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Photography Question 
Susan Eginton

Portraits with window back lighting

When I take photos of people indoors, I usually use flash (the built-in pop-up type). Sometimes window light on a bright day makes the indoors seem light enough without flash - should I take the chance or always use flash? Also, if the subject is directly in front of a window - how do I expose correctly for the contrast of indoor/outdoor lighting? I'm find myself just using automatic or Program when I go to indoor parties because I don't can't really use a tripod in those situations, and can't seem to find a decent exposure manually. Any advice appreciated.

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9/4/2006 10:39:47 AM

Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  Susan, what kind of photos are you shooting indoors? portraits? or events like birthday parties? I never use flash if possible, even indoors. I will try to bump up the ISO to 200-400, even 600 before I will use flash.
If you are shooting portraits, use natural light by the window and meter off the person's face. If you are shooting events, try raising the ISO in manual, and if you find your shutter slower than 1/60 even with a higher ISO, then I would resort to flash. But, natural light is always more professional.

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9/4/2006 1:24:12 PM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  Something that I've really gotten into has been using insulation panels, 1/2inch thick, to reflect light back to the subject. It's silvery on one side and blue on the other. I spray paint the blue side a nice reflective white and then I've got a good reflector for situations like this.

Actually, I see now that you use the same kind of camera that I do for my 35mm photography. The Rebel GII, right? Well I spent some money and bought the Canon 420EX speedlight accessory flash. They don't sell that one new any more, I think it's now the 430 or something like that. What you can do is turn the flash so it points almost straight up, but a little forward as well, and it will give good light for indoor shots with low ceilings.

Feel free to contact me through my gallery if you would like. Take care!


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9/5/2006 10:59:16 PM

Susan Eginton   Becky and Andrew, thanks so much for taking the time to respond - very good advice from each of you! Andrew, someone else recently mentioned to me the possibility of using the speedlight accessory flash for my Canon Rebel - thanks for explaining how it would be helpful. I am going to look into buying one.
Thanks again.

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9/8/2006 3:40:10 PM

Susan Eginton   Becky - a question I have is how close to get to a person's face in order to meter off of it. I haven't yet understood too well how to do that. If you could explain it more to me, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

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9/8/2006 3:45:47 PM

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