User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  13
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34

Thread: "Flash" photography. Pros and cons.

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    10 Dec 2010
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    "Flash" photography. Pros and cons.

    Ok, I'll stick my neck out.

    When I get time I shall upload some sample images to help explain my "confusion".

    Usually when I am out and taking images I do NOT use the flash. I don't know if it is because I don't have a good one, or it is the reason I am about to discuss.

    However, on Sunday I was out and taking a "few" (295) images most of them without the flash.

    Alas some are blurred because of shake. Luckily a lot were good.


    Now, some images were too "difficult" without the flash and so I used the flash. Therefore I have some "A - B comparison" possible.

    The no flash images had nice colours, where as the ones with the flashes were "washed out" and the colours were somewhat flat.

    The picture didn't look that good/nice.

    Yeah, ok, I also did some goofs - which I shall put down to "oops" as it has been a long time since using a flash - alas only the popup one on the 550D.


    Would anyone mind helping me understand the initial problem of what is happening with the images?


    As said, when I get time and find the ones I shall upload them. 295 is a lot to get through.
    +===========================================+
    Canon EOS 550D 18-135 (IS) lens 90-300 lens
    +===========================================+

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    26 Nov 2008
    Location
    Booval, Qld (near Ipswich)
    Posts
    2,018
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    At a guess, your flash exposure was set too high, and on camera flash is never flattering. Waiting for the images for final feedback though.

  3. #3
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    10 Dec 2010
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, appollogies in advance.

    But I guess I asked for it.

    I probably shot myself in the foot with a couple - but hey, here goes.

    A couple of these are blurred but they are more to show the "real" colours to compare to the colours I got with the flash shot.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    30 May 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,599
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Allann View Post
    At a guess, your flash exposure was set too high, and on camera flash is never flattering. Waiting for the images for final feedback though.
    That would be my guess too. The tendency is to set the flash to vapourize; thus, flooding the subject with light and eliminating the natural balance of light.

    What you want to practise doing is setting the flash to the minimum needed to fill the shadowy areas (having as little effect on the lit areas as possible). You need to learn to deal with the slowest shutter speed you can. If its a party for eg, maybe 1/60 (it will vary). If the flash is set low enough to just fill the shadows and to still allow the ambient light to be seen, that is double plus good.

    Hope this helps.

    Scotty
    Canon 7D : Canon EF 70-200mm f:2.8 L IS II USM - Canon EF 24-105 f:4 L IS USM - Canon EF 50mm f:1.8 - Canon EF-s 18-55mm f:3.5-5.6
    Sigma APO 150-500mm f:5-6.3 DG OS HSM
    - Sigma 10-20mm f:3.5 EX DC HSM
    Speedlite 580 EX II - Nissin Di866 II - Yongnuo 460-II x2 - Kenko extension tube set - Canon Extender EF 1.4x II
    Manfroto monopod - SILK 700DX Pro tripod - Remote release - Cokin Z-Pro filter box + Various filters

    Current Social Experiment: CAPRIL - Wearing a cape for the month of April to support Beyond Blue
    Visit me on Flickr

  5. #5
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    10 Dec 2010
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here are the last two images.

    But first the talk through:

    Pic 1 - with flash. Note the blue "tinge" to the shot.
    Pic 2 - same shot with no flash. Yes, blurred, but note the colours.
    Pic 3 - roof shot of a barrell. Shallow depth of field and foreground out of focus fence to give a bit of depth.
    Pic 4 - same shot but with flash. It seems to miss something. Although it kind of "frames" the shot as the people in the background.... Anyway, read on.
    Pic 5 & 6 - these two are the same scene but one with flash one without.

    Why the different colours?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    10 Dec 2010
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oh, just an update: The "flash" I am using is the built in one on top of the 550D. It doesn't really have any settings - does it?

  7. #7
    Member joffa's Avatar
    Join Date
    14 Mar 2009
    Location
    Kalgoorlie
    Posts
    104
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What was your white balance set to? did you change the white balance mode to flash when you were using the flash?

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    26 Nov 2008
    Location
    Booval, Qld (near Ipswich)
    Posts
    2,018
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am not familiar with the 550D but assume it's not too different from other Canons, so won't give you exact settings.

    Firstly though, can I suggest you go through the NTP section in the library as I think you are missing a few basics, which you need to learn before tackling a quite complex subject of flash photography.

    The colour difference is down to one thing, White Balance. If you shot the image in RAW, this is easily changed without loosing and quality. It is possible to fix in editing software, but won't go into specifics here.

    Just to reiterate what Scotty said, balancing flash and ambient light is a life long goal of many a photographer, as most scenes are lit differently, even between shots, so no single "magic" setting will be right, but try to dial in -ve flash exposure on the camera (check your manual if your not sure how). I'd say start between -2/3 to -1 2/3 in a normally lit room. You'll end up getting a slower shutter speed, but every shot is a balancing act. Grab a toy or something at home, put it on the table as play with the settings.

  9. #9
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    10 Dec 2010
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks Allann,

    Yeah, I am doing what you suggested when I get time, but this Expo was dropped on me with little/short notice and I just wanted to go and take images. Well go there. The images were a bonus.

    I'm not fretting on the "bad" shots, but they did help remind me of things I need to brush up on.

    Yeah, the WB threw me. I was using the camera in AV mode. But when using the flash, I had to put it in P mode and enable the flash. Alas I forgot to "reset" the flash. It was set to incandesent light. With the flash, I guess AUTO is better/required.

    Ah, the learning curve continues.

  10. #10
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    10 Dec 2010
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    joffa,

    Yeah, I think the WB didn't help.

    As I said, I didn't set it back to "auto" when I used the flash - which probably didn't help.

    See post above with other stuff which I realise happened after the fact.


  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    7,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Bump your iso way up too
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
    Website : http://www.peakactionimages.com
    Please support Precious Hearts
    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    13 Apr 2010
    Location
    Bribie Is Sunny South East
    Posts
    1,047
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The Canon on camera flash is not very flattering in any way shape or form. The other problem is your white balance is defintely out. Try setting it to cloudy and it will give a warmer feeling. You can aslo dial back the flash exposure through your menu settings.

    Another option if you don't want to shell out the bucks for a good speedlite is to buy a Gary Fong diffuser. They attach to the hotshoe and go over the front of the pop-up flash unit to soften the light coming out. also keep in mind that bumping up ISO as Darren suggested to get a faster shutter speed, no matter what you set your shutter speed at when using flash the camera will automatically dial it back to 1/200 of a second on a 550D, so you still do need to keep your hands steady.

    I've tried a few things because I was never happy with my flash photography, including buying a cheaper Nissin speedlite, but in the end I shelled out for a new Canon 580exII speedlite, they really are the best if you want to get more serious with your flash photography.
    Lloyd
    Canon 5D2+40D+L+Σ+S100
    Never make the same mistake twice, there are so many new ones, try a different one each day
    Flickr

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    30 May 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,599
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The difference between 1 and 2 is almost definitely a WB thing. Shoot RAW and adjust.

    The difference between 3 & 4 is a too strong flash flooding the foreground with light and the too fast shutter disallowing any ambient light in.

    Upping the iso will help let more light in but, you have to balance that again noise.

    Often 1/200 is way to fast to let ambient light in. I would say lower the SS and learn to be steady - buying a good monopod will definitely help here.

    Good luck.

  14. #14
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    10 Dec 2010
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    LJG,

    Thanks.

    Ok, what I read:
    The ISO was on auto and was the second highest possible.

    I don't quite get/understand how I am supposed to dial back the flash? YOu mean the Exposure button and burn back the exposure a bit? (as in make it negative)

    To clarify on the shutter speed:
    I read that irrispective of what mode (AV/TV/P) etc, if the flash is activated by the button on the left side of the body, and it pops up, the shutter speed will be set to 1/200

    This had me confused as I was in AV mode and was wondering why the numbers I saw in the screen were not "compiant" with the fact the flash was up.

  15. #15
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    10 Dec 2010
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Scotty.

    Thanks.

    Alas 3 & 4 were taken with the Nikon "happy snap" camera. I know it has some controls, but I am trying to learn th e550D just now and the Nikon was more for the "up close/MACRO" pictures where I could put the camera actually in the models and take the shot to simulate "being there".

    Those pictures were taken in full auto mode in that camera - though maybe MACRO was enabled.
    WB may have been set too, not exactly sure. But that would be in the EXIF data.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    30 May 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,599
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you are talking about the Canon built in flash, then somewhere in the settings menu, there should be a flash settings sub menu (I'm not familiar with the 550D). You are looking for flash compensation settings. It should be a sliding scale from -3 up to +3 (or maybe -2 up to +2). You need to set this to a negative level. As someone suggested, there is no magic number but, start at around -1 to -1.5 then trial & error from there.

    If you understand the basics of setting exposure (SS & aperture) then, I would suggest you go for MANUAL mode as in the priority modes the camera may try to compensate and do weird things. As a general rule (for the types of shots you posted) (as a very rough starting point) set the aperture for about 5 or 6 (giving you enough DOF but wide enough to not shut out too much light) and a shutter speed of 60-100. ISO of 400.

    Now, depending on the light in the room, these settings will have to be adjusted.

    It really is a matter of trial & error.

    Good luck.

  17. #17
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 Jun 2006
    Location
    the worst house, in the best street
    Posts
    8,185
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Very good info so far on all matters, especially the WB related issues.

    Shoot raw, and leave WB to auto, if it looks good in your image editor then leave it(easy way to PP), if it looks strangely colour cast, then use the WB adjustment feature to change it to something more appropriate, slightly difficult PP workflow, but at least you get better colour.

    As for the blurry images, it seems you are using the 18-135IS lens. Is the IS feature turned on??
    If so, then you need to practice your handholding technique. 1/3s -1/4s shutter speeds should be better than that unless you really are shaking the foundations(so to speak). With those two particular images, ISO was up in the ISO3200 range, so bumping up ISO is probably not an option.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    30 May 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,599
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post

    As for the blurry images, it seems you are using the 18-135IS lens. Is the IS feature turned on??
    If so, then you need to practice your handholding technique. 1/3s -1/4s shutter speeds should be better than that unless you really are shaking the foundations(so to speak). With those two particular images, ISO was up in the ISO3200 range, so bumping up ISO is probably not an option.

    And, a good monopod is worth its weight in gold.

    Here are a few I took in pretty abysmal lighting. All were taken at very close range (12-15mm) with an on camera 580exII. The exif doesn't record the exact flash settings but I think the were about 1/64th - 1/128th (give or take) - in other words, set very low just so the faces would be lit up so that the ambient light could still reach the sensor. By, this stage of the night, the dancers were up and the lights turned down


    _MG_2999 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr
    1/80 sec Even though they are moving quite quickly (dancing) 1/80th and the flash was enough
    f:4.0 to freeze the subjects.
    ISO 3200
    13mm


    _MG_3040 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr
    1/250 sec Here, the background was pretty well lit, thus the much faster shutter.
    f:4.5
    ISO
    15mm


    _MG_3113 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr
    1/100 sec (the background was a black wall but, you can see from the floor in the background that
    f:4.5 ambient light was captured)
    ISO 3200
    15mm


    _MG_3110 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr
    1/100 sec (I probably didn't need the 1/100 SS as they were still: 1/80 would have had a brighter
    f:4.5 background)
    ISO 3200
    12mm


    _MG_3101 by CyclingScotty, on Flickr
    1/100 sec (here I really should have dropped the SS, the background is a little dark)
    f:4.5
    ISO 3200
    13mm

    Hope this helps

    Scotty

  19. #19
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    10 Dec 2010
    Location
    sydney
    Posts
    463
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    THanks again guys.

    The lighting was SHOCKING...... I see the ISO was noticed. Yeah, the second highest.

    I was using F 6.5 and 7.1 for most. 5.6 if I had to but as I wasn't always/often on wide angle, the F stop was limited to about 5.6 maximum (or is that minimum?)......

    I didn't notice exteremely slow shutter speeds - as in the shutter speed wasn't blinking on any.

    I guess I shall have to put some of the blur to lack of practice and some to being bumped a lot.

    Oh well, just as good I am not doing this for a living.


    I shall look at the menus and see if I can find/understand the flash menu option/s.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    30 May 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,599
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Felix View Post
    Oh well, just as good I am not doing this for a living.


    I shall look at the menus and see if I can find/understand the flash menu option/s.
    Yes, it takes lots of time and practise...

    As for doing it for a living..? not even if you paid me.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •