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View Full Version : "How to" help needed on very subtle lighting, almost underexposed shots, like these...



Ezookiel
01-05-2012, 15:35
Not sure on the etiquette of reposting other people's photos to ask questions, so forgive me just linking to the thread where the photo is, and listing the photos by number or other identifier. Hopefully you'll bear with me and have a look at what I'm trying to describe (Can open the threads in a new tab so you don't have to leave this page, by holding Cntrl while you click on the links if it helps)

I love shots like #1 and #13 in this thread http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?103439-Jillian-amp-Sam-Cricket-Lovers!
Entry 11102 in this thread (the barely lit child's face) http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?102285-Photo-of-the-Week-300-THEME-quot-The-Dark-Side-quot-Winners-and-Prizes
Entry 3591 (the black cat) and Entry 6307 (the singer) in this thread http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?56888-***Photo-Of-The-Week-Hall-of-Fame-2010-2011***
Big Mick's wedding dance entry in this thread http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?11410-***Photo-Of-The-Month-Hall-of-Fame***
"Curves" entry 8601 in this thread http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?91316-www-scala-com-au-quot-FUR-OR-SKIN-quot-Photography-Competition-FIRST-PLACE-WINNERS

Basically photos where most of the photo is in the dark except for just subtle highlights. But have no idea how these photos are accomplished (unless it's in PP in which case I'm screwed).
To get so little light in, I'm assuming either a fast shutter speed, or a small aperture, or maybe both, or something else I'm missing completely.
Would love some tips on how to get only the subject lit, and much of the rest of it in the dark.

Thanks for any light you can shed on this (pun fully intended).

Clubmanmc
01-05-2012, 17:00
sadly its not just one thing...

exposure, lighting and the environment, and being able to get your camera to work to the light there is and what is not there...

and controlling the exposure so...

M

Old Skool
02-05-2012, 08:06
Check this site out - it might help
http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/how-to-fake-a-black-backdrop-with-a-flash/

Ezookiel
02-05-2012, 18:51
Thank you Old Skool, that is exactly what I was looking for. Just didn't know what to search for.
I had heard it was able to be done even in normal light with just a flash, but didn't know if it was a really small aperture, or a really fast shutter speed, looks like it's the latter with a fair portion of the prior.
Really love the incredibly subtle effect.

Now to go find out if my 430 ExII can be fired off camera with a remote without having to use the popup flash to set it off.
Really really appreciate your help. Thanks heaps.

FallingHorse
10-05-2012, 13:15
Hi Ezookiel,
I am right in the middle of writing a tutorial on the above sort of shot. It's aimed predominately towards beginners with limited gear with both natural light and flash. I would be happy to send you a copy (email) when I'm done. I have only a few shots left to shoot tomorrow afternoon and a few more paragraphs after that.

Hope you don't mind but I have added an image to your thread on the type of thing my tutorial is about.

http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af280/fallinghorse/Stuff/RadjahShelduck-2900x600.jpg

In this shot the duck was standing just underneath a wooden pedestrian bridge and the sunlight caught his beak and head through the slats of the bridge. Immediately behind him was an ugly concrete drain. By using a high shutter speed I have managed to get a black background (adjusted in PS using levels). f5.6, 1/800, ISO 800. This is one of my first types of this shot and was and to be honest it was quite accidental at the time, I had owned a camera for only a few months. It took me a while to learn how to achieve my 'mistake' and apply it to other shots. I was using Shutter Priority for this shot but now I use Aperture Priority to get the depth of field I want, then adjust the ISO to give me a faster shutter speed. You can think of shutter speed as adjusting the ambient light or dimming the sun.

Ezookiel
11-05-2012, 17:00
Don't mind at all. I'm very glad you put up an image. I wanted to be able to put up some examples, but didn't want to add anyone else's work without permission, and have no examples of my own to put up as I haven't yet begun to experiment with the style for myself.
Will be quite interested to see the tutorial. Thanks.

FallingHorse
14-05-2012, 22:18
Don't mind at all. I'm very glad you put up an image. I wanted to be able to put up some examples, but didn't want to add anyone else's work without permission, and have no examples of my own to put up as I haven't yet begun to experiment with the style for myself.
Will be quite interested to see the tutorial. Thanks.

PMed you;)

Ezookiel
15-05-2012, 13:25
Oh. Thanks. Missed seeing the notification up there. It's with all the others about thanks, and cc's and didn't notice it.
My apologies. I'll get it now.
Thanks.