how to deal with Lowish Light

9 years 7 months ago #80767 by ChrisPenn
I seem to be in lowish light settings most of the time leading to not so hot of pictures. When I say low light I mean dinner room table in a lit-up dinning room. I have tried many settings since my main flash makes things over-exposed and flushed out.

I just am not sure really what settings to mess with settings wise to get good shots. I will say buying bounce flash is out of the question for a long time so anything I can work on in the mean time would be great.


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9 years 7 months ago #80769 by uJi9
It sounds to me like it's time for you to get a copy of Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure. It will help you out.

Low light is a challenge. One of the issues that you will have with your kit lens, is that it probably doesn't have a wide enough maximum aperture to handle low light well unless you crank the ISO way up on your camera.

Flash can help, but on-camera flash isn't very useful. You need to get your flash off the camera before you start doing well with it.


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9 years 7 months ago #80771 by ChrisPenn
I have read the book and while it helps it is just theory and once you get camera in hand theory tends to fly out the window to some degree until I take more shots.

I have set the ISO up to 800 ISO couple even up to 1600 ISO. I sometimes have to get the shutter speed down to 1 second or slightly faster, but yeah have to go to tripod but that doesn't do to well when it comes to trying to get people talking etc.

Looks like might need to stick to shooting during the day until i can get a bounce flash at least.


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9 years 7 months ago #80773 by uJi9
SB600 should help. It is just a small flash but bounces.


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9 years 7 months ago #80775 by ChrisPenn
I have been eyeing it for a while. Just need to save for a while longer yet. Just trying to figure out something I can do in the mean time. I was curios if there is a site that shows how it works/bounces and doesn't shoot just straight forward it doesn't look like it rotates and bends.


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9 years 7 months ago #80803 by gusnelsonphotography
You should be able to rotate the SB600 to get a flash bounce. I'm assuming it is similar to a canon flash. Have you tried a larger apeature(smaller f number) along with higher ISO?


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9 years 7 months ago #80849 by effron

ChrisPenn wrote: I have been eyeing it for a while. Just need to save for a while longer yet. Just trying to figure out something I can do in the mean time. I was curios if there is a site that shows how it works/bounces and doesn't shoot just straight forward it doesn't look like it rotates and bends.


strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

Why so serious?
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9 years 7 months ago #80855 by Baydream
Make your own diffuser for your pop-up flash.
Any box this size will do and fold some light cardboard..
www.instructables.com/id/Cigarette-Packet-Flash-Diffuser/

Shoot, learn and share. It will make you a better photographer.
fineartamerica.com/profiles/john-g-schickler.html?tab=artwork

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9 years 7 months ago #80875 by Shadowfixer1
If you don't want to make a diffuser, look for a Gary Fong "Puffer" or something similar. You can find them for under 20 bucks. It should help with the harsh lighting.

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9 years 7 months ago #80881 by DestinDave
scotch-tape a piece of toilet paper over the lens of your pop-up flash to soften and diffuse.

Dave Speicher
I thought I wanted a career.. turns out I only wanted paychecks.
dlspeicher.zenfolio.com

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9 years 7 months ago #80953 by Screamin Scott

DestinDave wrote: scotch-tape a piece of toilet paper over the lens of your pop-up flash to soften and diffuse.


Preferably not used :lol: :lol: :lol:
Just try to keep it as a single layer, otherwise it cuts the onboard flash's maximum distance...

Scott Ditzel Photography

www.flickr.com/photos/screaminscott/

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9 years 7 months ago - 9 years 7 months ago #80963 by Henry Peach

ChrisPenn wrote: I have set the ISO up to 800 ISO couple even up to 1600 ISO. I sometimes have to get the shutter speed down to 1 second or slightly faster, but yeah have to go to tripod but that doesn't do to well when it comes to trying to get people talking etc.


You want a higher shutter speed. So you need a higher ISO, a larger aperture (smaller f/#), and/or more light.

Raise the ISO: Yes, it might be noisy. Noisy pic vs no pic? What is the intended use of the photo? Noise won't be so much of an issue for web or small prints ( <8x10 ). There are also techniques and software for dealing with noise in processing.

Buy a faster lens: There are f/2.8 zooms, and many prime lenses are faster than f/2. Look for the cheap 50mm f/1.8.

More light: use a flash, turn up the lights

You describe getting a washed out look with the flash. That's too much light. You want to balance the ambient light with the flash. To tell the meter to reduce ambient exposure use the exposure compensation feature ( sometimes looks like this +/- ). If I were shooting in a dim room I probably don't want the background brightened to middle gray tone (that's what the meter wants to do). So I would purposely under expose a bit, or set exposure comp to -1ish. The same with the flash. If you are getting too much dial in -1 flash compensation.

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9 years 7 months ago #81013 by cod
The best resource I've found for learning to manage on camera flash and balancing with ambient light is this series of articles by photographer Neil van Niekerk . This info is also available in book form if you prefer that. They have helped me immensely with photographing indoors, dinner parties, evening functions and so on.

Regards,
Chris

Chris O'Donoghue
Winnipeg, Canada
codonoghue.prosite.com

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9 years 7 months ago - 9 years 7 months ago #81021 by MLKstudios
Neil's work is definitely good, and he explains the flash very well. There is much more to using a flash than most people realize.

:)

Matthew L Kees
MLK Studios Photography School
www.MLKstudios.com
[email protected]
"Every artist, was once an amateur"

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9 years 7 months ago #81153 by Henry Peach
If your flash won't bounce on camera you could always use a flash cord to point it anywhere you want. These guys sell cheap but fully functional cords for Canon. Maybe Nikon too? flashzebra.com/

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