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Thread: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

  1. #1

    Default how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    i was using my 500d, and have problem getting the right setting..


    eg, using P mode, with high ISO, I focus on the face of the birthday gal, but the candle flame over expose..and the face is very dark..

    then I use flash, also no good as it created a dark shadow behind the birthday gal's body..


    what is the correct setting to use?

    focus on where? and meter where too?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    Quote Originally Posted by ekardo View Post
    i was using my 500d, and have problem getting the right setting..


    eg, using P mode, with high ISO, I focus on the face of the birthday gal, but the candle flame over expose..and the face is very dark..

    then I use flash, also no good as it created a dark shadow behind the birthday gal's body..


    what is the correct setting to use?

    focus on where? and meter where too?
    hmm...maybe you could post a picture? Was the room poorly lit?


    As for flashing, if you bounced it 90 degrees, there'll definitely be no shadow
    Last edited by Daedalus Trent; 4th June 2009 at 01:23 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    I think if you want the face to have medium tone, then use the spot meter, meter the face, lock exposure and shoot.
    Or you can adjust -ev to darken the face abit, in order not to over expose the flame.

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    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    i vote for bounce flash! Canon has a fairly affordable model, I think called EX270. Allows you to tilt up 90 degrees in landscape orientation.
    Exploring! :)

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    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    mount camera on tripod

    slow and rear curtain sync for flash (bounced of the ceiling)
    determine the correct exposure for the candles and use that
    -EV for the flash maybe 1 or 1.5 stop

    experiment depending on the ambient light available
    also depending on how many candles on the cake (more candles = brighter)

  6. #6

    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    oh..forgot to add that I dun wanna use flash so that I can capture the true color of the face etc.. (plus, no $$ for external flash)

    so spot meter the face, and focus on face also ?

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    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    Quote Originally Posted by ekardo View Post
    oh..forgot to add that I dun wanna use flash so that I can capture the true color of the face etc..
    That's a very common misconception

  8. #8
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    Use slow sync flash and make the shutter speed slow enough...
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    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    Quote Originally Posted by ekardo View Post
    oh..forgot to add that I dun wanna use flash so that I can capture the true color of the face etc.. (plus, no $$ for external flash)

    so spot meter the face, and focus on face also ?
    the candle is the only light source, if you can meter the face and exposed correctly, the candle will definably overexposed. unless your subject face is also glowing like candle.

    the best way is use flash as what others have suggested, but you only have a built in flash, it will cast a shadow on you subject, unless you move the candle aside.

    you can get a natural effect with mixing with flash and candle, it is only the matter that you know how to balance the flash and the candle or not.

    anyway, if die die don't want to use flash, just light up a lot of candles around your subject but outside the picture, so to bring up the overall exposure.

    hope this help.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    Quote Originally Posted by ekardo View Post
    oh..forgot to add that I dun wanna use flash so that I can capture the true color of the face etc.. (plus, no $$ for external flash)

    so spot meter the face, and focus on face also ?
    or alternatively, a few cuts of CTO gel over your built-in would warm it up nicely to candle-light colour temp range.. get it to balance with ambient and you'll be hard press to notice it was taken with flash..

  11. #11

    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    if you have bounce flash, like the others have suggested that would be best, spot meter the flame, the face would be very dark, then used bounce flash to light it up abit.
    if you dont have, then have to sacrifice one liao, either face or flame properly exposed. Or u can meter the face, the flame, then take a middle value see how it comes out? Maybe then can use PS to adjust the levels abit, dodge, burn etc...?
    Last edited by hmjt; 4th June 2009 at 10:29 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member dennisc's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    Just find the correct exposure if u must shoot the candle best use manual. Few ways of doing it.

  13. #13

    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    Or can stuff some tissues in front of ur camera flash to diffuse the light, so that the shadows will not be so harsh.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    Quote Originally Posted by ekardo View Post
    oh..forgot to add that I dun wanna use flash so that I can capture the true color of the face etc.. (plus, no $$ for external flash)

    so spot meter the face, and focus on face also ?

    Do tell me if the face colours look very unnatural in this photo. Bounced flash produces much nicer colours than direct flash.


    (linked photo removed)
    Last edited by ZerocoolAstra; 5th June 2009 at 01:33 PM.
    Exploring! :)

  15. #15

    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    sorry if I did not explain well enough.

    I was mentioning that I dun wanna use the build in flash, and no money to upgrade to external flash for now, of course, bounce flash is ok..

    I saw some photos on canon/tamron site that show very nicely taken photos without flash...so was wondering if there's any specific method to take such nice photo...

    what is the Gel or jellly that was mentioned? tissue is a cheap method lower the intensity of the flash, will try that out too..

  16. #16

    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    a gel is colour strip of plastic that goes on the flash head, a CTO is a warm-coloured gel that "warms up" the flash to better match the warm candle light.. anyway, I think I saw before an orange coloured pop-up diffuser in OP before, maybe thats what you need?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    If the candle over expose while the face is dark, you have to increase the ambiant light around your subject in order to decrease the difference of contrasts between the two parts of the scene : after what you can do your picture with a light flash fill-in, as said, by using slow sync flash and making the shutter speed slow enough.

    If you have only the built-in flash and are short of money, i suggest you try my almost free home-made diffuser : i built it for my EOS 300D's pop-up flash. No knowledge is required : you just have to put the diffuser in place and picture in auto e-TTL and auto BW.





    Here is a picture shot with the built-in flash alone :





    and here are two pictures with the built-in flash with my diffuser in place :






    If you want to hide the shadow a bit more, you must place your subject at distance of the wall. I suggest you place a lamp in the background : the light provided by this lamp will contribute to dilute the shadow too.

    Hope this help.
    Last edited by YoungPictoraider; 5th June 2009 at 04:51 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: how to take photo for birthday ? (candle and face)

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    the candle is the only light source, if you can meter the face and exposed correctly, the candle will definably overexposed. unless your subject face is also glowing like candle.

    the best way is use flash as what others have suggested, but you only have a built in flash, it will cast a shadow on you subject, unless you move the candle aside.

    you can get a natural effect with mixing with flash and candle, it is only the matter that you know how to balance the flash and the candle or not.

    anyway, if die die don't want to use flash, just light up a lot of candles around your subject but outside the picture, so to bring up the overall exposure.

    hope this help.

    Thanks for saving the world. I was getting alittle worried that he will meter off the candle after reading the 1st few posts.


    Regards
    D3s / D3x / 18-55 f3.5 - 5.6 / 55-200 f3.5-5.6 / 50 f1.8

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