"Flat" B&W pics


TPF Noob!
May 22, 2003
Reaction score
Hi guys...

I just got the prints back from a roll of black and white film I used at a wedding last week. I wasn't expecting anything fantastic but at least hoped for a couple of nice shots. But I am sorely disappointed.

There would have been some nice one's if they didn't look so flat. Nearly all of the pictures look as though the poeple are lifesize cardboard cutouts!! Since I'm completely new to this I stuck with the auto settings on my camera, and because the whole thing was inside with no natural light (only overhead lighting), I used flash.

There seems to be little to no depth in the pics and very uneven lighting (I guess the light from the flash probably reflected off the light coloured walls and cieling a tad too much. How could I have improved my pics?

I'll try and get one scanned and post it when I get home tonight or over the weekend.
Hard to say without seeing the pics. A couple of general things though...

Use a 25A (red) filter to increase the contrast. This will help with the "cardboard cutout" look.

If you can, bounce the flash off the ceiling. That will soften the shadows that direct flash creates. If your flash head doesn't tilt, there is a hot shoe adapter that tilts that may work with your camera. Try B&H Photo or Adorama to find one.

Might have more when we see a pic. Might be possible to do it in post-processing, depending on how they look.

...as photobug says, it will be easier to comment after viewing an example or two

Meantime, several things come to mind from what you say:

* If the images are "flat" it could be simply a bad printing job with incorrect or insufficient filtration dialled in

* The "cut-out" affect is possibly due to running your camera on auto with the flash. What happens is the shutter automatically changes to 'flash sync' speed (maybe 1/125 or 1/250, depending on your system) - usually way too fast for catching any ambient light in the location you describe - and the film only records what your flash illuminates, in this case your subject/s

Flash is complicated - but well worth the effort of mastering



Most reactions

New Topics