Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Flash (External)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 10, 2010, 4:01 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
frank-in-toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 1,083
Default Settings Indoors Evening

Tomorrow I'll be taking photos at our company golf tourny. I've done this group before so no jitters about the people. Last time I used a p&s so it was all auto and mostly turned out OK. Now I'll be using my sony a550 and the F42am flash.

I'm not concerned about the out-on-the-course shots. I'll fill flash a bit if I'm close enough. That part will be OK.

Post game dinner and prizes are a worry for me. Previously, it was all auto. No thought. Now!

I've taken a few flash shots inside. They turned out OK. But maybe they all could have been better.

So:
1. what mode? P or A or S (don't say M please)
2. If A... what aperture should I use?

I'll be in a room with 10 foot ceilings, and bouncing the flash at 45% I guess. Usually about 15 to 20 feet from the subject. using the sigma 1770 2.8-4.5 lens

I'll have loads of time to do some test shots if that would help. Usually I would just click a few and look at the LCD. and then say a little prayer that the real review on my monitor will match.

I need solid recommendations. I can read a bit tonight but I need to know what aperture/iso to start with.

thanks..
frank-in-toronto is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 10, 2010, 4:15 PM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank-in-toronto View Post
So:
1. what mode? P or A or S (don't say M please)
2. If A... what aperture should I use?
Sorry, go M mode. ;-)

You should never use Aperture Priority with a flash, and that goes for any camera. The reason is because the camera will expose for ambient light, using the flash for fill only. That can result in blurry photos from subject movement, white balance issues, and more, because the flash will contribute very little to the exposure.

If you use M mode, it's much easier. Just select an aperture to give you the desired depth of field. In the conditions you're describing, I'd probably go f/5.6 or f/6.3, with ISO speed set to around ISO 400 (to help with getting better flash range at those apertures with a 10 foot ceiling), and around 1/100 second shutter speed for starters. If light is very low, go with slightly slower shutter speeds.

Then, the camera will use a pre-flash to determine the correct flash burst length to use for your settings, based on how much reflected light it sees. It's much easier to use manual exposure for flash photos. ;-)

Then, if you want more ambient light to contribute, use a slower shutter speed; or if you want less ambient light to contribute, use a faster shutter speed. You can do the same thing using a wider aperture (smaller f/stop number) or higher ISO speed if you want more ambient light to contribute.

If that sounds too complicated, switch the camera to P mode and let it decide. Chances are, you'll get better results compared to trying to use Aperture Priority (which is about the worst way to shoot using a flash).
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 10, 2010, 5:55 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
frank-in-toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 1,083
Default

OK. I took a few flash shots around the house and they seem pretty good. I'm using 1/125, f/5.6, iso400, wbFLASH. I set the flash to rear sync. How about that? And I'll have loads of opportunities to test a little.

Attached is an example of the quality I was getting when I did it 2 years ago with a casio p&s. They were satisfied as no-one else is willing/able to do anything. This year I fully expect to gain a reputation (haha).
thanks.
Attached Images
 
frank-in-toronto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 10, 2010, 6:03 PM   #4
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Jim's advice is good, but I'll make it even simpler:
ISO 400
f6.3
1/60

Flash shots will almost always look betters indoor when you allow more ambient light in.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 10, 2010, 7:49 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Frank-

You really want front curtain flash shots rather than rear curtain flash shots. Otherwise, your shutter speeds could get very low. BTW your posted photo sample appears to be measurably under exposed.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 10, 2010, 9:05 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
frank-in-toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 1,083
Default

OK. I'll try dropping the shutter to 1/60. and doing normal flash, not rear. The photo sample was from an older casio i had. very weak flash. i know it's not-so-good but it did the job for that occasion. now i''m expecting much better product. i'll post a few that turn out well.

Getting all the batteries charged now. I doubt if the organizer will even bother taking crappy photos now that he knows i'm coming. pressure.
frank-in-toronto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 10, 2010, 10:30 PM   #7
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Frank-

You really want front curtain flash shots rather than rear curtain flash shots. Otherwise, your shutter speeds could get very low.
You lost me Sarah. First, if shooting in manual exposure, the photographer controls the shutter speed. As for first or second curtain synch - let's say the photographer is using P mode - why would the shutter speed change if the person were using second curtain synch? I admit I always shoot flash with manual exposure, but you've got me intrigued - why would that change the shutter speed?
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2010, 5:18 AM   #8
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,452
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
You lost me Sarah. First, if shooting in manual exposure, the photographer controls the shutter speed. As for first or second curtain synch - let's say the photographer is using P mode - why would the shutter speed change if the person were using second curtain synch? I admit I always shoot flash with manual exposure, but you've got me intrigued - why would that change the shutter speed?
I had the same question as reading but you beat me to it.
__________________
[SIZE=1][SIZE=2]Any problems with a post or thread please use the report button at the bottom left of the post and the team will help sort it out.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2010, 10:00 AM   #9
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
As for first or second curtain synch - let's say the photographer is using P mode - why would the shutter speed change if the person were using second curtain synch?
With some camera models using P mode, use of second curtain flash will expose for ambient light, then fire the flash at the end of the exposure. That's useful for cityscapes (where you may want to keep the shutter open long enough to expose for the background, then fire the flash to illuminate closer subjects).

Behavior will vary by camera model. But, as a general rule of thumb, most cameras will use a shutter speed of around 1/60 second with flash in P mode with standard flash settings. That tends to be a good "compromise" setting for flash photos, since in most darker interiors (average home interior at night, etc.), 1/60 second will result in a very underexposed photo without the flash at lower ISO speed settings, so that the flash can still freeze the action.

But, with second curtain flash, some cameras will expose for ambient using P mode (which may use much slower shutter speeds and cause issues).

Unless you know exactly how your camera is going to behave in P mode, and have a good understanding of how much lighting difference there is between the foreground subjects and background, I'd avoid second curtain flash for most flash photos (interior photos of people, etc.) using P mode.

Of course, with manual exposure, you control it, versus relying on the camera to make those types of decisions for you. So, use of second curtain flash is not a bad way to go.

In the OP's case, I'd keep it simple. Use manual exposure and avoid complicated flash settings. That way, you're less likely to make mistakes if the photos are important.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 2010, 12:45 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

JohnG & Mark-

When using Second Curtain Flash, there are a good number of cameras, when being used in the "P" mode, will firstly expose for the ambient light and then finish with a flash at the end of the the exposure.

The typical situation is when you want to see the blur of tail lights on a car, but to illuminate the car so that it can be seen as well. The first part (getting the tail light blur) will be done at a slower shutter speed. Then the exposure ends with as flash to illuminate the car. JimC explained the situation rather well.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:23 AM.