Shooting at night and when to use a flash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by padrepaul77, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. padrepaul77

    padrepaul77 TPF Noob!

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    One of my favorite things to shoot are night shots of the city, or at places like below, the State Fair. I haven't used a flash much at night, preferring a longer shutter speed. I toyed with the lighting settings on my camera, going with a higher flourescent setting and setting it into manual mode.

    ISO was at 200 on Sweet Marhta's with the flash; 1/60 exposure; f 3.5
    250 on the Malt Shop; f 5.6; 1/13 of a second exposure; max ap of 3.61
    Hot Dog Stand with the flash it's ISO 200, f 3.5, 1/60 exposure time
    Cotton Candy Stand: ISO 250, f 5.6, 1/30 sec. exposure.

    There is some shadowing on the ice cream cone on the malt shop. Other than that, I've found that not using a flash is better to just capture some nice signs in neon...but having ordered the flash for the bag, when would I want to use it when shooting at night? Just when trying to illuminate people? I'm more apt to want a silhouete against a sign rather than people lit up. As you can see in Sweet Marthas, the on-board flash isn't adequate for that in such a large crowd. Fine for up close though. My fav is the Cotton Candy Stand; pretty good color on that one. I'm also still experimenting with the light settings.

    I also ordered the 9-18mm lens from Olympus; 100 rebate right now. I love street shots, and think it'll help.

    Any advice for this SLR noob will help!

    Merci mille fois,
    Paul
     

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  2. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    I like the Cotton Candy Stand...The 9mm will put things in a completely different perspective. It will distort the .... of things. However I love the way distorted images look :)
     
  3. HeY iTs ScOTtY

    HeY iTs ScOTtY TPF Noob!

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    the malt stand looks like a hard picture to shoot. it has many different shades of light in the windows and signs.
     
  4. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    Well, for example, if you were shooting a photo with a person in the foreground as your main focus, but wanted the background to still show through (common is a night portrait with a nice bright cityscape behind them), then you would use a longer shutter and a rear-sync curtain.
    The shutter opens and captures the light, then before the shutter closes it fires the flash.
     

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