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Old Jul 14, 2003, 1:07 AM   #1
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Default Need Suggestions for difficult shoot (Verbose)

Greetings all - I am the typical neophyte idiot trying to learn on the fly. I've got a 7h1 with the 3600hs flash.

Here's the shoot. Action shots in an indoor pavillion. It's open on all for sides, situated east to west. It the open area usually occupies about 1/3 of the frame, with the foreground and roof taking up the rest of the space. I shoot about 30ft from my subjects, using the flash on-camera on a tripod.

Here's the trouble: day one - shot at a shutter of about 1/90 f3.5 ISO400 focus at 20m. OK shots, but the backlit area was almost completely blown apart. Subject's face (in the backlt area) haloed, as expected. Subject area below backlit area slightly underexposed. Typical, I guess. Oh, and I am zooming in, probably about 60 -70mm.

Day two: ISO400 1/125 f5.6 same zoom. Well, as one could expect it was crapola. Increasing ISO to 800 does a bit, but even the shots at 400 were soooo grainy, they were impossible to use. Terrible would be a general kindnes. I go to a Kodak 8500 - my good prints look great, and my bad prints look bad. Magic, and knowledge would help a great deal. BTW, light is really not bad under the pavillion (skylights) it's just the backlighting that's truely killing me.

So, Spot meter? Sell my camera and don't quit my day job? Anyway, Help would be nice. Thanks all.
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Old Jul 14, 2003, 2:06 AM   #2
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Default

Well, the problem isn't your ISO setting, its your aperture / shutter speed selection. Basically you have to take control from the camera for this situation. You want to pick a shutter speed / aperture that will make the light from the flash to look brighter than the sun lighting the background. However, if it's extremely bright, your flash may not be powerful enough to do this.

Try this: (This works on my D7)
1 Set your camera to Manual, ISO 100 or 200
2 Put the flash on the camera but don't turn it on yet
3 Make sure the camera is set to "fill flash" and ADI Flash control
4 Set up your camera on the tripod and point it where your subjects will be
5 Select an aperture of 3.5 to 5.6 (or whatever aperture you want)
6 Start with a shutter speed of about 1/250th
7 Look at the scene in the EVF and adjust the shutter speed until the background is acceptable. (If it's extremely bright, you may have to change to a smaller aperture) The foreground may go dark, but that's okay for now.
8 Now turn on the flash and take a test picture.

If the foreground is too dark, your flash may not be powerful enough to compensate. You can try slower shutter speeds to see if that will help, but if the flash buries itself (Fires at full output) then it just can't put out enough light to overcome the background and you'll either have to move closer to the subject or use multiple flashes. Good luck and I hope this helps.
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Old Jul 14, 2003, 2:15 AM   #3
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Default Hmmmm...

I'll give it a shot... I've been thinking flash, as I've manually gone through almost the complete gamut. Shutter speeds start looking better below 1/125, but can I maintain detail like that. There's flying dirt and things that I'd like to have a little more detail than a blur... Actually, I'd rather have a decent composition... Cake anyone?

Anyone have suggestions on a different flash?

Thanks for the reply. Any and all suggestions are definitely appreciated.
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Old Jul 14, 2003, 2:38 AM   #4
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Default Shutter speeds

More than likely your shutter speeds are going to be much faster than 1/125th so it will be more than enough to freeze the action. Your next step up is the 5600. But since you have a 7hi, you can use wireless flash and use more than one flash (They have to be either 3600 or 5600 series compatible flashes) to get more flash power.
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