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Category: All About Photography : Photographing Specific Subjects : Indoor/Low-Light Photography

Photography Question 
Joann Cablas
joann-cablas-photography.com
 

Flash and Camera Settings for Indoors


I have been asked to take candid shots for a fund-raiser being held inside a hotel ballroom. My equipment: Nikon D300, SB800 flash, 17-200 F3.5 VR. My questions: Should I use a tripod or hand-hold? My lens is a VR (vibration reduction), so I can shoot handheld. And what are the best camera and flash settings to use? The shots will be posted on a web site, and possible prints 4x6, 5x7, 8x10.
Thank you!


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1/10/2008 10:44:48 AM

 
W.   
"Candid shots" are pictures of people who are UNAWARE of their picture being taken.

I'd like to see you pull that off with an SB800 flashgun....

LOL!


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1/10/2008 11:18:39 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi Joann,
I would avoid a tripod. It is useful if you set up some sort of portrait station, but not much good for shooting candids. The light from the SB800 will be harsh, so you might want to make adjustments that will help. For instance, you could set the flash compensation dial to a negative one. This will use more of the existing light and less strobe. You may also want to get a Lumiquest or a Sto-fen unit to soften the light from the strobe. Neither of these will make much of a difference if you are more than 5 or 6 feet from the subject. I would try to shoot with a wide aperture to isolate your subjects from the background.
Good Luck! John Siskin


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1/10/2008 6:03:17 PM

 
W.   
Better than a Lumiquest or a Sto-fen and a whooole lot cheaper is the http://abetterbouncecard.com/.


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1/10/2008 9:07:55 PM

 
Joann Cablas
joann-cablas-photography.com
  Thank you, John, for you input. I do have a Sto-fen, and I'll look into the Lumiquest and adjust the flash compensation. John, I looked at your photo gallery, and your shots using various lighting situations are really nice. Thanks again for the tips! Joann


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1/11/2008 8:34:35 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi Joann,
Thanks for your comments. After more than a quarter of a century, I have learned a lot about lighting. I guess that's why I enjoy teaching at BetterPhoto!
Thanks,
John


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1/11/2008 8:52:36 AM

 
Ken Henry   I have a Simular set-up where your lens is a f3.5-f5.6. So I will be technical here.
Those f-stops constantly change while you are zooming in and out so there is no consistancy. f5.6 requires more flash power than f3.5.
Add a Sto-Fen which is a very strong diffuser, you have gone from f5.6 to about f11. This requires even more flash power and increases the flash recharging waiting time.

The Lumiquest(as well as decreasing the flash power again) has a way of increasing the center Hot-Spot, creating lower light on the sides.

Unfortunatley I am too technical. I have a box full of $flash $softening $gadgets as well as some $homemade $stuff. I haven't bought the www.garyfong.com thing yet.

Less Is More.

I very simply tape on tracing paper. WOW! A nice even spread of light. And soft(depending on your flash compensation setting). Uses a lot less of your flash power. The color is more natural versus some washed out blue light at times.

My settings are the following for interiors. Camera MANUAL settings at 1/20sec(picks up natural sourrounding light) and f5.6(constant f-stop no matter where I zoom). Flash compensation? minus 1/2 or 1. Maybe. Do a few test shots.

And manual focus, this eliminates the lens from hunting to focus on something other than your subject.

Most of these places are well lighted. So if my overall meter reading is 1/30sec at f5.6 then I will use 1/30 or 1/40. I will decide after a few test shots.

Sooo, that's my program.

Oh, And I am at ISO 100.

Have fun.


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1/15/2008 7:49:56 PM

 
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