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Thread: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

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    Default Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Sure you all know how a camera with a flash operates. Press the take picture button the flash comes on for less of a second and picture it taken.

    What if let's just say your camera cannot take pictures like that. It does not have a flash. But you have a light source say from a torch light for example. Will this somehow affect the picture compared to a camera with a flash that goes on for 1 second.

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Quote Originally Posted by jones24 View Post
    Sure you all know how a camera with a flash operates. Press the take picture button the flash comes on for less of a second and picture it taken.

    What if let's just say your camera cannot take pictures like that. It does not have a flash. But you have a light source say from a torch light for example. Will this somehow affect the picture compared to a camera with a flash that goes on for 1 second.
    To answer this question... maybe you want to ask yourself these questions... then maybe the answer will be clearer.

    1. What is the shape of the light from the torch when compared to the flash?
    2. How bright is the torch compared to the the light from a flash?

    If you can answer these 2 questions, you will know the answer to your own question.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    To answer this question... maybe you want to ask yourself these questions... then maybe the answer will be clearer.

    1. What is the shape of the light from the torch when compared to the flash?
    2. How bright is the torch compared to the the light from a flash?

    If you can answer these 2 questions, you will know the answer to your own question.
    Torch light is round but light source can be anything like hp light for example.


    Don't know about light from torch or a flash cos they all have different degrees of brightness.

    The most important thing is will there be any difference in picture taken if the light source is constant like from a torch light for example or from a camera flash which goes off for say 1 second when you take the picture.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    light source have
    1. intensity (brightness power per square meter W/m)
    2. quality : soft or harsh. the softness of light is dependent on source vs subject apparent size . a huge source far away approximates point source but even a tiny torchlight if close to an ant (small object ), will be a really soft source.
    why? because the larger the apparent size of source ,the more % of light from source can wrap around the subject via diffraction.

    3. Quantity of light. it's dependent on the absolute energy of light in terms of total incident light energy (Joules /second /m x time )

    let's say a torch light in the shape of a 50c coin illuminates subject continuously over 30miliseconds and output 50 units of energy (which we arbitrary set to be the energy required for a correct exposure ). a similar shaped flash gun /speedlight will also need to output 50 units of energy to make the same exposure over say 0.1 ms with higher intensity.

    all things being equal the exposure would be the same.

    the difference would be in the quality of light, eg if there are any light modifier used. for example if a reflector was (correctly) used they're be less harsh shadows seen
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    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Short answer. Yes it will have a different affect.

    As to why, please read on...

    1) Any light source will always have an effect on the subject.
    2) As Shizuma stated, there are numerous ways which light sources can be modified.
    3) Different light sources have different color. You may need to balance your light source with color gels to balance it with the available light near the subject.
    4) Xenon flash tubes typically have an output of 5500-6000k, similar to daylight.
    5) So if you do use a flash light, be from a torch light with a filament bulb or LED, it will give its own color cast to the subject. It will produce a different affect on the subject compared to a camera flash.

    Camera flash duration is much lesser than 1 sec. Typically, it is about 1/1000 for full power flash and much shorter duration when used with reduced output power.

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Quote Originally Posted by jones24 View Post
    Torch light is round but light source can be anything like hp light for example.


    Don't know about light from torch or a flash cos they all have different degrees of brightness.

    The most important thing is will there be any difference in picture taken if the light source is constant like from a torch light for example or from a camera flash which goes off for say 1 second when you take the picture.
    Your camera shutter only opens for a very short while when shooting in normal conditions. So following that logic, if the shape, color and intensity of the light from a continuous source and the flash is the same, will a continuous light or flash differ? Answer is no.

    That is the basis you should know. Light is the same whether it is a strobe of light or a constant light source.
    The differences are:
    1. Intensity
    2. Shape of light
    3. spread of light
    4. color of light.

    Once you understand these things, then you can move on to deeper topics about lighting.

  7. #7

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    To me the difference in the final pic is prob due to the user. For the inexperienced with flash photography, probably it takes a few attempts of shooting to get the correct settings for a particular effect.

    Continuous lighting allows a user to see 'immediately' the effect of the light source and once adjustments are made you can take a shot and it will be what you see.

    Pros and cons of using flash and continuous lighting and up to indivdiuals.

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    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    First, you need to read up more about options to provide constant lighting. There are so many ways!

    If let's say you are using a fluorescent light source then you would have to care about issues like frequency of the light source. If you shoot at too fast a shutter speed then you'd have issues.

    To me, you are asking a second order question here, with a display of limited knowledge on the basics. Otherwise there would be more details on what light source you are making the comparison to! It is akin to a fishing beginner asking if there is a difference between catching a trout with line or net (I am not a fishing hobbyist but I suppose there are also many similar first order issues to consider here too ).

    Cheers!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Your camera shutter only opens for a very short while when shooting in normal conditions. So following that logic, if the shape, color and intensity of the light from a continuous source and the flash is the same, will a continuous light or flash differ? Answer is no.

    That is the basis you should know. Light is the same whether it is a strobe of light or a constant light source.
    The differences are:
    1. Intensity
    2. Shape of light
    3. spread of light
    4. color of light.

    Once you understand these things, then you can move on to deeper topics about lighting.
    Thanks wow there's a lot to learn. The light source will be coming from my Hp. I have a few phones and using an app will be able to turn on the light constantly like a torch. The iPhones light source will be less bright as it is a smaller phone. I guess I need to practice to make the lighting less harsh by changing shutter and appetture.

  10. #10

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    To change the harshness of the light, you need to make the light source bigger and/or reduce the distance from the subject to light source.

    You can change the distance by moving the light and subject closer to one another.

    You can change the size of the light source by using a modifier (like a piece of translucent paper in front of a torch). This the light source is not the torch, but the piece of paper as it diffuses the light from the torch and the entire surface area of the paper accounts for the new size of the light source. But bear in mind, when using a modifier, the intensity of light is reduced.

    I don't think the shutter speed and the aperture can determine the harshness of light.

    Flash photog is fun!

    Enjoy.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Quote Originally Posted by jones24 View Post
    I guess I need to practice to make the lighting less harsh by changing shutter and appetture.
    Changing shutter speed and aperture does not affect 'harshness' of light. Soft or hard light depends on the apparent size of the light source (see Shizuma's post #4, point number 2)

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Quote Originally Posted by jones24 View Post
    Thanks wow there's a lot to learn. The light source will be coming from my Hp. I have a few phones and using an app will be able to turn on the light constantly like a torch. The iPhones light source will be less bright as it is a smaller phone. I guess I need to practice to make the lighting less harsh by changing shutter and appetture.
    Norman gave some very good advice about light here. I wonder where he learn these from?

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanSelvaraju View Post
    To change the harshness of the light, you need to make the light source bigger and/or reduce the distance from the subject to light source.

    You can change the distance by moving the light and subject closer to one another.

    You can change the size of the light source by using a modifier (like a piece of translucent paper in front of a torch). This the light source is not the torch, but the piece of paper as it diffuses the light from the torch and the entire surface area of the paper accounts for the new size of the light source. But bear in mind, when using a modifier, the intensity of light is reduced.

    I don't think the shutter speed and the aperture can determine the harshness of light.

    Flash photog is fun!

    Enjoy.
    1. Shutter speed has no effect on flash light in normal conditions, because the "flash" of light is a lot faster than your shutter in most applications. In continuous light, yes affects the exposure of the light.

    2. Aperture affects the exposure = how bright the light looks in your pitcure.

    3. Harshness of a light = how the transition is from the shadows to the lighted parts of an illuminated subject. A very harsh light will give very defined shadows, so there is not much transition.

    4. How harsh or soft a light, has absolutely nothing to do with how bright or dark a light is.

    5. Harshness of a light is only determined by the size of the light source in relation to the subject.

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    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Harsh vs Soft Light.


  14. #14

    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanSelvaraju View Post
    To change the harshness of the light, you need to make the light source bigger and/or reduce the distance from the subject to light source.

    You can change the distance by moving the light and subject closer to one another.

    You can change the size of the light source by using a modifier (like a piece of translucent paper in front of a torch). This the light source is not the torch, but the piece of paper as it diffuses the light from the torch and the entire surface area of the paper accounts for the new size of the light source. But bear in mind, when using a modifier, the intensity of light is reduced.

    I don't think the shutter speed and the aperture can determine the harshness of light.

    Flash photog is fun!

    Enjoy.
    a quick and dirty method I saw some pros use is to aim light source at reflector to bounce off reflector. it turns the reflector into a source of larger area.

    a reflector needn't be derived from strictly photographic use but also can be Styrofoam board even those that supermarket discard as long as reasonably white. (I did use this before too . disposable also) you can even buy from Daiso those car reflector quite good
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post

    Norman gave some very good advice about light here. I wonder where he learn these from?
    Haha credit to Dd123 for sharing the tips on photography with the newbies of CS. The lessons on flash photog was especially useful.

    This is another awesome example of how the members of CS are really very nurturing and helpful with so much to offer.... Only of the recipient is willing to accept and learn.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Quote Originally Posted by thoongeng View Post
    Changing shutter speed and aperture does not affect 'harshness' of light. Soft or hard light depends on the apparent size of the light source (see Shizuma's post #4, point number 2)


    Wow then what happens if your hp light is too bright and you need to take a picture in the dark.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Took this picture here do you think the light is too harsh?






    In this thread someone commented my shadows are harsh as in the light is too bright?

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1385465

    let me post in a smaller size




    Last edited by jones24; 27th March 2014 at 12:20 PM.

  18. #18

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    If the hp lights is too bright, all you need to do is reduce the intensity!

    -Manually reduce the intensity of the light (I’m guessing that you can’t do that with handphones.

    -Alternatively, you can block the light using a tanslucent source. (Do note that while this would reduce the intensity, the will aslo make the light softer. This “side-effect” may or may not be desirable depending on your concept for the shot.

    -Alternatively, you can increase distance between subject and light source. (Using inverse square law, double the distance between subject and light source will result in of the intensity of light)

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Taking pictures using camera flash vs a constant light source.

    Or TS can close down the aperture, or lower the ISO.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by jones24 View Post
    Took this picture here do you think the light is too harsh?

    In this thread someone commented my shadows are harsh as in the light is too bright?

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1385465

    let me post in a smaller size
    To me if you look at the purple flowers in the same petal there is a distinct line(s) that separates the lit portion and the one in shadowa. That is one way to see the 'harshness'.

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