Big Problem =(

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Thru_These_Eyes, May 1, 2009.

  1. Thru_These_Eyes

    Thru_These_Eyes TPF Noob!

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    I was asked to photograph a charity event at T.G.I. Fridays where the bartenders flair (do tricks with bottles while they create drinks.) Luckily, it wasn't a paying job...I date a bartender there so I did it as a favor to him and he did it as a favor to me to help me get started with promoting corporate events for myself. Anyways, this all started at about 7pm-ish. Shades were open so I had a mixture of natural light and artificial light from the lights around the bar...I must have changed the settings a million times trying to eliminate this problem but this is what kept happening until the sun went down and i could turn my flash on and not have to worry about their faces being blown out. The whole beginning of it was a disaster and I just hope someone can tell me what I was doing wrong!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Thru_These_Eyes

    Thru_These_Eyes TPF Noob!

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    And not all of the pictures turned out like this, most times I would have everything in focus but whatever trick they were doing would be all fuzzy and distorted. If you need more examples, let me know and I can post a couple more for you. Thanks Guys!
     
  3. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    looks like your shutter speed was WAY too slow.

    you would have wanted to use flash, but you could have bounced it so it wasnt directly in their faces.

    im not sure how the iso performance of your camera is, but maybe bump the iso up too?

    the flash would have frozen the action nicely for you.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    In this case, you need to use a faster shutter speed to freeze the action.

    That will knock down your ambient exposure but you have a few options. First is to use a wide aperture and a higher ISO. If that still isn't enough, then you will have to add light (flash etc).

    Now, using flash effectively is a skill that would come in very handy in this type of shoot. Direct flash will likely give you that look like they are in a dark cave...which we probably don't want. If you can bounce the flash off of a wall or the ceiling, then you might get more natural looking images. Better yet, if you can get the flash off of the camera, you can set the lighting to however you want, the possibilitys become endless. You could add additional off camera flashes to light up the background or whatever else.

    When dealing with a mix of ambient and flash, you have to make a choice...of how much ambient you want to (or can get away with) including in the exposure. When you have fast moving subjects, it's a really tough choice. Although, you can get creative by using the flash to freeze the subject and the ambient light to blur the motion.
     
  5. JamieR

    JamieR TPF Noob!

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    A question from a complete novice here. How would you go about "bouncing light" from the flash?

    Cheers,
    Jamie
     
  6. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Do yourself a favor and pick up a 50mm f/1.8 lens from Amazon for less than $100. This will give you plenty of shutter speed at reasonable ISO's to get the shots you missed here.

    Neither of your lenses are what is considered "fast" glass. This means your aperture is too small and isn't allowing enough light in to stop motion by keeping your shutter speed high. The 28-135 and 18-55 lenses are at best f/3.5 at their widest setting (28mm or 18mm). If you zoomed in much, your aperture got even smaller, or f/5.6. You really need f/2.8 or faster and the $100 50mm lens will give you f/1.8 which is MUCH faster and more suitable for low light photography without a flash.

    Of course, listen to Big Mike too. :)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  7. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    JamieR,

    You would point the flash head towards the ceiling or a wall and not directly at the subject. This will cause the ceiling or wall to act as a big defuser and it will seriously soften the light for you and give a more natural look.
     
  8. Jay5oh

    Jay5oh TPF Noob!

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    Big Mike and biscuit pretty much answered it.

    I'll assume you are keeping your flash on the camera so....
    The ceiling looks pretty low, point the flash straight/angle it slightly foreward from straight up and bounce it off the ceiling.

    What aperture are you using? If the people in the background are not important open it up so you can use a higher shutter speed. Infact, I would go at opening time or when the place is empty. I would also shoot from a different direction, I don't like the TV's in the background.
     
  9. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 50mm 1.8 would be a good start. With a widest aperture of 1.8, compared to 3.5 at the wide end for each of your lenses (18mm and 28mm), this would of allowed for a faster shutter speed which MAY have solved the problem. Its only a $100 (or less) for the lens and worth the investment IMO.

    Although if it was really dark, that may not have solved the problem entirely.

    Do you know what settings you were on for the above picture (or any picture that was blurry)?
     
  10. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I would bet my next paycheck f/1.8 (even f/2 or f/2.8) would have given her plenty of shutter speed based upon my local TGIF's lighthing... I eat there all too often. :)

    I shot a band in far worse lighting last weekend and was relegated to f/2.8 to just barely get the shots. The guy pictured below thrashes around while he sings, making it very difficult to stop motion.

    [​IMG]

    Had I used my 50mm f/1.4 lens vs. my 70-200 f/2.8 I wouldn't have had to use ISO 3200 to get these shots. I could have easily gotten them at ISO 1600 with a faster shutter speed.
     
  11. Thru_These_Eyes

    Thru_These_Eyes TPF Noob!

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    I use a Canon Rebel XTi...I am pretty sure my ISO was as high as it could go (which could have been bad for noise, I know. hehe) As for my shutter speed....this is going to sound crazy, but I thought I was adjusting it correctly but maybe if someone could tell me how to adjust it on that camera, I might know what I was doing wrong. I am so confused!
     
  12. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good point about the ISO.

    Thru_These_Eyes, do you remember what ISO you were set at? A higher ISO will allow you to use a faster shutter speed as well
     

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