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Thread: Taking night potraits.

  1. #1

    Default Taking night potraits.

    Hi Guys I've a few questions about night photography. I'm using a nikon D7000 and was wondering if I should get a flash for my night photography. I'm into taking potraits people at night and was wondering if a flash is needed. If we increase the exopsure time without using flash, making the model stand there for like 8 seconds, will we be seen as unprofessional? I believe that with the long exopsure we'll be able to capture the beasutiful scenary lights as well but with flash the scenary light might not be that outstanding. I'm not sure if I'm on the right track, please guide me.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Buy a prime lens like f1.8 or even f1.4, you'll love the output!
    Life is full of partings - snapshot them while you can & cherish them!

  3. #3
    Member Irvine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by hamburger View Post
    Hi Guys I've a few questions about night photography. I'm using a nikon D7000 and was wondering if I should get a flash for my night photography. I'm into taking potraits people at night and was wondering if a flash is needed. If we increase the exopsure time without using flash, making the model stand there for like 8 seconds, will we be seen as unprofessional? I believe that with the long exopsure we'll be able to capture the beasutiful scenary lights as well but with flash the scenary light might not be that outstanding. I'm not sure if I'm on the right track, please guide me.
    just think about it logically... u ask a person to stand still there for 8 seconds, do u tink that's practical? we r humans n we can't be like statues n freeze there perfectly n not move for 8 seconds fyi
    Last edited by Irvine; 17th July 2011 at 10:40 AM.
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    Member Irvine's Avatar
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    Google is your friend. Make use of it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Just get a flash and above all learn how to use it.
    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

    Gd luck

  6. #6

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Haha, Irvine is right -- you don't want to torture your subjects!

    It is entirely possible to use flash (built-in or hotshoe) to light your subjects in the foreground, without affecting the colourful lighting or whatever in the background, as long as there is adequate separation. Look up the inverse-square law if you don't know it.
    If your subjects are 2m away, and you scenery is, say, 8m away, the intensity of light from your flash illuminating the scenery is 1/16 or 4 stops less than that on your subjects.
    Try it with your pop-up flash.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by hamburger View Post
    Hi Guys I've a few questions about night photography. I'm using a nikon D7000 and was wondering if I should get a flash for my night photography. I'm into taking portraits people at night and was wondering if a flash is needed. If we increase the exposure time without using flash, making the model stand there for like 8 seconds, will we be seen as unprofessional? I believe that with the long exposure we'll be able to capture the beautiful scenery lights as well but with flash the scenery light might not be that outstanding. I'm not sure if I'm on the right track, please guide me.
    Don't be so cruel to your model.

    Without a flash, night portraits will be very, very difficult/challenging and your model will appear OOF even if he/she "stands still" for 8 seconds. For night landscapes, probably you don't need a flash as your subjects will likely be outside the flash's effective distance (approx. 10 feet).
    D200

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    I think this website has quite good read on understanding Nikon flash system. Start from part 1: http://nikonclspracticalguide.blogspot.com/

    Another website I do recommend you to check out is Neil vN's Tangents... http://neilvn.com/tangents/index/flash-photography/

    Once you understand how flash exposure and the camera variables (ISO, shutter speed, aperture) work together, you'll know what kind of settings to dial in.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    I think making the model stand there for 8 sec sounds abit silly.. i think flash is the way to go ba..

  10. #10
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by seanyzf View Post
    I think making the model stand there for 8 sec sounds abit silly.. i think flash is the way to go ba..
    Yes it is. You can try to stand for 8 seconds yourself, without moving anything at all. Is it possible?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    what i enjoyed was seeing the word "unprofessional". understand the limitations of your equipment before you help people

  12. #12
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by hamburger View Post
    Hi Guys I've a few questions about night photography. I'm using a nikon D7000 and was wondering if I should get a flash for my night photography. I'm into taking potraits people at night and was wondering if a flash is needed. If we increase the exopsure time without using flash, making the model stand there for like 8 seconds, will we be seen as unprofessional? I believe that with the long exopsure we'll be able to capture the beasutiful scenary lights as well but with flash the scenary light might not be that outstanding. I'm not sure if I'm on the right track, please guide me.
    Use a flash. No other way round if you are going to shoot night portrait... or up your ISO to very very high, then clean up your pics with post processing (although I doubt too much can be done).
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  13. #13

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Yes it is. You can try to stand for 8 seconds yourself, without moving anything at all. Is it possible?
    maybe martial arts masters like Bruce Lee and Jet Li can?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    maybe martial arts masters like Bruce Lee and Jet Li can?
    Sir Stamford Raffles can do it. Has been standing at Empress Place w/o moving since February 1919.
    D200

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    Damn he needs a break..
    Equipment: D800|D700|11-16|28-75|105 Micro VR|50 F1.4G|85 F1.8G
    Through the Lens of Cowseye

  16. #16

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by bruggink View Post
    Sir Stamford Raffles can do it. Has been standing at Empress Place w/o moving since February 1919.
    u sure he stood there since 1919 at empress place?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by seanyzf View Post
    u sure he stood there since 1919 at empress place?
    Goosh.. You mean he did move?!?! The only time I can think of was probably during the Japanese invasion of Singapore when he tried to escape the bombings.. Otherwise he should be at Empress Place since 1919.
    D200

  18. #18

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    asking your subject(s) to stand still is possible. i've posed for night portraits with light trails (from traffic on Orchard road) before. however, not all shots were good (sometimes 1-2 people in the group photo moved). f/1.4 or f/1.8 lens might work if you are okay with a blur background. for sharp background (by stopping down the aperture), flash helps, but it can't be too overpowering (and you have to meter correctly) if not you might end up with a dark background.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bonrya's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hamburger
    Making the model stand there for like 8 seconds, will we be seen as unprofessional?
    I saw pros that make the model stand for 15-20 second exposures and use a flashlight to do light painting before. The pics come out really impressive. Don't worry about the 'eyes on you'. Just do your own magic.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    any experts can comment on my methodhaven't got chance to try)
    night group portrait,
    iso can go to 1600,
    first use P mode no flash to get an idea of exposure for ambient lights...
    eg camera says shutter 1/10...f4...look at viewfinder whether ambient ok or not...
    switch to M, dial 1/10 and set dial f4 or f6.3 for group > 4 pple...ETTL and fire away..with second curtain syn...then FEC adjust for desired exposure or increase iso...
    wonder what speed below which the second syn flash be most affected by ETTL pre flash?
    Last edited by senser; 20th July 2011 at 11:16 AM.

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