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Thread: black foreground & a bright nicely exposed background

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witness
    perhaps this is wat u are talking about??


    To borrow this pic.... in this case the contrast between foreground and background is at least 4 stops.... if I want to see just the face and leave the rest of the body silhouetted, I should use fill flash right? Thing is will the fill flash be powerful enough? Cos it's TTL and umm.... wouldn't the bright background interefere with the camera metering the flash reflection off the subject? That is basically the flash metering will not be accurate in such extreme situations? How would u get around the problem? I always have this kind of problems.... I wanted limited exposure of the foreground but it is usually grossly underexposed even with fill flash...

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by TME
    To borrow this pic.... in this case the contrast between foreground and background is at least 4 stops.... if I want to see just the face and leave the rest of the body silhouetted, I should use fill flash right? Thing is will the fill flash be powerful enough? Cos it's TTL and umm.... wouldn't the bright background interefere with the camera metering the flash reflection off the subject? That is basically the flash metering will not be accurate in such extreme situations? How would u get around the problem? I always have this kind of problems.... I wanted limited exposure of the foreground but it is usually grossly underexposed even with fill flash...
    I think in this case, your flash is not powerful enough. Rather, the sun is too powerful....if you are talking about mid-level clouds which are translucent and scattering the sunlight, there is no way a typical professional hotshoe flash can give out enough power to fill anything so that it matches - 1.0EV of the clouds.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by TME
    .. the contrast between foreground and background is at least 4 stops.... if I want to see just the face and leave the rest of the body silhouetted, I should use fill flash right?
    1 To borrow the Zone system terminology, the body is probably in Zone 1/2 and the sky in Zone 7/8, making the difference more like at least 6 stops.

    2 Fill flash (depending on your flash gun) can light up the body. My little Leica Minilux with its built-in flash is definitely up to the task for this purpose.

    But to light up only the face and leave the rest of the body in silhouette? You need to have a snoot to direct the light only to the face! I don't think you can achieve this with the sort of flash in any hand held/camera mounted/pop-up flash. The light from such flash is simply too diffused.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2100
    I think in this case, your flash is not powerful enough. Rather, the sun is too powerful....if you are talking about mid-level clouds which are translucent and scattering the sunlight, there is no way a typical professional hotshoe flash can give out enough power to fill anything so that it matches - 1.0EV of the clouds.
    My flash has a GN of 55.... should be good enough.... I suppose that subject distance is also critical? If one is outside the flash range, then I wouldn't expect the subject to be lit right? How do u ensure that u are within the flash range? My flash has coverage distance on the LCD panel, but I usually forget about it when shooting.... also my "agaration" is quite poor one lar....
    Last edited by TME; 26th July 2004 at 06:18 PM.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    1 To borrow the Zone system terminology, the body is probably in Zone 1/2 and the sky in Zone 7/8, making the difference more like at least 6 stops.

    2 Fill flash (depending on your flash gun) can light up the body. My little Leica Minilux with its built-in flash is definitely up to the task for this purpose.

    But to light up only the face and leave the rest of the body in silhouette? You need to have a snoot to direct the light only to the face! I don't think you can achieve this with the sort of flash in any hand held/camera mounted/pop-up flash. The light from such flash is simply too diffused.
    I think so too.... I have read briefly on the Zone system but not very sure how to apply....

    And yes I was thinking also that I need a directional type of flash to light only the face... although would pushing the flash's zoom to max concentrate the flash pulse sufficiently to light up around the face only.... that is the body below the chest area still in silhouette.... I guess distance from subject is important as well?

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by TME
    .. although would pushing the flash's zoom to max concentrate the flash pulse sufficiently to light up around the face only.... that is the body below the chest area still in silhouette....
    A point source of light will spread out as it travels further out. So even if your flash is pushed all the way out it will still "flare out" and not concentrate the light on the face.

    A snoot is better in that the light is "narrowed" by the the cone shaped snoot. But if you put the snoot too far away, it will still "flare" up because of "reflecting" light from the inside of the snoot. So the snoot will have to be very close to the face. (remembering my "light studies" in my "A" levels! )

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by TME
    My flash has a GN of 55.... should be good enough.... I suppose that subject distance is also critical? If one is outside the flash range, then I wouldn't expect the subject to be lit right? How do u ensure that u are within the flash range? My flash has coverage distance on the LCD panel, but I usually forget about it when shooting.... also my "agaration" is quite poor one lar....

    Yeah, distance is very critical, drops off exponentially. Lets take the portrait done by Witness as example, this is not your "typical fill flash needed coz you are in the shade" kind of photo, but a silhouette against a hazy sky at 5-6pm". If i am not wrong, looking at it, the sun is being blocked by the model's hand....just look at the brightest halo part of the sky.

    I think for this, you will need a very very powerful flash gun. In the example, say taking a focal length of 35mm for full length + some sky above the head, it'd mean that a typical model is standing at least 6 metres away. It also depends on how fast your cam can sync with your external flash (ie sync-speed). Most cams can only sync like 1/125-1/250 max, best like D70 can do 1/500 (D2H can FP sync up to 1/8000 but flash power is very very much reduced). The amt of ambient light let it will still be quite a lot. If i do not remember wrongly, at 1/500s, if i meter at this kind of clouds (translucent thin type), it is way way past f22 at ISO200 at 5+. Even reflected light by white clouds is pretty bright. I am basing my calculations based on shooting during near dusk periods. Hence, my concern on flash....f22 is an awful small aperture to flash. I guess you can always try out to confirm things.

    Would i shoot this kind of shot? I guess so, the model is illuminated and there is a halo up around her hands, the row of shophouses still silhouetted.

    PS. GN specs has got nothing to do with this....so-called balancing of ambient light and reflected light off your subject. Anyway, to be accurate when listing flash specs, you gotta list the ISO, metres or feet, and at which focal length too. Eg, GN 38metres at ISO 200, 35mm.
    Last edited by 2100; 26th July 2004 at 08:32 PM.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2100
    Yeah, distance is very critical, drops off exponentially. Lets take the portrait done by Witness as example, this is not your "typical fill flash needed coz you are in the shade" kind of photo, but a silhouette against a hazy sky at 5-6pm". If i am not wrong, looking at it, the sun is being blocked by the model's hand....just look at the brightest halo part of the sky.

    I think for this, you will need a very very powerful flash gun. In the example, say taking a focal length of 35mm for full length + some sky above the head, it'd mean that a typical model is standing at least 6 metres away. It also depends on how fast your cam can sync with your external flash (ie sync-speed). Most cams can only sync like 1/125-1/250 max, best like D70 can do 1/500 (D2H can FP sync up to 1/8000 but flash power is very very much reduced). The amt of ambient light let it will still be quite a lot. If i do not remember wrongly, at 1/500s, if i meter at this kind of clouds (translucent thin type), it is way way past f22 at ISO200 at 5+. Even reflected light by white clouds is pretty bright. I am basing my calculations based on shooting during near dusk periods. Hence, my concern on flash....f22 is an awful small aperture to flash. I guess you can always try out to confirm things.

    Would i shoot this kind of shot? I guess so, the model is illuminated and there is a halo up around her hands, the row of shophouses still silhouetted.

    PS. GN specs has got nothing to do with this....so-called balancing of ambient light and reflected light off your subject. Anyway, to be accurate when listing flash specs, you gotta list the ISO, metres or feet, and at which focal length too. Eg, GN 38metres at ISO 200, 35mm.

    Thanks.... its a Minolta 5600HS.... GN55 at ISO100, 50mm... standard GN parameters...

  9. #29
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    sorrie for so long then reply.. heehee.. busy wif school.. wa.. so many replies!! thankz!!

    muz be at least 3 stop difference arhz.. hmm.. go try try.. and witness, nice pic!! great body outline.. heeheez.. maybe can do one without any background.. hahaz.. =P i thought it was something i did wrong.. haha..

    thankz bros and sis for all your comment.. go try try when i have time.. heehee..

    also trying the zoom effect.. [dunno the proper name again! =P] thankz!

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