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Thread: Subject too dark in Gig.

  1. #21
    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    For TS, if spotlight is available and you would like to keep the mood by taking in the ambient light, I would suggest using high ISO. Here are two examples:



    These pics were taken at DXO with a compact camera with ISO manually set to 1600 at f/2.8 and without flash. If you're shooting with a DSLR you can definitely go with higher ISO. It is unavoidable that you'll get some noise into the pic, but comparing a flat pic with the ambient light destroyed by flash to one that retains the ambient but with noise, I would say the later is a better choice. Furthermore you could apply noise reduction later during PP to cut them down.

    If the place is so dark that you can't even auto focus and with the highest ISO and your shutter speed is still not up to acceptable level, or the ambient is ok but your subject is too dark, you can experiment with reduced powered fill flash by using either flash compensation or manual flash output power setting.

    Good luck and have fun.

  2. #22
    Member Senifer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by ziploc View Post
    For TS, if spotlight is available and you would like to keep the mood by taking in the ambient light, I would suggest using high ISO. Here are two examples:



    These pics were taken at DXO with a compact camera with ISO manually set to 1600 at f/2.8 and without flash. If you're shooting with a DSLR you can definitely go with higher ISO. It is unavoidable that you'll get some noise into the pic, but comparing a flat pic with the ambient light destroyed by flash to one that retains the ambient but with noise, I would say the later is a better choice. Furthermore you could apply noise reduction later during PP to cut them down.

    If the place is so dark that you can't even auto focus and with the highest ISO and your shutter speed is still not up to acceptable level, or the ambient is ok but your subject is too dark, you can experiment with reduced powered fill flash by using either flash compensation or manual flash output power setting.

    Good luck and have fun.
    The answer i've been looking for.
    When i was shooting, i considered between ambient light, or flash.
    Looks like i really got the whole gig photo album wrong in the first place but using flash. :\
    I like your photos on the spotlights in the DXO. that's the effect that came to my mind when i was shooting at that point of time.
    I forgot about the noise reduction during PP. I was really annoyed when i tried a shot with high ISO, pretty much grainy. which is why i shoot like those in my sample photo.
    Last edited by Senifer; 12th June 2010 at 02:37 AM.
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    not true actually. with Flash, everything is pretty much possible. lets assume ur standing 5 meters away from the band that is playing, with a flash of a good gn of 40, u can easily shoot at f8, iso 100. amazing as it may seem, but i had tested and tried it out.

    to give u the formula, GN= Distance*aperture @iso 100

    if u double ur iso, to 200 lets say. a proper exposure will be at f8, 10m away.(i think. not too sure if changing iso will help actually)

    and in line with ur question, if ur shooting at f1.4....... at iso 100. i think u can shoot an approximate 40 meters away. up the iso to 400, u can shoot at a amazing 160m away zomg! (but then u gotta take into account of light weakening by then etc etc etc i think so far never had the need to blast my flash at its max power so never tried)

    and if ur in a dark room, having a slow shutter speed of 1/60 will help u fill in the back ground light. now that is slow sync, where u fire a flash, using a longer shutter speed.

    now, under the category of slow sync, there are 2 extra components, rear sync and front curtain sync.

    what this controls is when the flash is fired. if ur using a long shutter speed, do u wanna fire the flash the very moment the shutter is open? thats front curtain sync.

    if wanna flash at the end when shutter abt to close, its rear sync.
    Quote Originally Posted by lostsole View Post
    eh. seriously, if you don't know what you're saying, better don't say anything. bs'ing will only make you look... erm...

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  4. #24
    Member Senifer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    Looking at the sample photo, the subjects are very near the wall. Can a rear curtain sync really do the job in this case? The light fall off from the flash would have to be very precise falling off within that 1m or less from the wall behid, so as not to light it up.

    Any thoughts, suggestions... ?
    Looks like i need to read up on Flash real soon. heh heh heh.
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    want the flash light to fall off rapidly, ones has to place the flash very close to the subject, that the flash will be show up in the photos.

    sorry catchlight, i can't get what you mean in the sentence above. But will definitely remember of what you said here. Do you mind if you explain in newbie term? thank you.
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  6. #26
    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senifer View Post
    sorry catchlight, i can't get what you mean in the sentence above. But will definitely remember of what you said here. Do you mind if you explain in newbie term? thank you.
    What uncle catchlight was saying here, is that if you want light to fall off rapidly, your flash will need to get very close to the subject. This is because at short distance the camera will compensate by reducing the flash output power to a very small amount. And lights fall off according to the "inverse square law", which states that the light is reduced by 1/(d^2). So e.g. if the distance is doubled, the light will be reduced by 1/4 (=1/(2^2)). If the flash is, say, 10cm from the subject, and the wall is at 20cm from the subject (= 3x the distance from flash), the light reaching the wall will be 1/(3^2) = 1/9 as bright.
    Last edited by ziploc; 12th June 2010 at 02:49 AM.

  7. #27
    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senifer View Post
    I forgot about the noise reduction during PP. I was really annoyed when i tried a shot with high ISO, pretty much grainy. which is why i shoot like those in my sample photo.
    Film grains used to be one of the "features" of film that were liked by many during the film days, so actually they are not that bad. That's why when you read camera reviews you'll find people looking for film-grains-like noise in the high ISO.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by ziploc View Post
    What uncle catchlight was saying here, is that if you want light to fall off rapidly, your flash will need to get very close to the subject. This is because at short distance the camera will compensate by reducing the flash output power to a very small amount. And lights fall off according to the "inverse square law", which states that the light is reduced by 1/(d^2). So e.g. if the distance is doubled, the light will be reduced by 1/4 (=1/(2^2)). If the flash is, say, 10cm from the subject, and the wall is at 20cm from the subject (= 3x the distance from flash), the light reaching the wall will be 1/(3^2) = 1/9 as bright.
    i'm in the Lost World, Jurassic Park.
    hahahahaha
    okay, i didn't know have to do so much calculating for flash.
    Thanks bro.
    Wondering if there's any night photography trip so i could learn abit from the pros.
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by ziploc View Post
    Film grains used to be one of the "features" of film that were liked by many during the film days, so actually they are not that bad. That's why when you read camera reviews you'll find people looking for film-grains-like noise in the high ISO.
    came across a few photos with very grainy effects. didn't attract me. could be i haven't been expose to many other genre of photography yet.
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  10. #30

    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by ziploc View Post
    Yes exactly.
    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    want the flash light to fall off rapidly, ones has to place the flash very close to the subject, that the flash will be show up in the photos.
    Thanks for the tips. Will give it a try at first opportunity.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senifer View Post
    Looks like i need to read up on Flash real soon. heh heh heh.
    Its not what you think

    Look at photo like this :

    Of course the bkgnd is setup differently and further from subject.

    But notice that the Bkgnd is dark. It helps keep away the clutter of the back and brings attention to the subject.

    The question was more on how to get a more isolating darker backgnd (if possible)
    The sample photo from you, has a white backgnd and as you can see, using a straight on flash has lighted up the bare/un-interesting bkgnd. Using a bounced flash with rear sync may not be that easy either since the flash done this way lights up the room and fall off after lighting the subjects will need to be very rapid so as to still leave the wall dark. It would not be too hard if the wall was further away, but in this case, its too near.

    Catchlights, thanks again for the valuable advice.
    Last edited by pinholecam; 12th June 2010 at 08:46 AM.

  12. #32
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    you are welcome, sorry for not being details,
    and thanks to Mod ziploc explain it very clearly.

    for the shot TS posted, we know the site is less ideal to create dramatic gig shot, with the set up TS has, slow sync will not really work.
    a multiple off camera flash set up will be able to create better effect, but since it is rather complex set up, don't think you can do it in a live performance.
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  13. #33

    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senifer View Post
    sorry catchlight, i can't get what you mean in the sentence above. But will definitely remember of what you said here. Do you mind if you explain in newbie term? thank you.
    just try it with a torchlight, place an item as subject about 5 feet from background. Hold the torchlight near the subject, observe the background lighting. As you pull the torchlight away from the subject again observe the bkg lighting.

    when the torchlight is close to the subject the light will fall off from the background, that means it won't reach too far back to the background. When the torchlight is further away the light will cover the background.

    but then as you experiment with this, you will also realize that when the torchlight is too near the subject, the light will be harsh. Now you need to put some tissue papers in front of the torchlight, so that the subject looks good.

    when the torchlight is further away and is direct to the subject you will get shadow in the background. Sometime the shadow is part of the composition. But if you don't want the shadow, you need to put the torchlight higher, or at the side, so that the shadow won't be in the frame of your composition.

    Have fun with light.

  14. #34
    Member Senifer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by jopel View Post
    just try it with a torchlight, place an item as subject about 5 feet from background. Hold the torchlight near the subject, observe the background lighting. As you pull the torchlight away from the subject again observe the bkg lighting.

    when the torchlight is close to the subject the light will fall off from the background, that means it won't reach too far back to the background. When the torchlight is further away the light will cover the background.

    but then as you experiment with this, you will also realize that when the torchlight is too near the subject, the light will be harsh. Now you need to put some tissue papers in front of the torchlight, so that the subject looks good.

    when the torchlight is further away and is direct to the subject you will get shadow in the background. Sometime the shadow is part of the composition. But if you don't want the shadow, you need to put the torchlight higher, or at the side, so that the shadow won't be in the frame of your composition.

    Have fun with light.
    totally get what you mean. thanks bro.
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  15. #35
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    Its not what you think

    Look at photo like this :

    Of course the bkgnd is setup differently and further from subject.

    But notice that the Bkgnd is dark. It helps keep away the clutter of the back and brings attention to the subject.

    The question was more on how to get a more isolating darker backgnd (if possible)
    The sample photo from you, has a white backgnd and as you can see, using a straight on flash has lighted up the bare/un-interesting bkgnd. Using a bounced flash with rear sync may not be that easy either since the flash done this way lights up the room and fall off after lighting the subjects will need to be very rapid so as to still leave the wall dark. It would not be too hard if the wall was further away, but in this case, its too near.

    Catchlights, thanks again for the valuable advice.
    yeah, it was a really small place for a small performance to take place, therefore not much space was given. in fact i was the only one taking photo right in front of the crowd, behind me, i worry about making the audience angry by blocking them, in front of me, are my bunch of buddies relying on me to get good photos of them. hahaha, really stuck in the middle.
    my buddies complained that the space for them to perform was too small too. which explains why they are so near to the wall. lol
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    you are welcome, sorry for not being details,
    and thanks to Mod ziploc explain it very clearly.

    for the shot TS posted, we know the site is less ideal to create dramatic gig shot, with the set up TS has, slow sync will not really work.
    a multiple off camera flash set up will be able to create better effect, but since it is rather complex set up, don't think you can do it in a live performance.
    not detailed but still thank you for your effort. Cheers!
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  17. #37
    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senifer View Post
    i'm in the Lost World, Jurassic Park.
    hahahahaha
    okay, i didn't know have to do so much calculating for flash.
    Thanks bro.
    Wondering if there's any night photography trip so i could learn abit from the pros.
    Ok let's simplify it further. Let's say I am shooting 2 friends at night using flash. A is standing at 1m from me, while B is standing another 1m behind A. In other words, B is 2m from me, and is at double the distance from the light source (my flash) when compare to A. According to the "inverse square law", B will receive only 1/4 of the light that A would receive.

    This is exactly the reason why when you shoot macros, if you do not compensate the flash to the environment, you will get a pitch black background. Because the distance from the flash to the subject (the insect) is short, the light from the flash falls off rapidly and is unable to light up the background.

    E.g. this macro shot was taken in day time under the shade with a flash without compensation. As you can see the background is completely black.
    Last edited by ziploc; 13th June 2010 at 12:12 AM.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by ziploc View Post
    Ok let's simplify it further. Let's say I am shooting 2 friends at night using flash. A is standing at 1m from me, while B is standing another 1m behind A. In other words, B is 2m from me, and is at double the distance from the light source (my flash) when compare to A. According to the "inverse square law", B will receive only 1/4 of the light that A would receive.

    This is exactly the reason why when you shoot macros, if you do not compensate the flash to the environment, you will get a pitch black background. Because the distance from the flash to the subject (the insect) is short, the light from the flash falls off rapidly and is unable to light up the background.

    E.g. this macro shot was taken in day time under the shade with a flash without compensation. As you can see the background is completely black.

    ahhhhhh. i finally understand the meaning of "lights falling off"!
    to me, it simply means light getting softer and softer. LOL
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  19. #39

    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senifer View Post
    ahhhhhh. i finally understand the meaning of "lights falling off"!
    to me, it simply means light getting softer and softer. LOL
    The quantity of light has nothing to do with the quality of light.

    They are two entirely different things.

    Light falling off (over-simplified explanation) means it gets darker and darker further away.


  20. #40
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    Default Re: Subject too dark in Gig.

    ah, sorry. i know what you meant.
    Thanks! lesser and lesser, accepted?
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