flash or no flash?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by shingfan, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. shingfan
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    shingfan New Member

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    when you are shooting dim situation.....is it better to shoot with flash or without flash?....reason for asking.....

    1) without flash........the subject seems to be noisy...and they dont appear as sharp even if i use ISO100

    2) with flash.....subject is sharper....but doesnt look as natural

    does the flash help with sharpness and remove noise when it comes to dark situation?......even though i use the same ISO100 but with different shutter speed
  2. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Getting sharp shots without flash can be tough if the light is not good. You need to have a fast shutter speed.

    Flash does solve a lot of the problems...but you are right...the head-on lighting does not make for great looking photos.

    As for flash or no flash...you might as well ask red or blue, Coke or Pepsi, Ford or Chevy. It's a matter of personal choice and taste.
  3. shingfan
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    shingfan New Member

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    the topic is chosen to get the attention...which it did.....lol :p

    how about noise in low light......does a faster shutter solve the noise problem?....or need more light to solve the problem..hence flash?....given that i'm using ISO100 already....
  4. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Noise can be a result of high ISO or under exposure. So if you are underexposing at ISO 100...and you can't increase the exposure with shutter or aperture...then increase the ISO to get a better exposure.

    Shutter speed, on it's own, should not affect noise. A faster shutter speed will give a sharper image (less blur)...but that's different from noise.

    More light will solve most problems because more light means that you can use a faster shutter speed or a lower ISO or both.
  5. ksmattfish
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    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    1) Because you shouldn't be using ISO 100. It's under exposing (the noise) and causing camera shake (the lack of sharpness). If you put the camera on a tripod, and set it for ISO 100, there would be less noise issues, and it would be sharp.

    2) Because it's providing more light = more exposure, and no matter what your shutter is set at, a flash basically counts as a shutter speed of 1/10000th sec for the subject matter lit by the flash.
  6. shingfan
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    shingfan New Member

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    i guess it is because of the camera's meter (meter a white background).....i was using S mode and believe the suggested aperature......i guess i should have used a +1 EV..
  7. 6Speed
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    6Speed New Member

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    With flash you can get a subject to be sharp even at slow shutter speeds. The subject is essentially frozen by the flash. You can also acheive interesting shots using flash and long shutter speeds. I like to use flash and slow speeds for shots of people dancing or bands playing.

    As far as a flash looking unatural...if you bounce your flash off of a reflective surface to the side of you, behind you, or above you, you can get very pleasing photos. The other day I wasn't able to sync my 2nd flash with my camera, so I went to a backup plan of bouncing my on-cam flash off of a white wall for some dramatic shots, and then off of a glossy computer screen for another shot. I ended up getting some nice catch lights in the girls eyes, dramatic lighting on her face, and the images were nice and crisp.
  8. JoRoFoto_Photog
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    JoRoFoto_Photog New Member

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    I agree with Zack in that a very important thing to learn to do is to control flashes and learn how to bounce them off objects, walls, etc.. because they can give off great lighting results and dramatic side lighting.. learning how to use and manipulate the flash is more than half the battle, so once you do that you can shoot basically anywhere..

    For instance, this shot (my avatar) was taken with a SB600 mounted on my camera and bounced off a wall to the left of the model..

    [​IMG]
  9. ksmattfish
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    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Yes, maybe even +2 stops. If you let the meter decide exposure it will always under expose a mostly white scene, and over expose a mostly black scene. Remember, the meter wants everything to be middle gray. If you are using the flash in auto (TTL, ETTL, etc...) you may also have to dial in some flash compensation too.
  10. ChelseaG
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    ChelseaG New Member

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    since i bought my external flash unit (430ex) i see major improvements over my pictures i've taken with flash. from bouncing it, you can get the looks of certain studio lighting.
    the on camera flash is very limiting....and too close to the lens.
  11. theusher
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    theusher New Member

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    I was going to ask the OP why he wasn't bouncing the light since he has the SB600 which pivots every way from sunday. As someone else said, give that a shot.
  12. mascafe
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    mascafe New Member

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    Modulate the strobe light (flash) and mix with natural ilumination. Use natural ilumination as long as you can, is the best. I try to avoid flash, I only use flash in the last moment. Get fast lenses, the 50mm f/1.8 you are waiting is a good beginning.

    Regards
  13. w.pasman
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    w.pasman New Member

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    Without flash you can also make sharp photos - do manual zoom and make sure subject does not move. This works up to about 1/4 second exposure.

    Usually I prefer non-flashed photos. Much better feel , less disturbing the ambience and most don't bother the softer look.
    What I do in some cases is take both flashed and non-flashed photos. Then I do color correction to bring it close to the non-flashed photos.
  14. Hair Bear
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    Hair Bear New Member

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    Cracking photo and great sample of bounce flash and what you can achive
  15. northcoastcamera
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    northcoastcamera New Member

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    I have been using a Sto-Fen Omni Bounce and getting very nice results. You get the effect of a bare bulb with fill light coming from all different directions while maintaining auto exposure.

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