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Old 04-02-2010, 07:39 PM
bloodhound31
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I'm going to shoot indoors.

I have a shoot coming up at night soon, in a large hall with a 3 metre ceiling, lots of downlights and a few decorative fluro lights on the walls.

I have a Canon 400D (XTi) and an 18-55 lens. Hopefully I can borrow a big flash, as all I have is the built-in.

There will be lots of people having dinner, socializing and stuff, so what bes aperture for this lighting and movement under false light?

I am very inexperienced shooting people.

Baz.
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2010, 08:33 PM
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En1gma (Robert)
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I had just finished a wedding and my area of shooting was very similar - ~3m high ceiling, loads of down lights.

You need a good flash if you require soft shadow pictures as the in camera flash is too harsh and direct.

shutter/aperture - 1/60 to 1/200 and F3.5-5.6
Flash - TTL mode with compensation between negative 1-.03
ISO - 800
Metering - ~-0.3

If the place you are shooting at has relatively even lighting, a couple of test fires to get your settings and your good to go.

With regards to the flash. Bounce bounce bounce. Suggest you be aware of where you are shooting, but you can get great lighting and non harsh shadows by bouncing about 15-30 degrees behind you or over your left shoulder. Also be aware of what walls you are bouncing light off as you may get that reflected light colour on your subjects.

Edit: I should also add why I said left shoulder. As most flashes (bar the most expensive ones) can only go 180 degrees to the left and 90 degrees to the right.

Cheers

Rob.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:33 PM
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I think adjusting you white balance for the lighting is crucial. Dont just expect Auto to work best, take some test shots and inspect the colour.
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:28 PM
bloodhound31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by En1gma View Post
Flash - TTL mode with compensation between negative 1-.03
ISO - 800
Metering - ~-0.3
Hey thanks Rob! As I have never owned a flash and will be borrowing one, can you explain what this TTL and compensation means?

At an educated guess I think the metering ~-0.3 is a partial stop below 0 on the light meter?

Lots to learn..

Baz.
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:28 PM
bloodhound31
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Originally Posted by tlgerdes View Post
I think adjusting you white balance for the lighting is crucial. Dont just expect Auto to work best, take some test shots and inspect the colour.
I'll definitely take a look at this Trevor, thanks mate.

Baz.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:23 AM
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First thing I thought of when I read your description of the ambient lighting was white-balance issues as Trevor mentions. Downlights, fluoro lights, and flash all emit different coloured light. Definitely shoot RAW if you aren't already. It will be infinitely easier to correct later on.

Good tips above - bounce the flash off the ceiling. Makes the ceiling a huge light source so softer light. Be aware that you might get shadows under people's eyes etc because the light is coming from above them. Look up "bounce cards". Just get a sheet of white paper/cardboard (maybe A5 sized) and a rubber band. The idea is that most of the flash light will bounce off the ceiling, but the bounce card will direct some light forward to give a bit of fill to lift some of those facial shadows. Think about the paths light is taking.

Not sure how big the room is or how many people. If it's a big function, be aware that you may not have enough flash power to light the whole room. Backgrounds may be extremely dark or black.

Exposure-wise, if you're relying on flash as your predominant light-source, shutter speed is not really import as a general rule. The flash burst will be much quicker than your shutter speed. It's all about aperture and ISO. Robert's recommended settings above are the ballpark I was going to suggest. Notice he' recommending pretty wide apertures and a pretty high ISO. This will make your flash work less hard, so batteries will last longer and recycle times quicker. Also it may help ambient light in a bit more so all of your backgrounds are less dark.

If you can get there before the event, practise some shots with noone there. If not, practise at home. A lot. Become comfortable with the flash and adjusting the settings.

Oh, and have fun. Don't let the photography consume your night.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:54 PM
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Tonight I had my first night of photography indoors under many different light sources, lots of different colored walls, varying ceiling heights, dark and bright rooms, moving people....what a challenge! So far the hardest photography to get right.

Tonight was a youth function and in the same building and lighting I will be doing a shoot later on in the month. They kindly gave me permission to have a practice run on them to iron out a few bugs.

All I can say is, that after doing Astrophotography for a few years, landscape and wildlife is relatively easy compared to this!

It's so hard to get a good angle and composition on people doing their thing without getting right in their face! Even though they knew what I was there for as it was announced as part of opening the night, there were lots of awkward moments and people still covered their faces or turned away when they felt a camera pointing in their direction.

I borrowed a 580EXII Canon Speedlite flash and oh boy, it's like learning a whole new camera from scratch! I had NO idea, even WITH all the advice I have been getting from forums it's difficult to get it right on the spot.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:42 AM
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Get a good low F capable lens eg F1.4 or 1.8

Pro's usually always have good low F, fixed focus lens and shoot indoors without a flash - less red eye and less invasive than a flash. You cannot zoom to frame but the the fixed focus lens will give sharper images than a zoom (which by design loses some sharpness to have zoom flexibility)
They crop and expand image by software - on the camera or PC. The more you pay the better the lens and a fixed focus lens is no exception. Borrow one if you can and try it out. On a DX DSLR a 50mm fixed focal length length is equivalent to about 70-80 mm a great portrait lens.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:03 PM
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Baz,
Big Brother must have sat up reading:

" I am very inexperienced shooting people."

hahahaha
frank
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:04 PM
bloodhound31
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Baz,
Big Brother must have sat up reading:

" I am very inexperienced shooting people."

hahahaha
frank
sorry Frank, I should have added, "with a camera".....having Army flashbacks now...
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Old 13-02-2010, 02:02 PM
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:d


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sorry frank, i should have added, "with a camera".....having army flashbacks now...
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