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Thread: What I should of Done

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    Member Kel's Avatar
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    What I should of Done

    Hi

    I had a girl come over last weekend who wanted to ride, once finished she asked if I could take some photos of her with the old fella, which was find, I don't normal like taking photo's in the middle of the day when I have not even shade around but I was up for a new challenge. I tried to balance the light with the on camera flash and I tried with out the flash as well! I am not happy with the end result I sure their is a better way I should of handle this photos. I thinking I should of used a Smaller aperture but I was trying to throw the back ground out of focus. Any Help would be great.

    1) With Flash, ISO: - 100, F4.2, Shuttter Speed: - 1/200, Aperture Priority

    DSC_0663.JPG

    2) No Flash, F4.2, ISO - 100, Shutter Speed: - 1/500, Aperture Priority

    DSC_0669.JPG

    I have not done any editing on these just converted to jpeg

    Thanks

    Kel

  2. #2
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    I prefer the lighting in the second, thus need to dial back the compensation on the flash in the first.
    What you should have done is get them away from the fence.
    And even though it's the middle of the day, you can still up the ISO to get a faster shutter speed for subjects that might move like in the second.
    Maybe get closer,

    DSC_0663.JPG
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S.

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    Member Cris's Avatar
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    I most likely would have taken a reading of the sky, and then recomposed at that setting and let the flash do its thing, probably would have taken 2-3 attempts to get it right, another option may have been to ensure the brightest part of the sky was behind you or to one side, you may have already done this. Hope that is some help.

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    What focal length lens, Kel? You are right that you needed to stop down, probably to f/16 given the conditions and knowing the Sunny 16 rule. You can still get great DoF with smaller apertures if you use a longer focal length and get further from your subject.

    Find a DoF calculator online (there is one for the iPhone in an app called PhotoCalc) and work out for the distance to subject, aperture and focal length what the perceived DoF will be. You may be surprised with some of the answers. For example, using a 90mm lens, with the subject 15 feet away and with the aperture at f/16, the total DoF is only around 5'7". Anything more than 18'4" from your position will be out of focus! That's just 3' or so past your subject!!!

    With your setting of f/4.2, guessing at say 50mm and around 10' to the subject, total DoF is only 1'2", you and or your subject only have to move or sway about a total of 1' between you and you'd miss focus! You don't need to be at the widest possible aperture to get great DoF. Hope that helps.
    Waz
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    Thank you so much for all your help while my girls are playing with the horse I am going to put all this information in some practices. Thank you all been very helpful.

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    Hi Kel, you didn't explicitly say why you weren't happy with the results but I assume it's because you weren't able to balance the background exposure with the subjects? Flash is not my strong point but a few comments...

    I assume by "on camera flash" you are referring to the pop up flash? When you pop up the flash in aperture-priority mode, the fastest shutter-speed (s/s) will be limited to your flash sync speed which looks to be 1/200 here. So if a scene is metered and the ambient light gives a s/s of 1/500 (as in image #2), the camera (with flash up) will only allow a max of 1/200 so the scene will be over-exposed (by a bit over one stop in this case). I think this is what happened in your first image here - the subjects are brighter because the scene is over-exposed by the ambient light, I don't think the actual light from the flash has had any impact on the image (there are no flash shadows for instance). Popup flashes are not particularly powerful and have a maximum range (for 'correct' exposure) of only a few metres at low ISOs.

    If you had selected an aperture so that the metered shutter speed was 1/200 or slower, then when you popped open the flash the s/s would have stayed the same, so the metered area would still be 'correctly' exposed (excluding any flash influence). So based on image #2, 1/500 @ f/4.2 is the same exposure (approx) as 1/125 @ f/8. However stopping down from f/4 to f/8 halves your effective flash distance so you may now need to get closer to your subject for the flash to be effective. (Note that some cameras have a setting for the minimum s/s with the flash on so the s/s speed won't drop below that setting - default 1/60 ?).

    Exif shows that you used spot metering, where did you take the reading from? If you metered on the subject the reading would give you the 'correct' exposure for that spot using the ambient light. If the exposure settings don't change when you pop up the flash (e.g. stayed at 1/125 @ f/8) then I don't think the flash would add any light (assuming TTL) because the camera already sees the subject at the correct exposure. (Not completely sure of this but seems reasonable to me). Something else to keep in mind if spot metering off skin is that the reading for 'average' Caucasian skin will be around a stop under-exposed so you need to dial in some +ve exposure compensation.

    So, what to do?

    Personally I'd probably just rely on available light in this situation. Exposure in image #2 is probably as good as you'll get for the subjects in that location. If the girl had lifted her head a bit and turned her face a bit away from the horse's head those shadows on the right side of her face may have been reduced. I'd get the best exposure of the subject I could without blowing out too much else and then sort it out in post.

    Weather here looks overcast with the sun poking through a bit. If that's the case you might be able to wait for the sun to 'go behind' a cloud and then shoot with the sun (behind a cloud) behind you. This may result in flat lighting so subjects 'lose their shape' a bit, but it means the subject and the background will have the same exposure.

    If you have a light coloured wall nearby (shed/stables etc) you could perhaps position your subjects so that the wall acts as a reflector pushing some light back into shadow areas. If not a neutral colour watch out for colour casts though.

    If you want to use fill flash you will need to set your ambient exposure so that the shutter speed is 1/200 or lower. In daylight this often means that you require a narrow aperture which then reduces the effectiveness of your flash. You can increase the ISO to increase flash effectiveness but this then makes it more difficult to keep the shutter speed down to control the ambient. Fun, yes?

    What you could perhaps try is metering in matrix mode. This will take the background into account when giving you a reading. You could then use the flash compensation settings (+ve or -ve) to get the subject to your desired exposure. Obviously you need to be within the flashes effective range. It might be easier to put the flash in manual mode - that way if the flash is set at full power (1/1) and is still not providing enough light you would know that you need to move closer to your subject.

    Some photographers like to under-expose the background by a stop or two so that the subject has a bit more 'pop'. To do this you dial in some -ve exposure compensation and then get your (flash-lit) subjects back to correct exposure by dialing in the same amount of +ve flash-compensation. However I'm not sure how effective this will be with the power limitations of the popup flash.

    If you are looking to use flash regularly it might be worth investing in a speedlight (if you don't have one already). They have a lot more power than the popup flash, they (most) can be angled to give bounce flash (although not very useful outdoors), and they can also be used off camera (with triggers) to provide more creative opportunities.


    Anyhoo, hope I'm not completely wrong here and some of it made some sense...


    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fillum View Post
    Hi Kel, you didn't explicitly say why you weren't happy with the results but I assume it's because you weren't able to balance the background exposure with the subjects? Flash is not my strong point but a few comments...

    I assume by "on camera flash" you are referring to the pop up flash? When you pop up the flash in aperture-priority mode, the fastest shutter-speed (s/s) will be limited to your flash sync speed which looks to be 1/200 here. So if a scene is metered and the ambient light gives a s/s of 1/500 (as in image #2), the camera (with flash up) will only allow a max of 1/200 so the scene will be over-exposed (by a bit over one stop in this case). I think this is what happened in your first image here - the subjects are brighter because the scene is over-exposed by the ambient light, I don't think the actual light from the flash has had any impact on the image (there are no flash shadows for instance). Popup flashes are not particularly powerful and have a maximum range (for 'correct' exposure) of only a few metres at low ISOs.

    If you had selected an aperture so that the metered shutter speed was 1/200 or slower, then when you popped open the flash the s/s would have stayed the same, so the metered area would still be 'correctly' exposed (excluding any flash influence). So based on image #2, 1/500 @ f/4.2 is the same exposure (approx) as 1/125 @ f/8. However stopping down from f/4 to f/8 halves your effective flash distance so you may now need to get closer to your subject for the flash to be effective. (Note that some cameras have a setting for the minimum s/s with the flash on so the s/s speed won't drop below that setting - default 1/60 ?).

    Exif shows that you used spot metering, where did you take the reading from? If you metered on the subject the reading would give you the 'correct' exposure for that spot using the ambient light. If the exposure settings don't change when you pop up the flash (e.g. stayed at 1/125 @ f/8) then I don't think the flash would add any light (assuming TTL) because the camera already sees the subject at the correct exposure. (Not completely sure of this but seems reasonable to me). Something else to keep in mind if spot metering off skin is that the reading for 'average' Caucasian skin will be around a stop under-exposed so you need to dial in some +ve exposure compensation.

    So, what to do?

    Personally I'd probably just rely on available light in this situation. Exposure in image #2 is probably as good as you'll get for the subjects in that location. If the girl had lifted her head a bit and turned her face a bit away from the horse's head those shadows on the right side of her face may have been reduced. I'd get the best exposure of the subject I could without blowing out too much else and then sort it out in post.

    Weather here looks overcast with the sun poking through a bit. If that's the case you might be able to wait for the sun to 'go behind' a cloud and then shoot with the sun (behind a cloud) behind you. This may result in flat lighting so subjects 'lose their shape' a bit, but it means the subject and the background will have the same exposure.

    If you have a light coloured wall nearby (shed/stables etc) you could perhaps position your subjects so that the wall acts as a reflector pushing some light back into shadow areas. If not a neutral colour watch out for colour casts though.

    If you want to use fill flash you will need to set your ambient exposure so that the shutter speed is 1/200 or lower. In daylight this often means that you require a narrow aperture which then reduces the effectiveness of your flash. You can increase the ISO to increase flash effectiveness but this then makes it more difficult to keep the shutter speed down to control the ambient. Fun, yes?

    What you could perhaps try is metering in matrix mode. This will take the background into account when giving you a reading. You could then use the flash compensation settings (+ve or -ve) to get the subject to your desired exposure. Obviously you need to be within the flashes effective range. It might be easier to put the flash in manual mode - that way if the flash is set at full power (1/1) and is still not providing enough light you would know that you need to move closer to your subject.

    Some photographers like to under-expose the background by a stop or two so that the subject has a bit more 'pop'. To do this you dial in some -ve exposure compensation and then get your (flash-lit) subjects back to correct exposure by dialing in the same amount of +ve flash-compensation. However I'm not sure how effective this will be with the power limitations of the popup flash.

    If you are looking to use flash regularly it might be worth investing in a speedlight (if you don't have one already). They have a lot more power than the popup flash, they (most) can be angled to give bounce flash (although not very useful outdoors), and they can also be used off camera (with triggers) to provide more creative opportunities.


    Anyhoo, hope I'm not completely wrong here and some of it made some sense...


    Cheers.
    Thanks so much for that Phil over the next few week ends I going to put this all in place and see how I go Thank you

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