flashes and light metering

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Pantsy, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. Pantsy

    Pantsy TPF Noob!

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    i dont understand them or how/when to use them. i'm totally clueless.

    see, i work for a newspaper (its a very small one, thats why i can get away with such limited knowledge as i have) and have to take pictures that are sometimes in unusual lighting situations. (i.e. churches, schools, outside) so i need to know what to do when and how to do it.

    oh i have an n65. and know very little about it as of yet because the instruction book is complicated to me. :scratch:

    so if any of you nice souls would like to help me, i sure would appreciate it.
     
  2. photoman

    photoman TPF Noob!

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    This is a camera right?

    I could suggest that you would get a dedicated light meter for tricky lighting situations

    Maybe you could just play around with the camera on what the manual is saying, if you could describe the certain lighting situation you want to meter it would help, besides trying to describe every situation to you.


    Your cameras light meter will try to render what ever it is looking at as middle gray

    I not very good in explaning exactly what you should do but it is explained in the Zone System (very confusing at first)

    I would recomend that you get a hand held lightmeter for tricky situations, and try and experiment with your camera untill you understand the instructions and otherwise keep doing what you are doing.

    Sorry could be of more help :(
     
  3. seanarmenta

    seanarmenta TPF Noob!

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    there really is no substitute for learning the basics of photography.

    there are several resources you can avail of -- the internet, the library, your local bookstore, etc...

    you're much better off actually reading up on the basics first. this will help you grasp more advanced concepts and techniques, rather than jumping from one topic to the other. you'll be surprised how many of your questions will be answered with a good basic photography book.
     
  4. Tyjax

    Tyjax TPF Noob!

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    I really would like to back up the reading photo how to books. I can't tell you how fast just reading some good books and web sites can take you from snapshooter to studied photographer. That being said, we will be glad to help with any specific problems you might run accross in lighting etc. One word on metering. Find the section of your instruction manual and learn about the types of metering involved in your camera. With the N65 I do beleive it is center-weighted and spot metering. With Nikon equipment ( short pause for celstial fanfare,) a half press on the shutter button switches to spot mettering. Spot meter the darkest parts of your scene and lightest parts and average an exposure. But typically lean toward exposing for the shadows.

    Woot, click on and Nikon forever.
     
  5. ksmattfish

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

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    I'm not sure exactly what you are asking, but I'll give it a shot.

    As the others have said, read more <a href="http://0-2u.com?go=books" onmouseover="window.status = 'goto: books';return 1" onmouseout="window.status=''">books</a>, and take notes in the field so later you can see what you were doing when the pics turn out or not.

    First of all, are you using the flash built into your camera? The little pop up flashes are no substitute for a full sized flash unit. They are too close the the axis of the lens; this increases red eye. They are not powerful enough for many situations. I only use the pop up flash for daylight fill and sometimes as fill in combination with an off camera flash (some dedicated flashes have a sync mode for using the pop up as fill).

    A regular flash unit will be two or three times as powerful as the pop up. On camera it will be far enough away from the lens and eliminate red eye, and you can use it off camera to adjust the direction of the lighting. The flash unit will probably have several auto modes and a manual mode.

    Flash power is refered to as the guide number (GN). GN may be in meters or feet. GN divided by distance to subject equals f/stop for ISO 100 film. So if your GN is 80, your subject is 10" away, and you are using ISO 100 film then your aperture would be f/8. Shutter speed should be set at flash sync speed or slower. This is just a general guideline though. You are going to have to experiment to see how you think it looks best. Do you like to underexpose the background by a stop? Or do you want the fill one stop less than the background?

    A "dedicated" flash will be designed specifically for a certain brand or model of camera. Dedicated flashes usually perform pretty well with the camera on auto, and may have other special features (such as the pop up sync mentioned above). "Non-dedicated" flashes are designed to work with any camera.

    As far as when to use it? I'm imagining the pics I see in my local paper and I'd say that I think I'd use the flash about 95% of the time. If there is a person in the pic within 20', I'd say use a flash, even outside in the bright sun.

    When in doubt, and until you get a feel for this, take two of every shot, one with flash, one without. Then you'll see what the difference is in every situation.
     
  6. 5th

    5th TPF Noob!

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    And when you have read everything mentioned to you thus far there is a whole world frmo that point forward. Light bounce, soft light, light temp, black lights (ok, I'm joking there). :D
     

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