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Thread started 22 Jul 2017 (Saturday) 15:15
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Settings advice for using a Flash at an indoor kids play place

 
kat.hayes
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Jul 22, 2017 15:15 |  #1

Using a 5DM3 and a EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L and a 600EX-RT:

I'm obviously very new to this and I'm going to take photos of kids running around at an indoor play place. The lighting will change, as well as how fast the kids playing will be. I plan to put the flash into auto/TTL because I am not good enough to go manual with it yet. I am also taping some diffused soft box material over the flash, I plan to use this instead of worrying about bouncing light to walls/ceiling.

As a starting point for settings, I'm thinking of:
- manual
- f4
- 1/40 - 1/60th
- iso 400-1200

1. Do I need to worry about shutter speed at all to capture motion of the kids running since I am using the Flash?

2. If I am getting too much color casts in my photos from the lighting, should I just speed the shutter to around 1/250?

3. Is there any advantage for my situation of attaching a flash bracket to the camera so the flash sits off to the side instead of on top?

4. If my photos are too dark, what should be my first step, slowing the shutter, or increasing ISO?

Thanks for any help and pardon my ignorance!




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JeffreyG
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Jul 22, 2017 17:09 |  #2

kat.hayes wrote in post #18408631 (external link)
Using a 5DM3 and a EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L and a 600EX-RT:

I'm obviously very new to this and I'm going to take photos of kids running around at an indoor play place. The lighting will change, as well as how fast the kids playing will be. I plan to put the flash into auto/TTL because I am not good enough to go manual with it yet. I am also taping some diffused soft box material over the flash, I plan to use this instead of worrying about bouncing light to walls/ceiling.

If the wall and ceiling are white or off-white, I would bounce the light. This gives you a large, soft, light source that is well off the lens axis. Such lighting fixes most of the problems associated with flash.

Otherwise, taping crap or purchasing tupperware bits to put on flash before shooting direct is a waste of time. It won't make the light source appreciably larger, which means it won't make the light source appreciably softer. All it does is cut your range and run the batteries down faster.

As a starting point for settings, I'm thinking of:
- manual
- f4
- 1/40 - 1/60th
- iso 400-1200

If the space is large, I would try to set my ambient exposure so that it is about 1 stop to 2/3 stop underexposed. Ditto this advice if you cannot bounce. That way the background will not disappear as a dark cave. If the space is small, just set the shutter to 1/250, ISO to 400 and nuke it - let the flash light everything (bounced).

1. Do I need to worry about shutter speed at all to capture motion of the kids running since I am using the Flash?

Not if the ambient exposure setting is underexposed enough that the flash is the main light on the subjects. This technique (which I also described above) is know as dragging the shutter, and it works very well.

2. If I am getting too much color casts in my photos from the lighting, should I just speed the shutter to around 1/250?

Yeah, or slap a $0.50 color gel on your flash to match the lights. If the space is small enough to light it all (kids and background) with the flash, this is the easiest route. But in larger spaces the background will turn black, which is why we all buy and use color gels on our flashes.

3. Is there any advantage for my situation of attaching a flash bracket to the camera so the flash sits off to the side instead of on top?

Not much, brackets will help cut red-eye when shooting direct flash and when the subject is looking at you.

4. If my photos are too dark, what should be my first step, slowing the shutter, or increasing ISO?

Set the flash to 1:1 power (manual) and see if they are still dark, if yes then you don't have enough power and you will need a larger aperture or higher ISO. But this is not likely unless the ceiling is a mile high.

More likely you have having ETTL metering fails. I tend to use CWA metering for ETTL.


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TreeburnerCT
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Jul 22, 2017 20:35 |  #3

kat.hayes wrote in post #18408631 (external link)
4. If my photos are too dark, what should be my first step, slowing the shutter, or increasing ISO?

If your photos are dark try dialing in some flash exposure compensation (FEC). You'll learn to dial in based on the color of your subject and metering mode, but basically dark subjects need negative FEC, bright subjects need +FEC.

Good luck, I'm in the same boat now, have a solid understanding of the camera and am learning what I can about adding flash into the mix.

-Joe


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apersson850
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Jul 23, 2017 11:16 |  #4

If you can't bounce from the ceiling, then a reflector on the flash is better than a piece of plastic. The plastic diffusor diffuses more if you bounce, but that's about it. If you don't have any reflector, a white paper dish and some tape will do a make-shift one.


Anders

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MalVeauX
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Jul 23, 2017 11:52 |  #5

Heya,

Two ways to approach it.

1) 100% flash. This will look "flashed". I would probably not do this, but, flash duration will freeze the kids if you block out ambient light and only expose with flash.

2) Fill flash. Camera settings to sync speed, aperture for depth of field, and ISO to bring up ambient exposure. Flash in ETTL with FEC set to whatever it takes to get fill or normal exposure (something like FEC -1/3rd for example; or you may want full exposure from flash, so adjust FEC as you wish).

I do this at a bouncing house play around with my girls, and I use ultrawide focal lengths and fill flash pointed directly at them. I find bouncing is less effective because of all the weird rafters, play areas with ceilings, etc. I found 1/200s with fill flash froze most action. Some action blurred a little, but we stabilize our heads, so the faces and cores were frozen and the limbs and hair had a little blur sometimes, which was cool as it showed the action.

Very best,


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Wilt
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Post has been last edited 4 months ago by Wilt. 2 edits done in total.
Jul 23, 2017 12:41 |  #6

kat.hayes wrote in post #18408631 (external link)
1. Do I need to worry about shutter speed at all to capture motion of the kids running since I am using the Flash?

'It depends' upon how bright the ambient light is, in combination with aperture+shutter+ISO set by you! Let us assume that your ambient-light-only exposure is underexposed (without flash) by about -2EV...in that case, about 99% of your exposure will simply be by the brief duration of the stronger flash, and any subject motion (underexposed by -2EV) will be scarcely noticed motion blur in the final photo.

But if your ambient-light-only exposure is underexposed (without flash) by about -1EV...in that case, about 66% of your exposure will be by the brief duration of the stronger flash, and any subject motion (underexposed by -1EV) will still be visible in the final photo albeit slight underexposed motion blur.


kat.hayes wrote in post #18408631 (external link)
2. If I am getting too much color casts in my photos from the lighting, should I just speed the shutter to around 1/250?

Color cast from what cause??? If the color cast is captured light of a constant light source (sun, incandescent bulb, fluorescent) the shutter speed increase CAN be effective, but remember that if you use flash you cannot exceed the X-sync speed of your camera unless you use a flash with HSS mode enabled (but that cuts flash power and the max effective range at which its light can be seen)

kat.hayes wrote in post #18408631 (external link)
3. Is there any advantage for my situation of attaching a flash bracket to the camera so the flash sits off to the side instead of on top?

NO, side-mounted flash causes a SHADOW to be cast to the side of the subject, and that can be very distracting/disturbing in the photo! (Yes, side placement CAN benefit in reduction of red-eye flashed shots.) But better for the flash to be centered above the optical axis of the lens.

kat.hayes wrote in post #18408631 (external link)
4. If my photos are too dark, what should be my first step, slowing the shutter, or increasing ISO?

If dark in ambient-only light, pick larger aperture (diameter) or slower shutter or higher ISO, (or some combination of the three)
If dark in eTTL flash illuminated exposure, pick larger aperture or higher ISO (or dial in FEC plus setting)


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Settings advice for using a Flash at an indoor kids play place
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