Tips for bar/club flash photos?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by CraniumDesigns, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    Hey folks,

    I just got a Speedlite 430 EX II. I go to a lot of bars and clubs with friends. What are some tips you can recommend as far as settings to get cool, colorful shots. I have been testing in my room with my Tamron 17-50 2.8. At f/2.8 (wide open) I can get good shots at 400 ISO and around 1/4 second. I'm shooting in aperture priority, so the shutter changes, but around that area.

    I'm not too worried about perfect sharpness, as they'll probably just be on the web, so a 1/4 second exposure handheld doesnt bother me.

    Just wondering where I should point my flash. Up? Sideways? Behind me? And any other advice you have would be great. Looking for shallow DoF and nice colors. Ok with movement blur, as it kinda translates the movement and the chaos of a club.
     
  2. Pure

    Pure TPF Noob!

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    1/4 is crazy slow. Everything is going to blur
     
  3. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    not for posed shots. it might come out cool, cuz everyone else will be moving, but the posed people will be still. showing the fun all around them :)
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry, nothing will blur as the flash will not last longer than around 1/1000th of a second. With flash your shutter speed is irrelevant to the subject and only determines the background exposure.

    This is called dragging the shutter. More can be read at planetneil.com on this subject.

    As to tips on using a flash in a bar?

    Don't, you'll just make a bunch of drunks angry.

    If you have to then get some colored gels to stick on the flash to make the whole episode more festive and be a part of the floor show.

    Just remember that the later it gets the less patience people have and the more sensitive their eyes get.
     
  5. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    ah cool. now i really understand what dragging the shutter means. so the flash basically is just for the subject, and the shutter speed is for exposing the background. cool.
     
  6. WhineAndDine

    WhineAndDine TPF Noob!

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    what a great thread. im looking forward to some more ideas from everyone.
     
  7. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    it's all good. i found what i needed to know at planetneil.com.
     
  8. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    Remember aperture controls your flash exposure, shutter controls the ambient. :)
     
  9. WhineAndDine

    WhineAndDine TPF Noob!

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    but i think you are assuming its dark in there. what if there are strobe lights flashing non stop. wont that make a difference?
     
  10. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    Even with flashing strobe light you're going to overpower it with the flash.
     
  11. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    I found when shooting a wedding last year that even with an external flash, I still noticed a sense of movement (call it blur if you must :) when I would shoot at about 1/10 second or slower. It definitely helps though to have the slower shutter speed if you want to avoid the "cave photgraphy" look.
     

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