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Thread: Taking night potraits.

  1. #21

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Yeah, if you're trying for specific effects like these, with moving ambient lights, by all means freeze your model. As nathaniel said, it can be hit or miss. For static background scenery though, a flash is kinder

    Quote Originally Posted by nathaniel View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by bonrya View Post
    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.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    If I might make a couple of suggestions...

    Don't bother switching ard P and M modes, just go to M and use the meter there. Take test shots and adjust -- interesting night lighting is often contrasty and can fool the meter.

    For the flash exposure you can go manual too, if your flash allows it - allows for consistent repeated shots, even when you change angles etc.

    Being lazy, here's what I would do:
    Switch to Av mode (this ensures metering for ambient light even with a flash, for Canons. For other brands, you need to select slow-sync or similar.) Set to 2nd curtain sync.
    Mount camera on tripod (handhold if you want a 'special effect' that could actually be quite nice). Set aperture. Check metering. Adjust aperture and/or ISO to get desired shutter speed, within reason). Take shot. Adjust exp comp and/or FEC accordingly.

    You might even have a 'night portrait' scene mode that does the trick.

    Quote Originally Posted by senser View Post
    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?

  3. #23
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    basically there are 2 exposures to consider

    1. the "correct" aperture to use for the flash exposure
    2. the shutter speed to use with the answer of no. 1 for the "correct" exposure for the background

    set the camera up on a tripod
    position your subjects
    set your flash to rear curtain sync
    use manual exposure and set to the answers that you got form 1 and 2

    ISO speed don't really need to be high

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Honestly I dont think flash is really necessary. I think prime lenses like the 50mm 1.4 or 1.8 would do the trick especially for low light.

    Even better, since you're using the D7k, it has a pretty good ISO performance. So, you should really try to play around with the settings, control exposure etc. + singapore being a bright place at night, I dont think it would be much of a problem.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Taking night potraits.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonrya View Post
    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.
    interesting idea: light painting with flashlight. closest i've come to this is to take kids playing with "sparklers" (but at a much shorter exposure than 15-20 sec)

  6. #26

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    I was inspired by that light-painting that I tried on some friends. It was 2.5 to 4 sec exposure n they drew a heart (2ppl) using the phone's LED flashlight. The flash was on 2nd curtain n abt aperture f8 or f10. I realized that any body movement whatsoever before the 2nd curtain flash was not included. The result amazed everyone! You guys should try too, coz it's easy n I'm no pro either Cheers!
    (Note: I had to try about 10+ times to get it right, hehe!)
    Life is full of partings - snapshot them while you can & cherish them!

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