New photographers - why you leave the on-camera flash OFF

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by blash, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Was going through my old pictures from this past summer and found a couple photographs that illustrate a nice point for beginners to learn. These were taken in Elat, Israel at 1600 ISO, f/3.8, 1/5 sec exposure (although the photo doesn't look it, it was pretty dark outside) on a Nikon D80 - just snapping multiples of the same picture while other people were standing next to me with their point-and-shoots. Well, one of the photos happened to occur at the same time as one of the flashes on one of the point-and-shoots went off, and here's the difference.

    The original:
    [​IMG]

    The sucky on-camera flash:
    [​IMG]

    Not that these are good photos, but they should be a good learning tool for beginners. Note that besides the shadow on the wall, note the shadow caused by the bench on the ground as well as the loss of shadow on the bush, as well as the glare.
     
  2. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

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    or you can dial down the flash compensation to avoid this kind of effect. no replacement for a better flash but i find it to be better than no flash in many situations.
     
  3. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Subtle fill flash, even if it's direct, is better than no flash, really.

    Although I am wanting to ask: who are these dudes and why were all of these people taking photos of them simultaneously? That never happens to me.
     
  4. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    In response to Drewski, like I said I went on a trip to Israel this past summer and we were about to go to this party on a boat, they had dressed up and naturally, teenagers waste their memory cards taking pictures of their friends in as many different ways as possible.

    Yeah a little fill-flash is good but can you even do that with most built-in camera flashes? Especially on point-and-shoots. Although I think you can see, in the first picture that no fill-flash was really needed.
     
  5. potownrob

    potownrob TPF Noob!

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    I see shadows on the faces and signs of camera shake in that first pic :er:
     
  6. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Yup, that first one has good quality light, but just not enough of it. 1/5th is pretty hard to hand hold. I personally would have put my onboard flash to something like -2 Ev and used it. You might have got a sharp shot and yet the flash would have been subtle enough that people might not have noticed it while looking at the photo.
     
  7. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    I tend to think that shots where you catch another flash are really cool-- the light in the second one is much more interesting.
     
  8. Dave Hoffmann

    Dave Hoffmann TPF Noob!

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    The settings on their camera aren't matching yours, so no telling how good or bad their image was.
     
  9. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    That's very true actually and I was going to bring that up. The light looks awful in your exposure, but in their camera, the aperture and ISO are all different, so while it still looks like disgusting onboard flash, it might look much better from their camera.
     
  10. RacePhoto

    RacePhoto TPF Noob!

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    Hold a paper napkin or tissue over the on camera flash and there you have it, a soft flash diffuser, for fill flash. You can put tape over the flash, or a piece of matte finish tape. The only thing you may run into is white balance problems. But you'll have light and won't have blown out photos.

    First photo is blurred, second photo the photographer is too close, so the flash is too bright. Step back and zoom in would have helped.

    But the old napkin trick will do it. :D
     
  11. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH TPF Noob!

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    That's one of my favorite things to try at tourist-type places with a lot of folks using on-camera flash; set up farther back with a tripod, crank the aperture as tight as you're willing to go, and take some long exposures with the benefit of multiple off-camera flashes that you don't have to provide.
     
  12. Dave Hoffmann

    Dave Hoffmann TPF Noob!

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    How does that create softer light? The size of the light source in relation to the subject is unchanged.

    Lose the diffuser - Outdoors
     

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