10th of December 2006 (Sun), 21:31
The only difference betwen ISO 800 and 1600 in this context is how much light the flash will have to put out, so only recharge time, battery life, and noise will matter.

True, but I guess I was suggesting in the context that he will have to drag the shutter to have the background properly exposed with minimal blur.

tim
10th of December 2006 (Sun), 21:48
True, but I guess I was suggesting in the context that he will have to drag the shutter to have the background properly exposed with minimal blur.

If you drag the shutter the lights will be overexposed. The ISO chosen won't make any difference to the relative brightness of the lights and the background. The flash will fill in the foreground, but the background could be dark.

Consider zooming the flash in further than the lens, manually, so the flash only illuminates the centre part of the image. Mainly useful if there's a road or something in the frame.

Hi Tim
Lens wide open even with 430ex flash? Won't I be overexposing the lights?
Sigma or the Tamron?
Rgds
pat

A flash is unlikely to add much light to the existing lights, so no, I doubt the flash will make the lights overexpose. You have a histogram to check that.

Sigma or Tamron what? There's no context to that question. Use whatever lens you like best, makes little difference.

Souwalker
11th of December 2006 (Mon), 18:24
Will ISO 800 cause too much noticeble noise?
Rgds
pat

tim
11th of December 2006 (Mon), 19:34
Depends what print size you use. At 6x4 (1800 pixels high or wide) you'll probably not see any. Even at 8x12 it should be fine. I've made prints 20" wide from ISO 1600 files, after a little noise reduction.

Souwalker
11th of December 2006 (Mon), 20:45
Depends what print size you use. At 6x4 (1800 pixels high or wide) you'll probably not see any. Even at 8x12 it should be fine. I've made prints 20" wide from ISO 1600 files, after a little noise reduction.

Many Thanks Tim
Pat