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Thread: Question on indoor photography

  1. #1
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    Default Question on indoor photography

    I understand that using flash indoors most of the time washes all the ambient colours away, and it often cast very ugly shadows behind the subject, and when the picture is not composed properly, the flash cause the foreground to be too highlighted and the background hardly visible.

    AND when flash is not used, the final picture is often blurred from handshake. I tried using the viewfinder (EVF for my case) to stabilize a bit and use higher ISO (lousy images due to noise) and faster shutter but they don't work all the time.

    Are there any other methods to solve the problem (besides buying a more expensive camera)? LOL. Digital post processing techniques welcome! =)

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    SS,

    What you mentioned are problems that plague every photographer that's limited by equipment, and to a certain extent, an innovative mind.

    Basically, if you have access, or understand the importance of good artificial light equipment, as well as how light works, you can make more educated choices as to what will work for you and fufill your needs/situation.

    The issue of using high ISO and getting good quality images has already been solved, albeit, at a price in modern sensor designs found in the Canon 5D and now, 1D Mk III giving photographers a much wider range of workable ISOs up to 3200, and 6400 respectively. Interestingly, one of the (beneficial) side-effects of high, useable ISOs is the lesser need for ultra high speed (and ultra high-cost) lenses.

    One of THE biggest advantages of shooting digital (no, not 'unlimited' shutter firings or being able to delete on the fly) is an adjustable white balance. That feature alone opens up a world of possibilities to the innovative photographer doing indoor shots with limited equipment, and budgets. Think bounced super-powerful halogen flood-lights bought cheaply for less than SGD30, but there are tons of other options.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    r u using auto mode?
    i am facing the same problem as u, so sometimes i change to 'indoor' scene mode, it did help abit.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    Quote Originally Posted by cool-gal View Post
    r u using auto mode?
    i am facing the same problem as u, so sometimes i change to 'indoor' scene mode, it did help abit.
    i use P mode usually so that i can choose the ISO and have some manual controls (just stepped into photography so learning some manual adjustments and stuff)..

    btw i am using the budget fujifilm s5700.. =)

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    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    SS,

    What you mentioned are problems that plague every photographer that's limited by equipment, and to a certain extent, an innovative mind.

    Basically, if you have access, or understand the importance of good artificial light equipment, as well as how light works, you can make more educated choices as to what will work for you and fufill your needs/situation.

    The issue of using high ISO and getting good quality images has already been solved, albeit, at a price in modern sensor designs found in the Canon 5D and now, 1D Mk III giving photographers a much wider range of workable ISOs up to 3200, and 6400 respectively. Interestingly, one of the (beneficial) side-effects of high, useable ISOs is the lesser need for ultra high speed (and ultra high-cost) lenses.

    One of THE biggest advantages of shooting digital (no, not 'unlimited' shutter firings or being able to delete on the fly) is an adjustable white balance. That feature alone opens up a world of possibilities to the innovative photographer doing indoor shots with limited equipment, and budgets. Think bounced super-powerful halogen flood-lights bought cheaply for less than SGD30, but there are tons of other options.
    hi DM.. thanks for the amazingly quick reply lol..

    i've never thought about playing with the white balance.. how do i work around that? online resources usually only mention stuff like stepping down the flash and high shutter speeds etc..

    btw.. yah.. bounced flash equipment used by events photographers do make me drool.. =P

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    btw.. with DM's replies..

    will like to ask you people what are the tips and tricks and techniques (and maybe even share the technicalities behind it) that you use to overcome the above-mentioned problems =)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    Check http://strobist.blogspot.com/ for details.

    I always use off camera flash and possible hi ISO with available light.

    YMMV

  8. #8

    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    SS, do take some time to go through the strobist website. Eventhough they often talk about using flash off-camera, two flash etc, which you may feel is not relevant to you right now, there are excellent articles especially the '101' articles that will help you understand the tech-talk and principles behind using light.

    As for existing light work, part of the fun comes in researching articles. Look up anything that relates to getting the best results in low, or limited light, but before that, do some research to understand the basics of photography, especially light and exposure. All the articles (and more) are on the net. Just have to do some work. Take your time reading and exploring what you read - that's the major fun about discovering photography as compared to 'Maggie Mee' photography.

    Also, the better you understand the basics, instead of just using 'scenes' or 'modes' buttons and dials, the easier it will be for you to understand and explore more advanced topics and applications at later stages - and that's because you already have a solid foundation in the basics.

    How this applies to real-life is: later, when you're faced with more changelling lighting and shooting situations, you will have more 'mental weapons' to choose from, and find a workable solution. This is THE MAJOR reason why in the days of film cameras, almost ALL reputable photography lecturers will INSIST that all students use a fully manual camera. NO auto anything until much later stages.

    As long as you have white balance and manual control of shutter speed and apeture, you can do almost anything. Don't worry about not having 'pro' equipment. Some of the world's best photographs have been made with pocket cameras or 'beginner' equipment.

    Look up your manual to find out how to adjust your camera's white balance, and then do some research about light temperature in photography and how that affects the way your pictures look.

    Once you realise what's going on, you'll realise that you could easily get less than $50 worth of hot lights, and be able to get better results than using say a $800 flash unit with auto and TTL everything!

    And that's another major fun part about photography for lots of beginners - the endless opportunities to explore and innovate when you have limited budgets/equipment - not limited understanding and abilities! The guys with all the expensive and super advanced equipment often are denied this privilege! But I'm over-simplyfying matters a bit here...

    CHEERS!

    Oh, just for fun: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bunnyinkorea/1111482037/ Not saying you should aspire to this hor!
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 19th August 2007 at 05:48 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    The trick is use a powerful slave flash and bounce with diffuser to the ceiling. I believe your indoor shots will look great.

    Click here to see 1 of my A70 + SB80 (slave) relatives party shots
    Last edited by megaweb; 20th August 2007 at 10:14 AM.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  10. #10
    Senior Member xunjas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    personally i use flash when neccessary. For indoor photography, i use iso 1600 and shoot in raw. I can adjust the color temp to get the correct colors. in this way, i can keep the ambient light settings which can be quite beautiful for the photos..

  11. #11

    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    Quote Originally Posted by xunjas View Post
    personally i use flash when neccessary. For indoor photography, i use iso 1600 and shoot in raw. I can adjust the color temp to get the correct colors. in this way, i can keep the ambient light settings which can be quite beautiful for the photos..
    Wont the pic be too noisy ma?
    Live to Ride, Ride to Live

  12. #12
    Senior Member xunjas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    Quote Originally Posted by hirowen View Post
    Wont the pic be too noisy ma?
    i using 5D so noise is pretty minimal. plus u can use PS to reduce noise..

  13. #13

    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    Quote Originally Posted by xunjas View Post
    i using 5D so noise is pretty minimal. plus u can use PS to reduce noise..
    Oic
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    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    hi thanks to all who replied.. appreciated..

    megaweb, how do you use SB80 with your canon A70? i thought the latter doesn't have those what they call "hotshoe" thing..

    anyway slave flash are usually $$ right? haha..

  15. #15

    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    I have the same question on my mind.... here's the response I got... http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=304505

    My problem is partly due to the fact that the Minolta A1 cannot "pass" beyond ISO200. An ISO400 already is "noticeable".

  16. #16

    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    Quote Originally Posted by ssping83 View Post
    hi thanks to all who replied.. appreciated..

    megaweb, how do you use SB80 with your canon A70? i thought the latter doesn't have those what they call "hotshoe" thing..

    anyway slave flash are usually $$ right? haha..
    Nikon SB80 can set as slave mode. Any camera internal flash can trigger it. It supports both no preflash and preflash. Yes, it is expensive but recommend to get 2nd hand.

    The down side for slave flash is you cannot use it together with other photographers who are also using flash. Their flash will trigger your slave flash too.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    Quote Originally Posted by megaweb View Post
    Nikon SB80 can set as slave mode. Any camera internal flash can trigger it. It supports both no preflash and preflash. Yes, it is expensive but recommend to get 2nd hand.

    The down side for slave flash is you cannot use it together with other photographers who are also using flash. Their flash will trigger your slave flash too.
    hee.. what about those DIY projects to bounce the in-camera flash unit?

    omg i'm such a scrooge.. =P

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    Quote Originally Posted by ssping83 View Post
    i use P mode usually so that i can choose the ISO and have some manual controls (just stepped into photography so learning some manual adjustments and stuff)..

    btw i am using the budget fujifilm s5700.. =)
    can try the popular indoor flash photography setting
    Manual Mode
    ISO - 400
    Aperture - 5.6
    Shutter Speed - 1/60
    Adjust flash power accordingly..usually start wif -1/3ev
    To get brighter bg..open up ur aperture eg. f/4
    If subject is too bright even wif reduced flash power..can raise shutter speed eg. 1/100
    If still underexpose..try higher ISO
    This is an electronic post which requires no signature.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    Quote Originally Posted by ssping83 View Post
    hee.. what about those DIY projects to bounce the in-camera flash unit?

    omg i'm such a scrooge.. =P
    The issue for internal flash is weak. You want good exposure, you need a powerful external slave flash.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  20. #20
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on indoor photography

    Quote Originally Posted by ssping83 View Post
    I understand that using flash indoors most of the time washes all the ambient colours away, and it often cast very ugly shadows behind the subject, and when the picture is not composed properly, the flash cause the foreground to be too highlighted and the background hardly visible.

    AND when flash is not used, the final picture is often blurred from handshake. I tried using the viewfinder (EVF for my case) to stabilize a bit and use higher ISO (lousy images due to noise) and faster shutter but they don't work all the time.

    Are there any other methods to solve the problem (besides buying a more expensive camera)? LOL. Digital post processing techniques welcome! =)

    Thanks in advance.
    more expensive equipment may not solve the problem.

    first of all, determine the speed of your subject. if it is a fast moving kid, stabilizing your camera will not help except to have a steady motion blur. you thus need to brighten up the frame intensity, either with more continuous light or by flash with diffuser (white balance need to be correct or corrected)

    next if subject is slow, can try to steady the camera with tripod etc. vibration reduction cameras and lens may help a bit

    last of all, shoot at hgh iso, and use noise reduction prgm. but expect loss of details from noise reduction.

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