Available light vs artificial light

3 years 4 months ago #706924 by Mare_333
So I'm used to photographing with at least one speedlite. But sometimes the available light in the room (I'm talking ONLY inside NOT outdoors) is enough and you do NOT actually need flash. However, the issue I'm facing is when there is enough AVAILABLE light it tends to be flat. For example if there is a regular light bulb that is hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room. It illuminates everything evenly and the image turns out flat, i.e. no 3D shaping emphasizing light on one side and some shadow on the other. So I am just wondering from your experience when photographing INSIDE do you underexpose in camera on purpose so you can use flash to create 3D shaping on the subject. Or maybe you turn the available light (i.e. light bulb) off altogether and use artificial light (speedlite or strobe) to make sure there is 3D shaping on the subject, especially the face. So in this case I create a low light situation where there is NONE, and I am not sure if this is the right approach especially given that I may run into the lens/camera being unable to AUTOfocus in low light but I don't want flat lighting either. Would really appreciate your thoughts on the subject. Thanks so much.


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3 years 4 months ago #706930 by Nikon Shooter
The flat look comes from a lack of DR in the room because everything
will be read at 18% while lit from a "dim and even" light source.

The situation with flash inside is that — while it corrects the flat look—
it will create another problem, namely the surprise of uncontrolled spe-
cular highlights.

Light is free… capturing it is not!
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3 years 4 months ago #706940 by db3348
Mare , 
On the issue of the autofocus ,  you  could have  a reasonably bright temporary light ( called "modelling" light in the trade )    for the autofocus to work with ,  then turn off  autofocus  to manual focus , then turn off  temporary light for the final shot .  Does your strobe unit have a modelling light feature ?  Many strobes have one .

As for the lighting , actual shooting ,  I  adopt  a similar approach to your suggestion  for  this type of situation .
I have  modelling lamp(s) ,  in approximately the same position as the flashes / stobes .  I  use  the modelling lamp(s)  to work out  all the lighting angles ,  shadow angles ,  and the focus ,  then  turn it off for the shot , and  just have the flash for the final shot ,  no other lights on .

I  have  flash(es) / strobe(s) set on manual control and  full power  at different distances from subject , with diffusers / filters ,  and  work out  exposure  from the flash guide numbers + factor for the diffusers .  Have the camera set at ,  lowest ISO , 1 sec and  aperture at calculated setting for flash .


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3 years 4 months ago #707066 by Mare_333
Thank you for your insight.


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