Practiced fill flash- Feedback appreciated!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by McMommy, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. McMommy

    McMommy TPF Noob!

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    So I think the number one thing I was getting was that my photos are shadowy, because I was always afraid to use my flash. So today I practiced some with it, and without it. Yes, these are snapshots, but I was focusing on three things: Clear focus, and even lighting/exposure/whatever you want to call it, and getting a good one to send to the grandparents:sexywink:. None of these are edited at all, and I'm not worried about the composition or anything, just working on "fill flash" or whatever it is. I "get" it, but I couldn't explain it back to anyone so please forgive my lack of correct terms.



    Without flash, indoors.:
    [​IMG]



    With flash, indoors. I see the difference, but to my untrained eye he looks so pale. Is it just because he is pale? I just really don't want to white him out, that's why I'm so intimidated by the flash.
    [​IMG]


    With flash, indoors, with my back to the sun and windows (I think this gave the best lighting, even though there's a pole coming out of his head.:er:)
    [​IMG]

    Without flash, outdoors under a tree... Now I feel like some people would say there are shadows on his face and it's not very well exposed. I see that... but I tried to shoot on manual, and couldn't get the meter to the center, it was completely to the "-" side no matter what I did. This is probably lack of knowledge on my part of how to use my camera, so I'm looking it up after I post this.

    [​IMG]


    With flash, outdoors under the tree... So thinking I'd get rid of the shadowy splotches, I tried flash. Didn't turn out so well.
    [​IMG]


    So outside, I tried as many different settings as I could while chasing my son around, like trying to adjust the flash compensation and the exposure compensation, but they all turned out like the one above.


    So there you have it. I feel like I'm better at it, but I still don't completely get it. I'll work on it, but any advice or feedback you can tell me about what I'm doing right or wrong will really help me! Thank you in advance!!
     
  2. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

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    Remember, your aperture controls the amount of light that you let into the image ... so if your images with flash look a little too bright, stop your aperture down a stop or so. Tow headed, fair skinned children are always tough to expose properly ... and your boy looks to be every fair skinned ... there is a very fine balance between using available light and flash ... take a look at this thread from a few weeks ago ... http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-beginners-forum-photo-gallery/197214-learning-about-light-101-assignment-1-3-15-10-3-28-10-a.html as it goes over a lot about this type of set up and how to properly balance these types of situations ... hope this is helpful!


    I love the fact that your son is EATING in all of these shots, and I love the first snap of him with the pizza ... classic!
     
  3. McMommy

    McMommy TPF Noob!

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    It's the only way I can get him to slow down! He's sooooo energetic!

    Thank you very much! I'll check out that link right now!
     
  4. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

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    What modes are you shooting in? Are you in completely program or are you manually over riding them?
     
  5. McMommy

    McMommy TPF Noob!

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    I am most comfortable in aperture priority mode when I'm shooting my child, because it's fast and I don't have to worry too much if I forget to switch something.

    I have been practicing with manual mode though on still shots, like flowers or scenery, architecture, etc.
     
  6. deb

    deb TPF Noob!

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    My grandson is fair with blond hair, so I have experienced the problems you are having with shapshots. I really liked the shot of him at the counter, and did a quick edit - adjusted the gamma .77, adjusted the green channel -7 and sharpened it a little. I "assumed" that the shirt was a neutral khaki rather than a grenish khaki, and that his coloring has some pink undertones.

    I don't have photoshop on the computer I was playing on, and the monitor is not calibrated so the adjustments I could do were limited to what a free viewer (Irfanview) could do and what the laptop monitor was displaying.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I hope he doesn't eat like that very frequently.

    When you were trying to bracket the shot in manual, which setting were you trying to adjust? Shutter speed, aperture, or both?
     
  8. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The first one with the pizza is GREAT!
     
  9. McMommy

    McMommy TPF Noob!

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    Cute, thanks! Yes, his shirt is a pale lime green color with dinosaurs all over the bottom. I love it!

    In manual, I was trying to adjust the shutter speed, I think. I just try to make the inside of the viewfinder match the guide in my book. :lol:
     
  10. McMommy

    McMommy TPF Noob!

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    Haha, no. We go to the local donut shop every Saturday morning, just something we enjoy doing as a family. He eats probably 5 sprinkles, but he eats real breakfast before we leave, so he isn't devouring the whole donut shop! The pizza was a rare treat- it's military kids appreciation day, and they had a huge event for all the kids with free everything, pizza included.

    But then again... he's only almost 2, so we are lucky that he'll eat anything we give him. He loves sushi... hmmm maybe we'll have that for dinner!
     
  11. jajomo

    jajomo TPF Noob!

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    Can't say about any of the lighting ...only because I have never used flash ...but I couldn't resist commenting...he is so stinkin cute...I love how he has his napkin tucked into his shirt. I miss this age...enjoy it....teenagers aren't near as cute when they are holding a donut or pizza!! lol :)
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    You have come the closest to perfection in the third shot of your little trooper, where he's in the gray-backed soda fountain chair, with that big, wonderful old round Coca~Cola sign on the wall in the background: you swung the camera around to do a tall composition (bonus points!!), and the camera's shutter speed and aperture are both pretty appropriate for the background ambient light level. His eyes have very large catchlights in them, which adds a lot of eye sparkle. The flash unit's output is pretty close to the exposure level of the f/stop/ISO/shutter triangle--see how the shadow the flash casts is not inky-black, but has detail in the shadows?? That is fill-flash. Very nicely balanced exposure, with the flash output, the ISO, the lens f/stop, and the shutter speed ALL being in perfect balance from the close, flash-lighted kiddo, right to the background wall. Very nice.

    The exact opposite is the last shot---the entire frame is over-exposed. That can happen if the ISO is too high or the shutter speed is too slow, or the lens's f/stop is set to a wide aperture, like say f/4.5 outdoors in bright weather. A combination of any, or all, or one, or two, or three of those factors can blow out an outdoor fill-flash exposure, and as you can see, the last shot is a disaster, whereas the one I liked so much can be adjusted quite a bit, as other people show so well with their retouching/adjustment efforts.

    The thing about shooting fill-flash in Aperture Priority or Programmed AUTO modes is that the camera will often give you very long, slow shutter speeds, which will lead to blurry subjects. Indoors, in dim light, the camera might dish up f/8 at 1/4 second with flash, and you'll have a good chance of a blurry background due to the slow speed, and then a crisp, frozen image when the flash goes off and makes something like a 1/2,000 second, ultra-quick flash pop. Shooting flash in Aperture Priority (what Canon and others call Av or Aperture Value) is risky...the shutter speed will tend to yo-yo all over the place, which can lead to disaster....it's like going 5 MPH down the freeway...you need to be going FAST on the freeway!!! 55 to 70, you know??That is the rule for outdoor fill-flash when it's a sunny season like spring and summer...the shutter speed needs to be fast and the f/stop needs to be a small-diameter opening like f/11 or even f/16 in bright light. You need to be in control when shooting flash + daylight fill-in work, and Manual mode makes staying in complete control easy,with no 'surprises' from the camera's automation.

    In bright sunlight, the lowest ISO your camera can go, usually ISO 100, is good for sunlight flash; an exposure of 1/200 second and f/11, will be average in sunny months; on the shot that is over-exposed, if the ISO had been at 100, the shutter at 1/200 to 1/250, and the lens at f/11 or so, the fill-flash would have been controlled by the camera on the close-up BOY, and the ISO, shutter speed, and lens f/stop would have controlled the exposure on the BACKGROUND...but, that didn't happen outdoors, did it? It all matched up at the soda fountain, but not out in the yard...

    Outdoors, using a fast shutter speed, like 1/200 second is a good idea with most cameras. When you need help with flash, always state your camera model and flash, since there is a huge amount of difference in how some of the systems work; some cameras are "dumber" than others, when flash is used, or when doing fill-flash some cameras will allow much faster flash shutter speeds: like the Nikon D40 for example, it will shoot flash at up to 1/500 with Nikon flash guns.

    My boy likes those sprinkle doughnuts too! It's nice to indulge 'em once in a while when they're little!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010

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