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Photography Question 
Toni McL
 

Indoor Portraiture w/Nikon D70 & SB600


I've been asked to photograph a family function - the person wants portraits done as guests arrive against a light-colored wall, and I don't yet know the ambient lighting (tungsten or fluorescent).

I'm used to using natural light and have yet to take the sb-600 out of the box! I did get a remote and will bring a tripod.

I'm going to try some practice shots at home but am really nervous about this and would appreciate any insights, suggestions, and tips you can offer on this sort of work.

Thanks in advance,

Toni


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7/20/2006 2:15:16 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Tony, Shoot RAW. You can change the color temperature in PS if you have a current version of the software. If not you can download a fully functioning trial that lasts for 30 days then you'll be able to edit your images with that. If you have a subject hold a white card while you snap the first pic you can use the eye dropper tool in PS to correct the white balance.

When you practice try bouncing the flash off the ceiling rather than shooting right at the subject.

Another thing that I hate about the D70 (and I suppose all cameras do the same thing) is the pre flash. Many people can not keep their eyes open when it goes off. It's so fast you can't even see the preflash. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why people always had their eyes shut when I snapped the pic. You can fix it so that won't happen as well. In the menu it's called the FV lock. You'll find it in the area where the icon looks like a little pencil. It's custom setting 15 or AE-L/AF-L. Choose FV lock then ok. There's a couple more steps after you make the change in the menu. It's described on page 103 of the D70 manual. If you don't have a manual I'll tell you what to do with that as well.


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7/20/2006 8:42:33 PM

 
Toni McL   Sharon: THANK YOU. Question: I'm shooting these and handing the card over to the hostess so she can make her own prints (her terms--this is a family I've known since childhood & they wanted me to do this so they don't have to spend time w/camera in hand). If I shoot in RAW, will she be able to take the card to Wolf or Target or wherever to make prints? (I know--stop cringeing everyone!!).

Thanks in advance,

Toni


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7/21/2006 6:56:04 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  No, you'll need to shoot in JPEG for her to be able to do that. I personally hate shooting people in anything but RAW. It's a lot easier to correct the color when shooting in mixed lighting such as a room with fluorescent and tungsten lights. Wish she'd let you shoot them in RAW and do the editing first. You could create a droplet in PS to correct everything and change them to JPEG and give her a CD for her to get the prints made unless she just doesn't want you messing with it for some reason. Good luck!


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7/21/2006 7:26:10 AM

 
Toni McL   Sharon: I'd *love* to be able to create a DVD for her, and offered to do so, but she's not interested. I still don't (yet) shoot in RAW till I can afford the full version of PhotoShop.

Here's a 2ndary question - how should I set my white balance - for the bulb in the room (fluorescent/incandescent) or for flash if I'm using my SB-600?

I'm keeping all your remarks and saving them for my own reference--thanks so much!! You've been a great help.

Toni


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7/21/2006 10:14:12 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Toni, I'm very inexperience with the flash aspect of photography. While I did do a people project a few months ago and learned quite a lot I still have a lot to learn. With that said, in my limited experience your flash should overpower the ambient light for the most part. I just set my camera on auto in all aspects and it did ok for portraits with the exception of a room where the fluorescent lighting was directly overhead.

I have to say I don't understand your friend. Handing her a CD (I don't know about DVDs working in the photo things at Walmart) would be no different than handing her your camera card. The do-it-yourself kiosks at Walmart takes CDs as well as all of the camera cards.

As for Photoshop you can go to Adobe and download a trial version that is fully functional for 30 days. You would probably have to download their RAW converter as well, but that's free too.

There is one other thing you can do and that is to preset the white balance. That's described in the owner's manual on page 52. The only thing I don't like about it is you have to have something white that's large enough to fill the frame when you use the camera to measure the WB.


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7/21/2006 10:51:03 AM

 
Toni McL   Sharon - Actually, that's precisely what I'm doing: handing over the card itself for her to print as she pleases. She's totally new to digital and I'm certain she'd have no clue what to do w/a card w/RAW images on it, so I'm hoping jpeg will suffice; I know she's not looking to make large prints.

I do have the owner's manual and know how to preset the WB, but thank you! I'll run a test shot to see how it presets for flash under those lighting conditions (I'm arriving early to set up in advance).

Thanks again for all your help; this was my first posting here and I appreciate your kindness.
I'm really nervous and hoping to do a nice job.


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7/21/2006 12:46:37 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Toni, she wouldn't be able to get a card full of RAW images processed as far as I know. My thoughts were if it wasn't too much trouble for you to shoot RAW, do a batch edit then give her a CD. It's definitely much easier on your part to just shoot jpeg and hand the card to her. There's enough posts on this thread that maybe someone who really knows what they're doing will weigh in. Again, good luck!


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7/21/2006 1:07:58 PM

 
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