Photographing in a completely dark room

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by flashfanatic, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. flashfanatic

    flashfanatic TPF Noob!

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    Ok, this past weekend I was hired to take pictures at a friends birthday party. It turned out to be a nightmare because the "club" was so dark you couldn't even see who you were talking to up close.

    Even guest at this party were complaining about the club being too dark. All I heard all night was "why is it so dark in here". I, myself, almost fell down the stairs because I couldn't see the steps when I arrived.

    Well luckly I was not injured but the two hours I spent taking pictures was a nightmare because #1, I prefer to shoot in manual mode, but I knew that wasn't going to happen because how could I focus if I can't even see what I'm focusing on with my own eyes, but even in auto mode my Nikon D90 couldn't even find a place to focus on so I spent much time taking as many shots as I could see with my camera and SB600 flash.

    What do you do when you are in a situation like this where there is no light accept really dim lights over the dinner tables? Therefore I will know for future reference.

    I managed to get some good shots, but with lots of frustration. I did everything I could to get as many shots that I could take in many different exposure settings.

    Blah LOL
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Your camera and/or flash should have a focus assist light that briefly sends out a light that the camera can use to see & focus on the subject. You need to make sure that this featured it turned on though.
     
  3. flashfanatic

    flashfanatic TPF Noob!

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    You mean when you are getting ready to shoot the little red light signal that comes on inside the camera and the camera beeps to let you know it has something in focus to shoot?
     
  4. mdtusz

    mdtusz TPF Noob!

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    No, usually right beside the shutter button is a small light that will illuminate the scene a bit while focussing to help the camera define what is and isn't in focus, then it turns off before you click.
     
  5. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    The SB-600 does have the auto focus flash operation as others have suggested. It's a red grid that illuminates the subject.

    Check your SB-600 Manual pages 51-53. When on it will automatically illuminate your subject up to approximately 33ft, and work best 24mm up to 105mm. It's default setting is to on, but this iseasilky turned off by mistake when cycling through other settings. Chekc page 54 for the setting icon you want (AF-ILL).

    Another common reason why your not seeing the illumination grid is if your camera is not in the AF-S (Servo) auto-focus mode.

    Also, it works best when using the center focus point.
     
  6. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    On a D90 you can turn this on and off in the camera menu. But this will not work with a speedlight mounted as that automtically turns the on-board illiuminator light off (I believe).
     
  7. flashfanatic

    flashfanatic TPF Noob!

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    wow! Thank you guys so much for this, I really appreciate it!
     

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