View Full Version : Nite Pictures
04-22-2002, 09:52 PM
It seems like I still haven't mastered the necessary skills of taking pictures at nite. Either the flash was too harsh or the background was too dark. I usually shoot with 400 film at 1/60 second to get more ambient light in the background. Aperature varied. The lens I use isn't the top of the line, but it's relative sharp. Can anyone point me to the rite direction?<BR>
I have an SB28 flash and no tripod.
Willoughby, what camera are you using? Some of the cameras in various lines offer a feature called slow-speeed sync. What this does is to make a longer exposure to bring the background into proper exposure, and also fires the flash to give more detail and to freeze the closer subject (usually a person). Many cameras offer this feature. Check your manual to see if you can do this.<BR>
Anytime you fire a flash into a dark, distant background with a 1/60 exposure, chances are that the background will be underexposed by a HUGE amount and the subject will be there as you expect. Kinda why using flash in a stadium at a football game doesn't work. The flash, at best, will expose properly for 20-30 feet, and anything much beyond that will look underexposed, unless the venue has the place lit for television broadcasts. In any case, the flash only works on things close to the camera. You can't light the Grand Canyon with a small strobe, even an SB 28.<BR>
04-22-2002, 10:31 PM
Master this concept: a flash picture is two<BR>
pictures being taken on the same film. A double<BR>
One is the ambient light picture.<BR>
The other is the flash picture.<BR>
Plan them separately.<BR>
Your world is much larger with a tripod.
The other thing you need to realize is that the flash is "dumping" a full charge of light output for a duration determined by it's sensor reading of light reflected back at it as the flash attempts to output sufficient light to get a "correct" exposure. If the light striking the subject is off center, subject is too small, or otherwise not dominating the sensor's reading...you'll get overexposure ie harsh lighting.<BR>
Learn to expose for the background using existing light and a shutter speed no faster than sync speed (slower to much slower okay but you'll need a tripod). Use the flash to "fill" on near subjects using the above determined aperture.
04-23-2002, 05:40 AM
Thanks for all your responses. I have a F-801 and F80. yes, both are overseas products, but they're identical to the US versions of N8008 and N80.<BR>
I've tried the slow sync speed, taking 2 different readings, etc. Guess I'll just have to try some more. <BR>
What film and film speed would u recommend for wedding pictures (in a church where flashes are almost prohibited during ceremony)? 400 seems a bit too slow. The grains for 1600 seem a bit too much. Please help.<BR>
Thanks in advance.
04-28-2002, 07:27 PM
Sounds like you're in a bind on the fast film dilemma. If I need fast, low light film, I use Provia 400F and push it two stops to 1600 with pretty good results. I would DEFINITELY NOT do this at a wedding! Especially with 35mm film. If you do, and the client wants an 8 x 10 or G-- forbid larger print, you're gonna be in trouble! Get yourself a 50mm f/1.4, and shoot with straight Provia or Astia 400F and you should be okay. This is about the fastest lens/film combo out there for acceptable 35mm enlargements. If you're using C-41 film - and you might want to for increased exposure latitude - faster films are available that are supposed to enlarge well. Someone else will have to tell you about these.
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