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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 20 Jun 2008 (Friday) 09:09
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Low ambient light party

 
shutter_blitz
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Jun 20, 2008 09:09 |  #1

I volunteered to shoot a party for a friend of mine.

I checked out the venue yesterday. The hall has a nice low ceiling and the walls are not obstructed by anything that will get in the way of my flash, so I have ample surface to bounce my flash off. The wallpaper is not dark either.

The ambient light at the party is going to be low and soft to create a cozy and comfortable ambience. I want to capture this ambience instead of using my flash to flood the entire image with light, which would be a misrepresentation of the atmosphere at the party. I did a low light party in the past at my place with a handheld fifty.
Since I have the nifty fifty and a tripod, I feel I can capture the atmosphere at the party. I want to stay true to the mood of the party and not underexpose. One of the downsides would be a shallow DOF.

Any comments, thoughts?


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Zansho
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Jun 20, 2008 09:20 |  #2

Drag your shutter and bounce your flash accordingly. Your shutter speed is the controller conduit for how much ambient light enters the exposure, while your aperture controls the exposure of the flash.

This is something that's also covered comprehensively in Curtis' stickies, do a quick search (I'm too lazy atm) and you'll find some great info there.


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René ­ Damkot
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Jun 20, 2008 09:21 |  #3

Have a read here (external link) for some tips.
Use high ISO, and forget about the tripod unless you have time to set up a static shot.


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stathunter
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Jun 20, 2008 09:30 |  #4

You might want to add a lens down the road a bit wider than what you are using.


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Pete
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Jun 20, 2008 09:32 |  #5

Don't bother trying to bounce the flash, just use it head on.

Trust in the magic of Manual mode and ETTL

Check here for my results and technique.

https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=369787


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Zansho
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Jun 20, 2008 10:10 |  #6

No offense, but straight on flash is hardly flattering. Yes, it works, but it's not the most aesthetic way to approach flash photography.

I try to bounce the flash as much as I can, to help me produce the most natural looking photos as possible. If the photographer understands the shutter speed and f-stop relationships in regards to ambient and flash photography, bouncing flash is cake.


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Pete
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Jun 20, 2008 10:44 |  #7

Zansho wrote in post #5758816 (external link)
No offense, but straight on flash is hardly flattering. Yes, it works, but it's not the most aesthetic way to approach flash photography.

I try to bounce the flash as much as I can, to help me produce the most natural looking photos as possible. If the photographer understands the shutter speed and f-stop relationships in regards to ambient and flash photography, bouncing flash is cake.

What I did was use a high iso/wide aperture/slow shutter to maximise the exposure of the ambient light, then ETTL doesn't have to work at full power, giving a far more natural look to the subjects.

Example:-

IMAGE: http://www.the-aperture.com/EE/photos/normal/IMG_6712.jpg

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René ­ Damkot
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Jun 20, 2008 12:07 |  #8

Balance between flash and ambient is okay, but you still have a tiny light source, close to the camera lens.
So you get hard shadows (allthough small), and not "shaping" light...

BTW: Looks like too much NR and / or skin smoothing as well ;)


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Pete
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Jun 20, 2008 12:09 |  #9

René Damkot wrote in post #5759386 (external link)
BTW: Looks like too much NR and / or skin smoothing as well ;)

He was wearing too much foundation make-up that day... :D


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shutter_blitz
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Jun 20, 2008 12:48 |  #10

Thanks guys. All advice and comments duly noted.


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EOSBoy
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Jun 20, 2008 13:37 |  #11

Looks like you did some noise removal, no? I suppose head on flash can go either way. It's hard to avoid those harsh shadows when shooting straight forward without using a diffuser or bracket. I don't own either >.>

I do agree you don't have to put as much strain on your flash when you shoot straight ahead. But I tend to like bouncing the flash at a somewhat closer distance over straight flash.

But as far as freezing motion...Like people being themselves at a party and dancing or a bride walking down the isle, which is better? Bouncing or straight forward flash? I did a rehearsal last night and I was using the settings I would normally use for candids. People were just talking amongst themselves with little erratic movements. When it came to people walking down the isle I had somewhat blurry photos...I bounced the flash so there was no ghosting, just out of focus shots.

I can bump up the ISO without much concern about noise and up my shutter speed but would shooting straight forward flash in this situation bring more keepers?


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René ­ Damkot
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Jun 20, 2008 15:58 |  #12

EOSBoy wrote in post #5759936 (external link)
But as far as freezing motion...Like people being themselves at a party and dancing or a bride walking down the isle, which is better? Bouncing or straight forward flash?

Doesn't make much difference IMO; it's all about the ambient to flash ratio....


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Zansho
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Jun 20, 2008 22:57 |  #13

This is what bounced light in ETTL mode can do.

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3178/2597080684_d347e11d26_b.jpg


I did this on a whim this afternoon at a friend's house. Pretty willing model, I might add! :D

http://www.michaeljsam​aripa.com (external link) creating beautiful images for myself, my clients, and the world. Shooting with a mix of Canon, Fuji, and Sony.

  
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Low ambient light party
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