PDA

View Full Version : First Attempt At Using Flash In The Dark



asnow
12-02-2011, 06:48 PM
After seeing Kat's picture it reminded me of my first attempt (last weekend) at taking a flash picture in the dark. This couple was trying to take a picture with a cell phone and I figured there was no way it was going to turn out so I offered to take one for them and email the picture to them. Not sure that was a great idea as this was my first attempt doing a flash picture at night (and only maybe my 10th time using a flash at all). I had to think and do this quickly as I didn't want them think I was a rank amateur at this by fiddling with the camera and flash and making many attempts.

1. Since I had already been taking non flash pictures of the lights, I figured using that manual setting would work for the background.

2 Set the Flash in e-TTL (Canon) mode and hoped that the flash would calculate the exposure of the people correctly. Took the picture.

3. I think the exposures were not too bad and that worked out.

4. Wish I had taken the flash off the camera and handheld it to the side. As you can see I got a reflection in the gentleman's glasses.

5. I should have spent the few extra seconds and moved them from where they were standing to a better spot closer by to get better composition.

All in all I think not too bad an attempt for first time. Next time hopefully I will feel a little more confident, slow down a bit and do it better from what I learned from this effort.

AcadieLibre
12-02-2011, 11:50 PM
Do you have diffuser? When I do shots at night I have a small soft box that attaches to my flash and gives me much better light to shoot people in and I think they are great and there are other types of diffuser so the light spreads more evenly and the light is not as harsh. I would also have them stand beside one another at the same distance, she is farther and almost behind him so she will light differently , just a minor difference but it is noticeable. I would have also had them stand in that darker facing the camera and that would have filled the large void and balanced your image better, looks really weighted on the side and the distant trees appear look weak. I hope I don't sound to harsh but when you shoot at night for these types of shot you want to balance the image better and avoids things like the penguin distracting from the image instead of enhancing it. As Markos says "Hope that Helps" (paraphrasing I think lol) ....... I think you know where your mistakes are ....

asnow
12-03-2011, 11:09 AM
Thanks for suggestions AL. No you weren't too harsh, these are tips that I definitely need.

Do you have diffuser?
No I don't have a diffuser, That is a definitely my next purchase.

I would also have them stand beside one another at the same distance
I didn't think of this. I will remember this for next time.

I would have also had them stand in that darker facing the camera and that would have filled the large void and balanced your image better
Looking at the picture after I got home, like you, I didn't like the unbalanced look with the large black area on the right. That's the type of thing I meant in my point 5. above. I should have spent the few seconds to move them to get better composition.

Mad Aussie
12-03-2011, 04:20 PM
For your first attempt, the exposure IS indeed very good. No flash falloff creating a dark background. The Canon ETTL does work well.
What I do see though is a strong blue cast. I do realise that there's a lot of blue lighting around but the skin tones and the green and red lighting in the background is also affected by blue cast.

Frankly though, if they were going to use a phone camera then they are WAY ahead with your shot!

asnow
12-03-2011, 04:37 PM
Thanks MA. As for the blue cast, I did warm it up a little but perhaps it needs a bit more.

Mad Aussie
12-03-2011, 04:47 PM
Thanks MA. As for the blue cast, I did warm it up a little but perhaps it needs a bit more.
I just tried it in Photoshop and adding yellow using the colour balance definitely helps a heap.

asnow
12-03-2011, 05:50 PM
Thanks. I'll give that a try in Lightroom.

Mad Aussie
12-03-2011, 05:58 PM
If you shot in RAW then you could also try changing the white balance settings