Tips for Not Using The Flash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by 31M0, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. 31M0

    31M0 TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone, I just recently bought a Canon EOS400D (Digital Rebel XTi I believe) with the 18-55mm EFS lens kit and no other accessories and I was wondering if anyone has any tips about taking pictures in the dark without a flash?

    I don't really like the flash because it's so bright, it doesn't suit the darker tone I want for the pictures.

    Any help is appreciated, thanks in advance.

    Also if my question is too vague or anything if someone could tell me and I'll fix it up.

    Edit: I forgot to add, that I have managed to take a couple of pictures without the flash but they turn out very orangey. If someone could tell me why that is? I've tried changing the white balance, as well as the ISO (so I wouldn't need the flash) but the pictures still come out with a slight orange-tinge to them.
     
  2. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Can you post pictures...of shots taken with and without the flash?
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome aboard.

    If you could show us an example of your orange tinged photos, it might help to diagnose the problem.

    As for shooting in the dark...it shouldn't be a problem as long as you understand the shutter speed.

    The exposure is controlled by the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. The aperture has a maximum (which isn't very big on that lens) and so when it gets dark, the other option is to use a longer shutter speed. When the shutter speed is longer, any movement by the camera or subject will cause blur. So if you want to shoot at night, you should probably use a tripod. Also, it would help if you used a remote release or the self timer, so that you are not touching the camera (and making it shake). Of course, if you are shooting a person or something that moves..you will probably get blur at slower shutter speeds.

    The last option would be to turn up the ISO. You can get faster shutter speeds when you turn up the ISO, but the trade off is digital noise. Given a choice between noise and blur...I'd rather have the noise...so it's OK to crank up the ISO...but I'd prefer not to.

    Of course, it would also help if you has a lens with a larger maximum aperture, which would let in more light and give you faster shutter speeds. The 50mm F1.8 is very affordable.

    A lot of people don't like flash...that's understandable. However, being 'too bright' is something that you can control. Your camera has FEC (flash exposure compensation) so you can 'turn it down'. However, what you probably don't like is the flat light that results from the small flash being so close to the lens. You could create much better lighting with a hot-shoe flash that can tilt & swivel, so that you can bounce the light....or better yes, you could use it off camera.
     
  4. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

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    to shoot in the dark without a flash:

    A) Faster lens, canon 50mm 1.8 (or 1.4) will help a lot.. 5.6 (assuming your zoomed) is not going to open up wide enough to let in enough light for the needed SS

    B) Tripod and a remote shutter.

    C) If its real dark, a combination of both
     
  5. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I do a lot of flashless shooting in the dark with my Canon EF, I too have experianced the orange tinged images, I don't fret over it though, I assume it is the type of light as it only happens under sertain lights.

    For those who wish to see the orange I have to assume this is what 31M0 is refering to, That in comparison with this taken with the same body, lens and ASA value under different lights.

    As for advice to 31M0:

    Tripod

    Remote release and or Timer release

    Mirror lock - Mirror lock is a must with anything longer than 1/2
     
  6. 31M0

    31M0 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks a lot for the suggestions.

    Unfortunately I don't have any of the orange tinted pictures because I deleted them. But I'll see if I can find the lens all of you suggested and use that, and see how it works.

    Thanks everyone

    Edit: Also the orange tinge that Battou showed is the orange tinge I'm talking about.

    And I do use a tripod for almost all of my dark shots with a low shutter speed. But sometimes the camera doesn't take the picture.. Just sort of focuses and unfocuses and continues this

    And can someone please explain Mirror Lock to me?

    Thanks.
     
  7. nicfargo

    nicfargo TPF Noob!

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    The orange tinge looks to be a WB issue. If you shoot RAW, you should be able to fix this very easily. If not you may need to make a custom WB. There are too many variations in WB for a camera that has 8 pre-programmed WB to cover everything. That is why you need to use the custom function from time to time. Either that or shot RAW and fix in PP.
     
  8. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am not sure how it is done with your camera but I have to assume it can be done as the 400D is capable of shutter speeds up to 30 sec, you will have to check the manual.

    Locking the mirror is just another way to minimize movement of the camera body.

    The mirror used to relay the image from the lens to the view finder is between the lens and the sensor, so It has to move when the shot is taken (otherwise it would obstruct th sensor) This movement can cause vibration during long exposures like any movement can. With older cameras like mine the mirror moves so quickly and hard it literally jolts the body, this is known as mirror smack. example of mirror smacked results.

    Now I have to admit some ignorance in regard to the 400D's mirror, I've never shot it and don't know it like I know mine, but these are pretty standard things and it's a safe bet it applies the same.



    If you are judging this assessment on my photo, it's not entirely correct. The camera used for that is entirely manual, on top of that wile going threw my older shots I found a picture with both sets of lights seen here.

    I am sure you can use this methoed to make the lights white if desired but some lights emit an orange light.
     
  9. brileyphotog

    brileyphotog TPF Noob!

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    Even if you're shooting jpegs you should be able to correct color cast quite easily.
     
  10. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    shoot in raw and get a speedlite... :D
     

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