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Old Mar 27, 2011, 12:36 PM   #1
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What is the best way to shoot in a room using the D3100 and an external flash that includes tables with a lot of WHITE tablecloths and not have the photos over exposed because of the white tablecloths?

also what is the best way to take group shots and not have the colors off (when the camera is set to automatic)? it seems that it is picking up colors from the walls (redish walls) and discoloring peoples faces. I think I should use manual with a white balance cap...

thanks for your suggestions and advice!
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 1:08 PM   #2
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First of all, white causes cameras to underexpose...just an FYI.

If itís a Nikon flash and youíre pointing the flash at the subject, then you just make sure the flash is in TTL-BL mode and shoot. With direct flash and TTL-BL, the camera uses the focus distance to set the flash power. It gets it right every time. However, if the direct flash is causing too much of that direct-flash look, then you can try increasing the ISO to 800. That reduces the flash power and provides a little better balance between ambient and flash.

If youíre bouncing the flash off the ceiling then you need to take a test shot and check your histogram to see if youíre clipping the whites. Most likely, you wonít be. Use Flash Exposure Compensation to tune the flash power.

With direct flash, a Nikon flash will send white balance information to the camera based on the power that will be used. When bouncing, that goes out the window and you have to set a custom white balance if youíre having color issues. All you need is a credit-card sized reference, like the small WhiBal, Digital Grey Kard, or others that are available. You just hold it right in front of the lens (no need to be in focus) and angled a bit toward the ceiling. If using a zoom lens, zoom in to make the reference bigger. You just need to cover the circle outline in the viewfinder. Then follow the instructions for setting a custom white balance.
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 1:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info.. I took some shots this weekend and SOMETIMES when the table cloth was close to the camera, it washed that part of the photo out and the part of the photo that was farther away was under exposed. it didnt always do that...
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 1:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djqwik View Post
Thanks for the info.. I took some shots this weekend and SOMETIMES when the table cloth was close to the camera, it washed that part of the photo out and the part of the photo that was farther away was under exposed. it didnt always do that...
Yes, that will happen with direct flash...much less so with bounce. With direct flash there's not much to do about it...as you discovered, it all has to do with the distance from the flash.

It must have always done so...it's physics.
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 12:53 PM   #5
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Add a "flash diffuser" to cover the flash ???
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 5:02 PM   #6
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Add a "flash diffuser" to cover the flash ???
I did that for a lot of the shots but I wanted to bounce the flash as to not get a glare in glasses or windows at the location.
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