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Old Jan 12, 2010, 2:03 AM   #1
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Default Low Light handheld shots

I am a bit curious on how some photographers are able to get incredibly clear portrait shots by hand in low light situations. As an example the picture below of my friend Emily and Patrick at a nightclub in LA. The camera was a Canon 5D, and sadly I dont have the EXIF data nor is it included. Though I know the lenses were of a very wide aperture and they had flashes that had a component which looked like it was meant to diffuse the light. My main question is how is it possible to get such a clear shot, while in hand, let alone these guys were dancing in a club. I know the wider appature(lower fstop) lets in more light and thus you will be allowed to use a lower iso. Given the flash you can also use a much faster shutter speed. But Im cluless on how it is so clear. Given my analysis I guess it makes sense, but I still dont understand how it can be so clear.



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Old Jan 12, 2010, 5:34 AM   #2
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It is pretty much down to using the flash as the pulse is very fast and will freeze the action. Although they might have had fast lenses (wide aperture), it doesn't look like they were using them at very wide settings, probably f5.6/6.3 as the background is dark and this is key. Having a shot that would be very underexposed without flash means that then the flash does the vast majority of the lighting and will freeze the movement.

You can use an extreme version of this by exposing a bit more for ambient light (not what these guys did but just an example) so that you have some of the background an movement but still freeze the subject. Using flash will allow you (with experience) to create many different effects from the one you posted to something like these.

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Old Jan 12, 2010, 5:39 AM   #3
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Forgot to say these were at 1/8s and 1/10s respectively, this combined with a higher ISO gets the ambient light picked up.

Creating the effect you requested you would have settings that under expose a lot without flash, to get the sort of effect in my shots you have just a little under exposure without flash.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 4:59 PM   #4
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Flash will freeze the action, regardless of the shutter speed. A low shutter speed will allow some of the ambient light to bleed in, while the subject is frozen by the flash.

If the subject isn't moving, then stabilization can really help out.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 6:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfortson View Post
Flash will freeze the action, regardless of the shutter speed. A low shutter speed will allow some of the ambient light to bleed in, while the subject is frozen by the flash.

If the subject isn't moving, then stabilization can really help out.
Aren't those two statements mutually exclusive?
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