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Old Nov 20, 2006, 9:28 PM   #1
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When is it best to use Flash Exposure Compensation. I never used this before.
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Old Nov 21, 2006, 10:29 PM   #2
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Imacer wrote:
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When is it best to use Flash Exposure Compensation. I never used this before.
Always. I use anywhere from +1/3 to + 1 1/3 stops FEC with my 20Dfor indoor flash photography. I put my camera away with +2/3 stop dialed in as a starting point.
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Old Nov 21, 2006, 11:43 PM   #3
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And I do the opposite. I use -2/3 to -1 stops of flash when I'm shooting wildlife. It fills in the shadows very subtly without giving away that I used a flash.

It partially depends on what mode you shoot in. I shoot in Av, in which the flash is assumed to be a fill-flash by the camera. In other modes it is assumed to be the dominate light and more flash is used.

Imacer, you'll have to tell us what type of photography you're doing, what camera you're using (if its the 10D, it doesn't have E-TTL2... so the flash technology isn't as good) and what mode you use the camera in.

Eric
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Old Nov 22, 2006, 6:46 AM   #4
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Imacer wrote:
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When is it best to use Flash Exposure Compensation. I never used this before.
Never is my situation! :-) :lol: :-)

-> The (flash) exposure depends on the subject content...
An overly white subject such as a bride wearing white wedding dress for example will underexpose hence you need to dial in +, how many +++ will depend on how much brightness the image contains (i.e. zoom in or zoom out...)
Conversely if you shoot a groom instead the subject will be overwhelmingly dark because of the black suit hence you have to dial in -, how many minus again depend on how dark the average image is...

Skin tone (not colored) on the other hand tend to be neutral so if you do an FEL (Flash Exposure Lock), the camera will do a partial metering and lock in this mid-tone which is the same brightness as what the camera is calibrated for then no exposure compensation is required.

IMO it's not how smart or sophisticated your camera is, but it's the dumb photographer behind the camera using simple basic rule that will control the shot
Of course knowing how a Grey card (or recognizing grey wall or grey lamp shades...) work can help as well in various circumstances...
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Old Nov 22, 2006, 7:40 AM   #5
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I find it's the combination of the camera and photographer.
The more advanced cameras seem to do a better job, but they still get it wrong. Knowing when they will and correcting for it is just part of photography.

NHL gave some very good examples of that.

You can't assume your camera will just "get it right" because I guarrenty even the top-of-the-line cameras get it wrong some times. And heck, they often get it wrong
in the situations which are most interesting to photograph. Those tricky different situations which Canon didn't think of when designing it!

Eric
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Old Nov 22, 2006, 11:05 PM   #6
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eric s wrote:
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And I do the opposite. I use -2/3 to -1 stops of flash when I'm shooting wildlife. It fills in the shadows very subtly without giving away that I used a flash.

It partially depends on what mode you shoot in. I shoot in Av, in which the flash is assumed to be a fill-flash by the camera. In other modes it is assumed to be the dominate light and more flash is used.

Imacer, you'll have to tell us what type of photography you're doing, what camera you're using (if its the 10D, it doesn't have E-TTL2... so the flash technology isn't as good) and what mode you use the camera in.

Eric
Exatly Eric. I also use negative FEC for outdoor fill ... though I probably don't dial in as much negative as I should (still a noob with outdoors fill).

But I think that by this discussion the OP can see that simply leaving FEC at zero for all situations isn't going to get the best results.
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 8:29 PM   #7
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I use it when I bounce the flash off the ceiling. You can set FEC on the camera or if you have a Speedlite like a 430ex, you can set it on the flash (easier I find).
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 9:31 PM   #8
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I use +2/3 to +1 on a regular basis for indoor flash shots. Canon seems to be fairly consistent underexposed in this area. Not always, but most of the time. I do check my histogram regularly anyways...

H
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