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Old Apr 10, 2008, 3:10 PM   #1
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Thank you Jim for advising me to start a new thread and how to resize pictures. Let's see if I did it right???

I was wondering if my camera had a calibration probem as my indoor picture with auto and some other modes seem to be so dark?? Here are a couple to start. Well maybe one to start cuz I'm not sure how to post multiple...

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Old Apr 10, 2008, 3:42 PM   #2
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That exposure really doesn't look too bad to my eyes. Another 1/3 stop brighter wouldn't hurt. But, it's really close enough.

My guess is that you're probably wondering why the background is so dark.

That's normal shooting that type of subject indoors.

Here's the major issue.... the camera can only capture a limited range of bright to dark, and indoor lighting is much dimmer to the camera's lens, than it appears to the human eye. You also have to worry about how long the shutter needs to stay open to expose the image.

If you tried to shoot that without a flash (so that you'd have a brighter overall image), your shutter speeds would be so slow that you'd risk motion blur from any subject movement at all (or camera shake if you're not using a tripod).

When you use a flash, the camera tries to expose the image in a way that the flash can freeze the action. The flash burst itself is usually around 1/1,000 to 1/10,000 second, depending on how close you are to your subject (shorter bursts if you're closer, longer bursts if you're further away). The flash burst length is how the camera is controlling the flash power.

By keeping the ISO speed (how sensitive the camera's image sensor is to light) set low, so that only the flash is illuminating the scene, the subject is only exposed properly during the very fast flash burst. So, the flash freezes the action.

But, because you're so close to your subject, the flash burst has to be kept very short. Otherwise, your subject would be too bright (losing detail from overexposure), if the camera tried to make the flash burst long enough (powerful enough) to illuminate the background.

So, if you need to take flash photos of closer subjects like that, it's a good idea to get an external flash that you can bounce from a ceiling for more even lighting in a room. Shooting from further away with your existing camera's flash (provided you stay within the rated flash range) should also help.

There are some other things you can do to get a brighter image. For example, you could use the Exposure Compensation feature on your camera (set to a +EV setting with the pointer to the right of center). But, you'd risk overexposure in some conditions, depending on how familiar you are with your camera's metering system and what to expect for a given subject type and brightness.

You could also use non-Auto modes on the camera and set it to allow more ambient light (allowing more light from sources other than the flash) in the image. For example, setting ISO speed higher and/or using an even slower shutter speed.

But, if you're not careful with that approach, you'll end up with blur from subject movement or camera shake, since the flash would no longer be the primary light source (which is how it's able to freeze movement).

For best results indoors like that, you'll want an external flash that you can bounce for more even lighting.

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Old Apr 10, 2008, 3:47 PM   #3
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its not dark. But the effect of the built in flash. I have never tried a built in flash and i cannot comment on the metering problem. But from what i see the camera has metered for the kids face (obviously the built in flash is always harsh)

And since the flash reach is prett less compared to a dedicated flash the background doesnt have the exact light as in the kids face. Hence it appears dark

I may be wrong...but i do feel this is what a flash will do in such a setting..

here is one taken in pitch blind darkness. Metz flash on mark III with the flash's red light used as focussing means..
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 4:03 PM   #4
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Jim's advice is pretty good. I just wanted to add that even with bounced flash, how dark the background is will depend on room size and what the ambient exposure is. Do a google on 'dragging the shutter'. You'll find that even with powerful external flash, people will sometimes choose a high ISO value so there is more ambient light in the photo. And of course you may not be able to bounce the flash. So, sometimes higher ISO is still beneficial - even if you have a powerful external flash.

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Old Apr 10, 2008, 4:13 PM   #5
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Thank you for the info. I am so new at this with several good books, but reading a book, remembering, taking a picture, remembering all get mixed up. If only I could remember all this from high school!!! I will keep working on it and maybe post more pictures for advice??/

Thanks again!!!!!!!!

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