Help! with Speedlite Underxposure in Dark Church

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by chris moseley, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. Experts, lend me your ears, and your advice. Recently shot at a
    wedding in the darkest church I've seen to date. Had problems with
    my color film images made under the balcony overhang - where it was
    pitch dark -- with the subjects being backlit. This is one of the
    better images shot in the sequence. Take a look at this underexposed
    image made with A2E, 20-35 lens @ 25mm, Manual Setting f5.6 @ 1/60,
    540EZ set on TTL - on a bracket above camera attached with offshoe
    connecting cord - Fuji Press 400 - shot at 400. Camera rotated
    vertically on bracket with flash staying atop - in same position.
    Did this cause the underexposure? or too far? I'll stop guessing and
    let you help me (keyword: help) - if you please.
     
  2. Chris,

    I don't consider myself an expert, but I have shot a few weddings using an A2E(5) and 540EZ, so I'll put my two cents into the pot. I'm sure you will get other/different opinions.

    First, I would have used a longer lens for this shooting situration.
    The 540 is not covering the wide field, thus causing the corner light fall off. You could have put the flash's wide angle panel down, but that would have also reduced your flash output.

    I think the major problem causing the underexposure is the bright backlighting. The A2E uses three metering zones for flash. The bright backlighting is centered in your main subject's metering zone causing the underexposure. With this meter reading I think camera and/or flash compensation to overexpose +1 to +1.5 stops would help.

    My normal indoor wedding setting is with Portra 400NC set @320. Manual mode @ 1/45, f2.8~f8.0 dependent on DOF wanted and distance from main subject. The background exposure is controlled by shutter speed and main subject exposure is controlled by aperture. With your shot, I would have set @f2.8, 1/125 and +1 flash compensation. This would have added more light to the main subject and the faster shutter would have reduced the overexposure of the background - maybe. These are tough siturations and sometimes a little before the event testing will go a long way towards finding the right setup.

    Also, I have found that the lab processing can make a big difference. Alway use a pro lab for best results.

    Good luck,

    Cliff
     
  3. There are many possibilities here. Firstly, it is obvious that the flash didn't cover the entire field of view (vignetting very evident in the corners). So it seems you didn't employ the wide angle diffuser. I reckon that the shooting distance should have been within the range of the flash and aperture set (especially as coverage looks to have been 28mm), so this leaves questions as to whether there were any overrides in force - such as a manual flash output power, or FEC setting. It might be hard to know now - but check your CF settings. The subject is highly contrasty, dark in the centre and white either side - so it is possible that the flash was fooled by the extensive white surfaces which are rendered as grey. Even so, the image appears grainy,which I assume is due to extracting what could be salvaged from a negative that was perhaps 2-3 stops underexposed.
     
  4. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    if you crop this image at the door frames, and look at the remaining image, it looks properly exposed. I think your flash didn't have the power, or didn't have the diffuser covering the head too. the camera read the outer white frame and the flash put out enough to give you a correct 18% grey exposure. also, your film would be better exposed at 200 or 250 asa. if you were usuing such a wide lens, i would of dropped my shutter speed to 1/30 as well. if i knew i would of been shooting from this position, i would of taken an ambient reading of the room behind this couple, set my camera as close to that as possible, and then went +1 on the flash. better luck next time chris.
     

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