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Thread: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

  1. #1

    Red face Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks in the background using sony A200 ?
    I tried a few times... but the exposure not quite right ,
    Should I use a flash to light up their face ? but then can't get the fireworks cos' it will be overexposed.
    Pls help ! I'm very confused now....
    1 last question : Can't I photograph without a tripod ( I know tripod is a must) but I'm travelling.... so very clumsy to bring along
    Last edited by LavenderTea; 12th April 2009 at 08:40 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    1. Of course you can photograph without a tripod. But for nighttime long exposures, a tripod, or somehting you can use like a tripod, is recommended.
    2. Try rear synch flash. It'll mean a 2-4 second exposure with one flash at the end. you will need to learn how to go beyond "Auto" mode.
    Alpha

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    what's rear synch flash... then what exposure do I set ?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Quote Originally Posted by LavenderTea View Post
    what's rear synch flash... then what exposure do I set ?
    rear synch flash - in your manual, and on google.

    exposure in terms of shutter speed - depends on how many fireworks there are. There is no "magic formula".
    Alpha

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Actually, it's a problem of trial and error.

    Here are my steps to do so, but its purely personal:
    1) mount camera on tripod
    2) set ISO 100 and put Tv to 1 second
    3) gauge roughly the aperture to use and leave it on manual
    4) once exposed for the usual fireworks, fire with flash
    5) adjust flash power until both are equally exposed

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    tSkye, you're referring to manual flash right?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Oh, yea. Manual flash. I use a canon flashgun with offshoe cord set on rear curtain sync.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    actually TS should use front curtain sync for this shot. at least the front subject is properly exposed with flash & b/g is given time to fully expose

    you can't possibly expect one to stand totally still for 2-4 sec...
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    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Tripod may not be a muz, but a solid support surface would be a must.

    One suggestion, but works only for very dark environment in the vicinity of the subject.

    Front curtain Flash + long exposure + dark environment. The flash will light up the subject. After that, the long exposure (say, 4 sec?) will exposure the background (fireworks ). The "model" may not keep still but it doesn't matter.. because there is nothing to illuminate the model and technically the model can "move away" or they can just stand there.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Quote Originally Posted by LavenderTea View Post
    what's rear synch flash... then what exposure do I set ?
    If im not wrong its expose for the background (in this case the fireworks), the exposure for the people will be controlled by the flash. But they will have to stand still for the entire duration ...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    alternatively, use a tripod, do one nice one with people properly exposed, with whatever method, probably flash will be best

    then do a long exposure for the fireworks, but no one can help you with that, you need to get someone with enough experience hsooting to tell you how to capture these nicely

    you have two photos, make sure the exposure between the sky and the people is not too obviously different, and then layer them in photoshop, erase and tada, nice people, nice fireworks, job done.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    THanks everyone, but my alpha A200 flash has 2 modes.. rear syn and slow sync , what's the difference, which should I use ??

    Layering using photoshop ??... but it's a bit cheating right ? anyway my photoshop are lousy.. cos' self-learnt.. always wanted to do a course... but can't find one..

  13. #13

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Quote Originally Posted by LavenderTea View Post
    THanks everyone, but my alpha A200 flash has 2 modes.. rear syn and slow sync , what's the difference, which should I use ??

    Layering using photoshop ??... but it's a bit cheating right ? anyway my photoshop are lousy.. cos' self-learnt.. always wanted to do a course... but can't find one..
    not necessarily, if you are limited, then that is one solution.

    what is cheating?

    the moment you capture fireworks, you are cheating, what humans see at any one point in time looks nothing like the beautiful flowers you see on photographs.

    cheating is totally removing something, for example, the crane in the backgorund is there, but it is so ugly, so you just happily clone it out.. the people are there, the fireworks are there, what you are doing is trying to churn out your vision, why not?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    One more question... manual flash... do you all mean I need to buy a separate flash, I can't use the built in flash on my sony A200 ???
    Does a external flash very expensive ??

  15. #15

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Quote Originally Posted by Limsgp View Post
    Tripod may not be a muz, but a solid support surface would be a must.

    One suggestion, but works only for very dark environment in the vicinity of the subject.

    Front curtain Flash + long exposure + dark environment. The flash will light up the subject. After that, the long exposure (say, 4 sec?) will exposure the background (fireworks ). The "model" may not keep still but it doesn't matter.. because there is nothing to illuminate the model and technically the model can "move away" or they can just stand there.
    Sorry for my ignorance... but what is a front curtain flash ?? there is such a function on A200

  16. #16

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Probably not the best example.. but perhaps useful for your reference

    Manual Mode, 1/20s, f4, ISO 800, onboard flash fired

    Pardon the background, but it was drizzling, so had to take under shelter.
    here's the result:

    Last edited by reaper3075; 14th April 2009 at 03:56 PM.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Quote Originally Posted by reaper3075 View Post
    Probably not the best example.. but perhaps useful for your reference

    Manual Mode, 1/20s, f4, ISO 800, onboard flash fired

    Pardon the background, but it was drizzling, so had to take under shelter.
    here's the result:

    That what I want !
    Sorry, but what is onbroad flash fired ???

  18. #18

    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Quote Originally Posted by LavenderTea View Post
    That what I want !
    Sorry, but what is onbroad flash fired ???
    onboard flash means he used the flash built into his camera.
    Alpha

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    Slow sync flash is classified into: "front curtain" or "rear sync/back curtain" flash.
    "Front curtain" or so called "dragging the shutter" metered the ambient for exposure at the same time firing the flash. Sony called the "front curtain flash" as "slow sync flash"

    In your case, you'll use this "front curtain" mode (with the on-board/built-in flash).
    Cam will metered the ambient and fireworks but will also flash (depends on cam whether 1/125, 1/250 sync,.. etc). You'll need a tripod cos shutter could be long (several sec or more). Subject doesn't matter whether slight movement or not after flash (while shutter still remained open). However, you may need to compensate the flash (-EV for the subject) or take manual mode (may use aperture to control intensity of flash).

    "Rear sync/back curtain flash" is use to capture flowing movement and having the subject at end of motion. Not for your use in this case.

    Hope this helps. Experiment & enjoy
    Last edited by kkleong; 14th April 2009 at 07:28 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Can someone teach me how to photograph people with fireworks

    In simple terms....

    A flash typically last a few msec (1ms = 1/1000s). Depending on the shutter speed, an exposure normally last much longer than that. ( shutter = 1/10 means the shutter will open for 100ms ). In the "long exposure" situations mentioned above in many posts, the shutter is open for a few seconds.

    Hence, thats where the front/back comes into the picture. The camera allows the user to choose to fire the flash at the start of the exposure, when the shutter opens (front curtain), OR at the end of the exposure, just before the shutter closes (rear curtain). Generally, most camera's factory default setting should be front.

    In most cases for stationary subjects, there is no apparent differences. But for moving subjects, it makes a lot of differences.


    Quote Originally Posted by LavenderTea View Post
    Sorry for my ignorance... but what is a front curtain flash ?? there is such a function on A200

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