Flash Issues- Please help

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by impressme, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. impressme

    impressme TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone, first post for me on this forum. Anyway, I'm having trouble shooting at night with my flash indoors and getting a natural balance between the flash and the ambient light. I've tried bouncing the light, a white difuser as well as turning down the flash to as low as -3 (as low as it goes). Anything I'm missing here?? Any and all suggestions would be greatly helpful!

    All equipment I'm using is listed in my siggie.
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Lower shutter speed or increase ISO to increase ambient exposure. The flash on auto is subject to the same mistakes as camera bodies on auto; they will underexpose light subjects, and overexpose dark subjects. Dial in exposure to compensate. Bouncing should help, but it does depend on how/where you bounce; think about where the flash is aiming, and where the bouncing light will spill.
     
  3. impressme

    impressme TPF Noob!

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    Thanks- I probably should add that I'm shooting in manual as well.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, the answer is probably to lengthen the shutter speed and/or raise the ISO.

    You can use your camera's meter to check the settings you would need to expose the ambient light...even in manual. Just adjust the settings until the meter is back to 0 (where it would be in auto mode). Since it's dark, you will probably have a wide open aperture and a long shutter speed.

    That long shutter speed may cause your ambient exposure to be blurry but the flash may also freeze parts of it.

    You may want to set the exposure so that the ambient (background) is a stop or two below the meter reading, you can then use the flash to light up the subject.
    It's always a balance.

    Just remember that if the flash is in E-TTL mode, it will match it's output to the aperture you choose...and the shutter speed has no bearing on the flash exposure.

    What I might do, is put the flash in E-TTL and the camera in manual. Set the aperture to something, say F5.6...and set the shutter speed to 1/90. Try a test shot with a subject in a dimly lit room. Now, to get more ambient exposure, increase the shutter speed (slower) and/or raise the ISO until the test shot looks like what you want.
     
  5. impressme

    impressme TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike for the detailed explanation. It's greatly appreciated. I understand the whole 0 concept now. Would you suggest that focus in program first to see what settings the camera suggests and then set those in M till I the hang of dim lit settings as well or is that the cop out way of figuring things out?
     

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