indoor Camera / flash settings advice

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by darren_cook, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. Some advice from you experts please....If you're indoors taking photos where there isnt enough ambient light without flash, what settings do you use on the camera/flash? I'm confused. if I use Av/Tv, the camera uses the same settings whether external flash is on or not. eg. With Av mode, the shutter speed will be too low (1/15). So what mode do I use? Av / Tv / P ? what settings for camera and flash? Point flash up / 45 degrees / direct ? Please give some examples of how you professionals work. I will be using canon 10D, 420ex and 28-75mm 2.8 lens.
     
  2. shoot in manual. you said the shutter speed will be to slow right. use manual mode and set shutter speed to 1/60 th perhaps. and the aperature to 5.6 perhaps, then piont flash to cealing and let er rip. this example depends on lots of things though. are you just shooting one person or three? how dark is it? how high are the ceilings? are they white? what focal length are you at. 24mm or 70mm. theres lots more to say, but i wanna give it to ya in regular lingo. this will get you started. in my house, i shoot 160 iso film w/ cieling bounce all the time at night. but its just a house, not a big hall. tim- not a pro
     
  3. I would suggest using manual mode on the body and select a combo exposure somewhere between the dreaded dark cave 5.6 1/60 and the Av mode of say 5.6 At 1/2 sec.
     
  4. and research " dragging the shutter"
     
  5. Its a lot to do with how you like to work. I will frequently set the cam (in Manual mode) to about the aperture I want for DOF, then set the shutter to show about 1 to 2 stops under the 'correct' exposure for ambient. So, for me that is very often iso800; 1/40th; f4.5. I also use mostly wides for the flash work at receptions and the dungeons. BTW, welcome to one of the most productive wastes of your time :). D.
     
  6. Shoot Manual. First, pick the aperture you want for the shot. Next pick a shutter speed that is fast enough to stop motion blur and less than or equal to your max synch speed. Typically this is 1/30 to 1/200 or 1/250 depending on the camera. Otherwise, flash will 'stop' the motion of the subject anyway. Then use the ISO that will make the background exposure that you want or is at the limits of your quality standard. Say 400 or up to 800 in dark situations or for flash battery conservation or to reduce recycle times or increase burst performance. 200 or 100 as needed for bright backgrounds or fill flash situations where there is enough ambient light. Compromise these settings as needed for extreme conditions to get the shot. That is, bump the ISO up if needed or stop down if the background is too bright. Normally, I use the flash up with a diffuser. Make it one with a white bounce surface if white ceilings or walls are not available. Now go out and practice on the people you know :)
     
  7. Oh, yeah. An example...
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  8. David Wegwart said: I will frequently set the cam (in Manual mode) to about the aperture I want for DOF, then set the shutter to show about 1 to 2 stops under the 'correct' exposure for ambient and Grant Gaborno said: Then use the ISO that will make the background exposure that you want or is at the limits of your quality standard. Say 400 or up to 800 in dark situations or for flash battery conservation or to reduce recycle times or increase burst performance. 200 or 100 as needed for bright backgrounds or fill flash situations where there is enough ambient light. Follow their advises and you are going to have 100% success.
     
  9. Manual. 1/60, F2.8/4/5.6, ISO 800 and shoot away. You should read the EOS flash bible.
     
  10. Read here: http://www.planetneil.com/faq/dragging-the-shutter.html
     
  11. I think it's unanimous. Shoot in manual metering mode.
     
  12. Mate, the best way to learn is to practice different flash techniques, maybe get some assisting experience with some pro's. Many of the pro photogee's I've assisted have always recommended the manual approach to photography, for both metering and in camera. My advice for your reception would be to shoot RAW with the camera in manual (flash TTL is fine), and be prepared to burn some CF cards. Its the only way to learn. Bracket your exposures with shutter speeds ranging from 1/2-1/125 & apertures from f2.8 to f.8. Experiment with different flash techniques such as shutter drag, 2nd curtain flash sync, bounce flash, and FEC. Also, take some mental notes as you go & examine what's happening as you bracket your exposures. Good luck mate! Dr.Spock
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  13. Can someone explain what the camera / flash is doing? If I choose Av at 2.8, it suggests 1/15 and this is too slow for handholding. So if I use manual at 2.8 or F4 at 1/60, this will give 2/3 stops less light. Will the flash compensate for this by giving more/less power depending on the room size,etc? Will the flash know when to stop? What setting do I use on the Flash? Im using a 420ex.
     
  14. Darren, have you read the articles several of us suggested? The photonotes article and the planetneil article on dragging the shutter are both very detailed, and if you read both and understand them, your answers will become clear. The reason most of us recommended manual camera mode rather than AV or any automated mode is because you don't want to expose for the ambient light in the room, which is what those modes will do. You will get motion blur, even when using flash. Flash, because of its short duration, will freeze the motion of any subject which receives a good "dose" of flash. However, if you are also exposing for the ambient light, you will get motion trails or ghosting. The concept of dragging the shutter in relation to indoor shooting, especially at receptions and the like, is to freeze the motion of your subject by using flash, and yet "let in" SOME (not all) of the ambient light so your backgrounds don't go black or dark. That is why you can use shutter speeds that normally would result in handholding motion blur in these situations--the flash will freeze the subject. So it doesn't matter that, for instance, f4 at 1/60th means that you are underexposing the ambient by 2/3 stop. In fact, that is too narrow a difference between ambient and camera settings. 2/3 stop will still show motion blur. You normally want somewhere of about 2 stops difference between the ambient and camera settings to get clean, non-blurred shots of the subject. Also, the flash does not light up the room (unless you are bouncing off a ceiling and even then, not entirely), it only lights up the subject. So yes, if using ETTL, it should automatically determine the correct flash exposure for your subject. However, as you may know, and if you read the photonotes article, this can vary and should be controlled by you via flash compensation.
     
  15. Just realized your calculation is wrong. F2.8 at 1/15th is 2 stops different from f2.8 at 1/60th, and 3 stops from f4 at 1/60th. Here is a step by step guide. Meter the ambient light in the room. Note the settings based on using the f stop. So if you want to use f4, note what the camera meter suggests for f4 for the ambient light. Say it is 1/8th. Choose your f stop based on the DOF that you want. On a crop camera, f4 gives a decent DOF, for instance, and allows your flash to give pretty good reach. If you want cleaner, non blurred shots of your subject, you would set your camera on f4, 1/30th, which is two stops different from your ambient. You are underexposing the ambient by 2 stops. This is not a hard and fast rule. You can change the ratio at will and to taste. If you want more blur (especially behind your subject) you can use less ambient underexposure. Your 420EX, I believe, does not have a lot of controls, so you have no choice but to use the flash in ETTL and use flash compensation from the body. I have heard that the 10D and 420EX give inconsistent flash exposures, so I'd test and learn about flash compensation.
     
  16. Nadine, you are so cool (and nicely verbose ;-) ). Darren, read Nadines PN folder/posts and you will find more information about the use of the flash, lots. The short answer is, there is NO short answer. You will need the experience of doing some of these things to see the results. Best, D.
     
  17. Thanks, David :) Just trying to help Darren understand the concept. Did I succeed?
     
  18. Nadine is right on the mark. The IS (image stabilizer) feature on my Canon lens helps when using low shutter speed like 1/30s, or even 1/25s. I used Canon 20D and 580EX with Gary Fong's "dome" light filter, the ETTL worked great in catching the ambient light and stop the action. You got great advise on here. Good luck.
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  19. Thanks everyone for your help. The advice and links that you have suggested are excellent reading material. I didnt quite understand how the flash knew when to stop - I didnt realise the flash has complex metering too... I do now! Thanks!
     

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