How to shoot at night?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jeljohns, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. jeljohns

    jeljohns TPF Noob!

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    Does anyone have any tips on using a speedlight in a dark situation? I was taking pictures at a dance this weekend and they all look horrible! I used the speedlight and bounced the light, but still every picture looks like I used the pop-up flash. How do you get away from that harsh flash look?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Can you show us some examples?
     
  3. jeljohns

    jeljohns TPF Noob!

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    I will for sure post some examples when I get home from work. :)
     
  4. boogschd

    boogschd TPF Noob!

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    sounds like you need a diffuser
     
  5. shaunly

    shaunly TPF Noob!

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    2x, if that's the case, look into gary fong flash diffuser.
     
  6. 200715july

    200715july TPF Noob!

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    Visit my tutorial page (at my sig) for night photography.
     
  7. jeljohns

    jeljohns TPF Noob!

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    The tutorial doesn't address how to take pictures of people at night in situations such as dances, weddings, concerts, ect. That's what I'm having a lot of trouble with. No flash and they are too dark and blurry. With flash they are too bright and harsh.

    *I haven't been able to post an example because I am having internet trouble at home and cannot upload pics at work*
     
  8. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    One trick to shooting low-light with a flash is to shoot with slow shutter speeds (like 1/30 or so) and bump the ISO some, up to say, 400, so that your settings are like, 1/30, f/5.6, ISO400. The slower speed will let the background burn in so that you get some color and definition.
     
  9. jeljohns

    jeljohns TPF Noob!

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    If I use a slow shutter speed then people will be blurry. How do I take night shots of people in dark rooms?
     
  10. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    If you use a slower shutter speed and sync the flash to rear curtian, it will allow you to have nicely exposed background and then the flash will freeze the subject.

    Other than that the only way to take pictures of people in a dark room is to use higher ISO (Make better use of avalible light) or Use a flash (Add More Light).
     
  11. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    Some examples:
    [​IMG]
    1/15 f/4 ISO800

    [​IMG]
    2 seconds, f/10, ISO400 -- in this one you're starting to lose hard edges on the people in the back of the frame. This one isn't quite the same idea but it's to demonstrate that you can shoot at whatever shutter speed you want when you're shooting with a flash, as long as you're overpowering the ambient.

    It's by no means a perfect solution but it's the most straightforward way to get a background with some color and detail when shooting indoors with an on-camera flash.
     

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