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Thread started 12 Sep 2012 (Wednesday) 04:52
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shooting people with flash

 
ashwanikumar
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Sep 12, 2012 04:52 |  #1

Recently I tried to take a glamourous photo of my niece using canon 350D. Here is the EXIF: aperture f/4, speed 1/60, ISO 800, focal length 22.0mm, and reflected flash from the ceiling with 430exII speedlight

However, as you can see I got a lot of grains in the photo in spite of having adequate light and reducing the aperture for maximum light. So I spent a lot of time on photoshop trying to get a smoother skin, better contrast and a sharper picture. However, could not do justice to the dark pink dress. Here are both the versions before photoshop and after photoshop.
I wonder how I could improve my photo quality while shooting people with flashlight?


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frugivore
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Sep 12, 2012 05:15 |  #2

I don't think there is adequate light. You will need to shoot at a lower ISO setting to reduce the noise in the picture. This will mean that you must increase the flash power, or shooting somewhere where there is more ambient light. The shadows indicate that the light source is coming from the right side of your neice (left of camera). If you have some way of bouncing the flash so that the light source comes from higher above, I would recommend that.




  
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fashionrider
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Sep 12, 2012 05:31 |  #3

ISO 800 will definitely add tons of grain/noise regardless of lighting. Like frugivore mentioned, lower your ISO to 100 when possible. With a single subject, you can drop your aperture as far as possible (not sure what lens you have though). U don't need f4 for one person.

It doesn't look like u bounced the flash from the ceiling since the shadow is harsh and on the side. Looks like an on camera flash that's direct. Have your subject step away from the background as much as possible so that there is less of a shadow... Also helps blur the background a little to have your subject stand out more.


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frugivore
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Sep 12, 2012 06:24 |  #4

fashionrider wrote in post #14980355 (external link)
ISO 800 will definitely add tons of grain/noise regardless of lighting. Like frugivore mentioned, lower your ISO to 100 when possible. With a single subject, you can drop your aperture as far as possible (not sure what lens you have though). U don't need f4 for one person.

The OP is using the 18-55.




  
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ashwanikumar
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Sep 12, 2012 08:18 as a reply to  @ frugivore's post |  #5

Many thanks for the feedback. I agree frugivore, there is not enough light, or the ambient light. I was requested to take this picture at nighttime in my living room. I will try this shoot again if possible. The lens I used was 18-55 at 22.0mm.




  
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ashwanikumar
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Sep 12, 2012 08:25 as a reply to  @ fashionrider's post |  #6

Fashionrider many thanks for your advice. It seems I dont follow what I read.:) I know that higher ISO gives noise. What I understand by noise here is that the colours fade. The grainy effect can happen even if the iso is 100 (especially in areas where there is dark).
Yes I should have kept the subject away from the background in order to blur it. I shall try again.




  
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Andrew_T
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Sep 12, 2012 12:21 |  #7

Surely establish ISO 100, and repeat attempt. If you have 430exII speedlight, it is powerful flash. Try to put the chamber in a mode P automatic will make everything that is necessary. Try to use scatterers for flash.




  
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fashionrider
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Sep 12, 2012 13:31 |  #8

ashwanikumar wrote in post #14980719 (external link)
Fashionrider many thanks for your advice. It seems I dont follow what I read.:) I know that higher ISO gives noise. What I understand by noise here is that the colours fade. The grainy effect can happen even if the iso is 100 (especially in areas where there is dark).
Yes I should have kept the subject away from the background in order to blur it. I shall try again.

At ISO 100, your dark areas should still be fairly clear with veeeryyy little noise. The noise will only increase if you try to increase the exposure in post production. You can reduce the noise also in post production software but it sort of makes your picture softer (blurry at edges).

Keep trying! If you are going to use ISO 100 in a dark room with flash, I highly suggest switching to full manual mode. If you switch to something like aperture priority (Av), and set the ISO to 100, the camera will make the shutter speed so slow that there will be motion blur. I have shot many events in a dark area but had to make my flash to the max setting at times.


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ashwanikumar
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Oct 27, 2012 23:30 as a reply to  @ fashionrider's post |  #9

Dear friends, after all your teachings I tried to take another photo. This time with iso 100 in almost the same studio settings. here are the results. It doesn't come close to all the glamour portraits I see. The eye colour is not visible. contrast? Any ideas on how I can further improve my portraits with flash?


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rrblint
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Oct 27, 2012 23:44 as a reply to  @ ashwanikumar's post |  #10

If you will remove the flash from the hotshoe, a lightstand and a softbox or umbrella will really help your photos...You have a very beautiful niece BTW.:)


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bboehm
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Oct 27, 2012 23:45 |  #11

Your exposure time is 1/10. You're not going to get a tack sharp photo shooting that slow. For these kinds of shots most pros usually shoot in the 1/160 range. You should set that as your minimum speed and then adjust your lighting and ISO accordingly. I usually try to not go higher than ISO 200 if I can. Try adjusting your light output to a higher setting if you need it.


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Fotoworld
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Oct 28, 2012 04:43 |  #12
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To be honest the girl is a pretty girl but the lighting is poor.




  
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saea501
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Oct 28, 2012 05:42 |  #13

bboehm wrote in post #15177252 (external link)
Your exposure time is 1/10. You're not going to get a tack sharp photo shooting that slow. For these kinds of shots most pros usually shoot in the 1/160 range. You should set that as your minimum speed and then adjust your lighting and ISO accordingly. I usually try to not go higher than ISO 200 if I can. Try adjusting your light output to a higher setting if you need it.

rrblint wrote in post #15177250 (external link)
If you will remove the flash from the hotshoe, a lightstand and a softbox or umbrella will really help your photos...You have a very beautiful niece BTW.:)

These two suggestions, and some more experimentation, will get you where you need to be. As mentioned above, set your shutter speed about 200, your ISO 200-400 and then make your lighting adjustments. In the shot above it's too hot.


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aquaforester
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Oct 28, 2012 06:38 |  #14

Kinda a newbie at flash photography, but how does the shutter affect the exposure. Isn't this an issue of flash lighting not ambient. So even at 1/10, shouldn't it be clear based on the flash speed.


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chokeslamcena
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Oct 28, 2012 08:33 |  #15

aquaforester wrote in post #15177834 (external link)
Kinda a newbie at flash photography, but how does the shutter affect the exposure. Isn't this an issue of flash lighting not ambient. So even at 1/10, shouldn't it be clear based on the flash speed.

You'll still get some blur.

You can get away with it sometimes (club photographers would do it with second curtain sync to get light trails in the background and sharp people, for example) but it's probably something you'd need to practice and find your feet with, first.

Also, as it's all flash light, and no ambient light, you might aswell be shooting at your cameras flash sync speed anyway (usually 1/250th or so) as the ambient light won't make a difference to your photo in the end.

OP, you're just starting out, so my advice is:

1. Get your 430EX II and point the head upwards, so it's pointing at the roof.

2. Shoot in landscape mode, not portrait (that is, hold the camera normally, not sideways, as this will be more likely to give you shake until you get comfortable with holding it that way).

3. Put your camera in Manual mode (M on the dial).

4. Put your 430EX II on Manual mode, and set the power to 1/1 (this is full power, and very, very strong).

5. Make sure your Focus mode is not AI Servo (use One Shot, as the flashgun will help you focus this way).

6. On your camera, in manual mode, dial in: Aperture: 5.6, ISO: 100, Shutter Speed: 250.

7. Take a photo.

8. If your photo is too bright, adjust your flash power to 1/2. This will halve the amount of light that is coming out of it. Take another picture. If the photo is still too bright, adjust your flash power to 1/4.

OR

8. If your photo is too dark, adjust your ISO upwards. Going from ISO 100 to 200 will double the amount of light hitting the camera sensor. Take another picture. If the photos is still too dark, adjust your ISO to 400.

That should be a fairly fool-proof way to get things going.


Alternatively, set your camera to A (Aperture priority) and put it at f/4. During a bright day, take photographs of your niece standing very, very close to the window. The light coming through the window will be soft and look good (don't use a 430EXII in this situation).


Hope that's helpful. :)




  
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