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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 25 Apr 2011 (Monday) 23:04
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Balancing Flash with Ambient Light

 
PixelMagic
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Apr 26, 2011 11:07 |  #16

Neil van Niekerk addresses this situation on his website and in his books. Take a look at this webpage; scroll down to the section titled "When you add flash to ambient light, don’t you over-expose the subject?"

http://neilvn.com …s/3-dragging-the-shutter/ (external link)


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Al ­ Rohrer
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Apr 26, 2011 11:25 |  #17

Peacefield wrote in post #12294557 (external link)
Burning is correct, though I've always viewed it in much more simple terms.

- Set the camera to M
- Although people always talk about dragging the suttter (and they're right), don't worry about that. Just meter the scene through the view-finder and come up with a setting combination that's about 2 stops too dark. (you can experiment with more or less, but I like 2 stops)
- Whatever setting combination you came up with, ensure that you're up above about 1/100 sec. and that the aperature will provide you with the desired depth of field. Adjust your ISO to help you get there as necessary.
- Now, set your flash to ETTL and go. ETTL should properly light your subject while your background is only two stops dark.

I'm over-simplifying this, but not by a lot.

^^^What he said.^^^


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Dave ­ Jr
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Apr 26, 2011 11:38 |  #18

PixelMagic wrote in post #12295836 (external link)
Neil van Niekerk addresses this situation on his website and in his books. Take a look at this webpage; scroll down to the section titled "When you add flash to ambient light, don’t you over-expose the subject?"

http://neilvn.com …s/3-dragging-the-shutter/ (external link)


That is very good stuff in that link. I've read it before, but now I have it bookmarked for future reference.


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ConverseMan
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Apr 26, 2011 12:20 |  #19

^^^ Same. Bookmarked.


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Robertogee
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Apr 26, 2011 16:27 |  #20

Turn off your Speedlite. Use a tripod.

In AV mode, decide what aperture you want for DOF. Take sample shots with ambient light. Dial exposure compensation till you get ambient like you want (probably a bit underexposed, considering you're going to add flash and want your subject to "pop" a bit from the b.g.).

Look to see what settings you have with that aperture, as determined by the camera in AV, then go to Manual and duplicate the shutter speed and aperture settings.

Turn on your Speedlite and use ETTL. Take shot. Adjust FEC if needed.

If you can get your Speedlite off camera, do. If not, can you bounce it? If STILL not, then at least use A Better Bounce Card (YouTube: will cost maybe $2 to make) to give you better / more flattering on-axis light.

Good luck!


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bobbyz
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Apr 26, 2011 16:33 |  #21

Robertogee wrote in post #12297780 (external link)
Turn off your Speedlite. Use a tripod.

Why use a tripod if you just trying to meter ambient?


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msowsun
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Apr 26, 2011 16:37 |  #22

bobbyz wrote in post #12297836 (external link)
Why use a tripod if you just trying to meter ambient?

Assuming the ambient light is low, you will need a long shutter speed for it to be visible in the photo.

Th OP must have been shooting in low light.

TripleG wrote in post #12293105 (external link)
I kept getting the typical bright subject, black background harsh look. No matter what I did to adjust the settings I could not get the ambient light level up.


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Robertogee
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Apr 26, 2011 17:57 |  #23

Agreed, Msowsun.

If it's a portrait session (particularly in what sounds like low light), tripod the camera.

Otherwise, Bobbyz, absolutely right: no need for the tripod.

Although it's easy (for many) to pretty much freeze the background (relatively speaking) handheld, even at 1/15 or so, when using Speedlites, I often prefer the look of some motion blur behind the flash-frozen subject(s), or even some blur to the flash-frozen subject(s) themselves if they're moving -- dancers at a party, say. Excited kids at a birthday party. It can be a great effect.

In a senior's portrait, though, you may not want to get too "artsy" and instead concentrate on lighting and shooting her as "beautifully" as possible.


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mbloof
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Apr 26, 2011 19:21 |  #24

Use Manual mode.
Dial in aperture for desired DOF.
Adjust ISO/Shutter so shutter speed is high enough to not worry about camera shake and lower than max flash sync speed and exposure meter shows 0 to -1 stop in your viewfinder. (adjust for taste)
Take picture with flash in ETTL mode.
Chimp - make adjustments if needed.


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TripleG
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Apr 27, 2011 11:06 as a reply to  @ mbloof's post |  #25

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone that replied. I have some things to try.



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walkien
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Apr 30, 2011 10:19 as a reply to  @ TripleG's post |  #26

Try 2nd curtain sync with slow shutter


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rhys216
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May 01, 2011 12:38 |  #27
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msowsun wrote in post #12297861 (external link)
Assuming the ambient light is low, you will need a long shutter speed for it to be visible in the photo.

Th OP must have been shooting in low light.

This.

@Op forget the barn, and go outside instead and just use a reflector, it will look much better than someone using a non-directional hard flash, especially when they don't know what they are doing with it.
Then you can expose the scene the way you know how to, but you should also learn how to shoot manual as well, as a backup, because then you wouldn't of had this issue, as you would have slowed the shutter, opened the aperture, and increased the ISO if needed.

So below are my rough guidelines/advice for your senior shoot.

1) Get a big reflector that your wife can aim and hold for you during the shoot.
2) Use a fast lens, a fast prime would be ideal, and shoot it at about F2 to get some nice bokeh, will need to use a fast shutter speed.
3) Learn at least 5 classic senior poses so that you are confident directing the subject.




  
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Balancing Flash with Ambient Light
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
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