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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 13 Mar 2011 (Sunday) 19:07
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measuring ambient light?

 
jeljohns
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Mar 13, 2011 19:07 |  #1

I'm reading the Speedlighters Handbook by Syl Arena, in addition to other books and sites about flash. In the book he talks about how he takes an ambient reading first.

The entire reason I want to learn flash is because my house is dark and I do not have a full frame camera. In order to get decent photos I have to turn the ISO way up and open up the aperture. I want to be able to take natural looking photos without all the noise from high ISO.

So according to Syl I would have to get proper exposure of the ambient first, which means I would still have high ISO.

So how do I take photos in a dark room using flash. I'm not sure where to even start setting wise.




  
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chrisandaivi
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Mar 13, 2011 19:19 |  #2

have you tried this website? Very helpful

www.strobist.blogspot.​com (external link)

go to lighting 101


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bobbyz
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Mar 13, 2011 19:21 |  #3

I assume you don't have lightmeter. Did the book say how to tale ambient light reading?

Above aside what lens are you using? Start at something like ISO800, f2.8 and see what you get. Don't be too afraid of high ISO. Learn to get proper exposure and noise won't be a problem. And if you add flash on top of it, it will real good end result.


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Tiberius
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Mar 13, 2011 19:22 |  #4

What does a full frame camera have to do with it?

I've written a tutorial with using manual flash. Click the link in my signature, then click "How to use manual flash".


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jeljohns
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Mar 13, 2011 19:27 |  #5

He basically says in the book that he does test shots to find out the proper ambient light. But if I try to get "proper" ambient light in my house I'm going to be at 1.4, ISO 3200, and still have to slow my shutter waaaaay down. The whole point of using flash for me is to add light so I don't have to use these settings.

People keep telling me getting a full frame camera will solve this problem because the sensor is larger (more light).




  
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apersson850
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Mar 14, 2011 06:10 as a reply to  @ jeljohns's post |  #6

The larger sensor doesn't give you more light. But it handles high ISO better.

Sometimes you can get a reasonable compromise by underexposing the ambient to a certain extent, then adding flash for the main subject. If not, you need enough flash power to illuminate the whole room.


Anders

  
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bobbyz
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Mar 14, 2011 08:45 |  #7

jeljohns wrote in post #12013587 (external link)
He basically says in the book that he does test shots to find out the proper ambient light. But if I try to get "proper" ambient light in my house I'm going to be at 1.4, ISO 3200, and still have to slow my shutter waaaaay down. The whole point of using flash for me is to add light so I don't have to use these settings.

If you using flash then you most probably don't want ambient as proper exposure more like ambient should be down 1-2 stops what the proper exposure is.

If you getting very long ss at f1.4 and ISO3200 then maybe should turn on the room lights.:D An example shot would be nice to see. The settings you telling don't need flash.


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BrandonSi
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Mar 14, 2011 08:51 |  #8

bobbyz wrote in post #12016469 (external link)
If you getting very long ss at f1.4 and ISO3200 then maybe should turn on the room lights.:D An example shot would be nice to see. The settings you telling don't need flash.

Bobby beat me to it.. 1.4 @ 3200 and a slow shutter speed? Something is wrong here, or you need to buy some lamps.


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Benji
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Mar 14, 2011 09:47 |  #9

Simple, add lots more ambient light. Preferably light that is close in kelvin temperature to your flash unit which is 5500 degrees K.

Benji




  
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Scatterbrained
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Mar 14, 2011 09:53 |  #10

You can also try getting close to ambient and then bouncing the flash in a way that it fills the room (to a degree) with light. I know it's not always possible, but if you have higher ceilings it can be done.


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gonzogolf
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Mar 14, 2011 09:59 |  #11

Keep in mind the circumstances. In Syl's example his attempting some form of balance between ambient light and flash. In a mostly or totally dark room you are substituting flash for the ambient so the balance between the two is less of a factor. Not to say you cant still try to get photos that look less "flashed" by raising the ISO some and bouncing the flash, but you cant balance the light where there is little or no ambient to work with.




  
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measuring ambient light?
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