Need Help With Dark Photo's and Flash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jafo399, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. jafo399

    jafo399 TPF Noob!

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    I have a Cannon XTI with a 430EX Flash. I recently took photo's at a wedding and most of the pictures came out dark. I thought it might be the flash that was not strong enough to light the people, but I was about 8 feet away. I used the ETTL mode and I made sure it was charged before I took a picture. The camera setting was set to automatic or Program mode and I had no success. What could I be doing wrong?​
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    It's hard to diagnose the problem without more information. Can you show us some examples and include the shooting information?

    Did you have the FEC tuned down? Were you shooting bright (reflective) subjects?

    Canon's ETTL is a complicated electronic thing. It can be hard to know exactly what it's going to do. Some people find that they have to constantly use a slight adjustment to the FEC...either positive or negative.

    I have the 430EX and it should certainly have enough power to light people 8 feet away.
     
  3. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Samples?? Samples!! Samples??
    I agree with Mike we need samples to really try and help with the problem. One thing I might suggest is if you look sequentially and 1 is bright and the next couple are dark you might be rushing your flashes recycle time. If you don't have totally fresh batteries recycle times can be fairly slow.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Flash power is dependant on aperture. Even the SB-800 will konk out if reflecting it off the roof at f/11
     
  5. jafo399

    jafo399 TPF Noob!

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    I am sorry I have not responded before today, but I was on a cruise ship with no internet access.

    Mike, I would like to answer your questions, but I have no idea what FEC is.
    I was shooting people when I originally posted this message, and that continues to be my main problem.
    I am going to include two images I took this weekend when I was on the cruise ship. I was taking pictures of my kids with these princess, and I was 6 to 8 feet away. She looks dark and the photo looks horrible.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/jafo399/CruisePictures
     
  6. jafo399

    jafo399 TPF Noob!

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    I hope you were able to see the pictures. I did make sure that the batteries were 100% new before I started using the flash, so I can rule that part of the flash.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  7. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    i also have the 430EX and had the same problem when it was on auto-mode. Havent got a clue why, but the pics came out rather dark. Then i just put it on manual and played with the functions (well, still am) But the pics came out way brighter (or over-exposed) then it was in auto. Still havent got a clue what the problem is (problem is a big word) but i found out it works better for me in manual mode.
    On a side-note, if you shoot RAW, you can lighten the pics up a bit. Works like a charm :)
    Greetz Daan
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok I am going to point the finger at that bright spot in the background playing with the metre. Even with a high ceiling at ISO 1600 at f/5.6 you should have that lit very well at a fraction of full power.

    With Nikon flashes I often end up in similar situations. There are 2 TTL modes, one takes into account the background, the other doesn't. When one doesn't work i switch to the other, or flick it to manual, or adjust the exposure compensation accordingly.

    I am not sure what the problem is but the solution may be to limit the amount of automatic control you give the flash and camera, and take over a bit. It takes some playing before you get it right.
     
  9. jafo399

    jafo399 TPF Noob!

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    Fantastic advice. I took the flash off of auto mode and switched to manuel mode and it worked. I tested at a distance of 14 feet in a large closed room, and the picture came out great. I was VERY close to purchasing the Speedlite 580EX, so you guys saved me $500.00.

    Thanks!!
     

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