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Thread: How to shoot night portraits?

  1. #1

    Default How to shoot night portraits?

    Been trying to shoot handheld but am not getting it right. It's always either:

    1) people turn up in the pics and the background is totally blacked out (with flash, A mode, f8, iso800)

    2) everything is correctly exposed but image is blur due to hand shake(without flash, A mode, f8, iso4000)

    experts please advice what settings you normally use? Should I take with or without flash?

    I'm using the 18-105 lens mainly when I'm out with my family. Tripod is not a solution as i'm with family and will need to take care of child also(no hands for so many things). My equipment list is in the sig, feel free to advice this noob. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    you need to balance exposure the ambient in background and flash on your subject,

    the best way is shoot in manual exposure mode, so take the meter reading the background, make your exposure it in hand held-able shutter speed and about one to one half stops underexposed, and shoot with flash, you may need to adjust flash compensation to suit your taste.

    please don't ask for magic setting, as we don't know how bright is the background and how the composition be and how near how far you are away from your subject.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  3. #3

    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    expose for the background but with a handhold-able shutter speed.

    then fill in your subjects with your flash.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    you need to balance exposure the ambient in background and flash on your subject,

    the best way is shoot in manual exposure mode, so take the meter reading the background, make your exposure it in hand held-able shutter speed and about one to one half stops underexposed, and shoot with flash, you may need to adjust flash compensation to suit your taste.

    please don't ask for magic setting, as we don't know how bright is the background and how the composition be and how near how far you are away from your subject.
    haha... am not asking for magic settings cos I know it doesn't exist.
    Just wanna tap on the experience you guys have and how you do it so that I can try it out.

    I'm still a noob when it comes it handling my camera...

    How do I "meter the background"?
    (currently reading up the camera metering in cambridgeincolour)
    Last edited by SkimMilk; 17th December 2011 at 09:44 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Just turn the knob to night potrait mode. let the camera do everything for you

  6. #6
    Member robin-ang's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SkimMilk
    Been trying to shoot handheld but am not getting it right. It's always either:

    1) people turn up in the pics and the background is totally blacked out (with flash, A mode, f8, iso800)

    2) everything is correctly exposed but image is blur due to hand shake(without flash, A mode, f8, iso4000)

    experts please advice what settings you normally use? Should I take with or without flash?

    I'm using the 18-105 lens mainly when I'm out with my family. Tripod is not a solution as i'm with family and will need to take care of child also(no hands for so many things). My equipment list is in the sig, feel free to advice this noob. Thanks!
    Hi bro u can try to use on f8-11 and 1/10
    Or higher a bit and iso u have to try manage ur own self...by the way for shoot in low SS try to learn ur breathing skill and how handle ur hand shake..
    Try google it..
    Last edited by robin-ang; 17th December 2011 at 10:18 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by SkimMilk View Post
    haha... am not asking for magic settings cos I know it doesn't exist.
    Just wanna tap on the experience you guys have and how you do it so that I can try it out.

    I'm still a noob when it comes it handling my camera...

    How do I "meter the background"?
    (currently reading up the camera metering in cambridgeincolour)
    This one may help.... watch the 2nd half portion of the video.

    On-Camera Flash Basics - YouTube

  8. #8
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by FTphoto View Post
    Just turn the knob to night potrait mode. let the camera do everything for you
    Camera is not magician.
    Exploring! :)

  9. #9
    Member robin-ang's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra

    Camera is not magician.
    Agree

  10. #10
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by SkimMilk View Post
    haha... am not asking for magic settings cos I know it doesn't exist.
    Just wanna tap on the experience you guys have and how you do it so that I can try it out.

    I'm still a noob when it comes it handling my camera...

    How do I "meter the background"?
    (currently reading up the camera metering in cambridgeincolour)
    You find out the appropriate exposure settings in order to have the background adequately exposed. If you know how to take meter reading, you should know how to meter the background
    Exploring! :)

  11. #11
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by tecnica View Post
    expose for the background but with a handhold-able shutter speed.

    then fill in your subjects with your flash.
    I prefer "keep still for 2seconds!" for that lovely forced-smile look
    Exploring! :)

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra

    I prefer "keep still for 2seconds!" for that lovely forced-smile look
    Keep still and don't move after first flash thinking it's over...?

  13. #13
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by takafan View Post
    Keep still and don't move after first flash thinking it's over...?
    oh yes... forgot about that.... rear curtain sync always manages to screw things up.
    Exploring! :)

  14. #14

    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by kutten View Post
    This one may help.... watch the 2nd half portion of the video.

    On-Camera Flash Basics - YouTube
    saw this. COOL!!! Thanks for the link!
    Guess I'll be stuck on youtube for quite some time now!

  15. #15

    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    I prefer "keep still for 2seconds!" for that lovely forced-smile look
    hahaha... can't tell this to the waiter / waitress taking pics for us right? kekekeke

  16. #16

    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    it all depends on how bright the background is. and your flash control.

    slow down your shutter speed, increase your ISO. and adjust and adjust till the setting is just right.

  17. #17
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by SkimMilk View Post
    hahaha... can't tell this to the waiter / waitress taking pics for us right? kekekeke
    Not photographer keep still, but subject keep still for 2s
    Exploring! :)

  18. #18

    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    Not photographer keep still, but subject keep still for 2s
    wahahha! this one lagi jialat!
    ahahaha...

    Kei: shooting with family is tough... they expect the dslr to behave like a compact. PnS nia. Whenever I tweak settings, they say I take too long and walk off.... *sigh*

  19. #19

    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    hmm i've got an idea. tell everyone in the area with a DSLR, who are standing in the background.... to shoot their own group photos at the same time.

    i guarantee you, that the background will very bright

  20. #20

    Default Re: How to shoot night portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by SkimMilk View Post
    wahahha! this one lagi jialat!
    ahahaha...

    Kei: shooting with family is tough... they expect the dslr to behave like a compact. PnS nia. Whenever I tweak settings, they say I take too long and walk off.... *sigh*
    You can always take a reading of the available light before hand since it's already dark ~ Set to manual then fill in the flash accordingly will do.....

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