Advice Needed on Hot-Spots


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Aug 20, 2004
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#1
Hi, I have taken a banquet using a dslr for the first time. More than half of them have very harsh hot-spots - the not-pretty-kind, you know.

I have asked around and the constant thing I hear is to meter on the spot, ie no compensation.

This is a little ' unatural' to me becasue I always meter with +1.5 stops or more most of the time. Anyway, what I'm trying to ask is:

- is it a MUST to meter -right on the spot , ie trust the cam when shooting digital?

- does it gives 18% grey for a white object we do not compensate durnig metering?


I know these are very basic questions to most people but I need all the help I can get.

Thanks:)

DT
 

Ashleyy

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#2
dreamtheatre said:
Hi, I have taken a banquet using a dslr for the first time. More than half of them have very harsh hot-spots - the not-pretty-kind, you know.

I have asked around and the constant thing I hear is to meter on the spot, ie no compensation.

This is a little ' unatural' to me becasue I always meter with +1.5 stops or more most of the time. Anyway, what I'm trying to ask is:

- is it a MUST to meter -right on the spot , ie trust the cam when shooting digital?

- does it gives 18% grey for a white object we do not compensate durnig metering?


I know these are very basic questions to most people but I need all the help I can get.

Thanks:)

DT
I always find that shooting w/o any ev compensation is the best for digital, less details lost.. But the pic will be slightly under-exposed.. If you want to compensate, use around +1/3 to +1ev should be enough.

Lastly, if you're taking dinner shots, avoid the white table cloth. They tend to over-exposed when you use flash on your subjects and especially when you add your +1.5ev
 

bonfire

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#3
dreamtheatre said:
Hi, I have taken a banquet using a dslr for the first time. More than half of them have very harsh hot-spots - the not-pretty-kind, you know.

I have asked around and the constant thing I hear is to meter on the spot, ie no compensation.

This is a little ' unatural' to me becasue I always meter with +1.5 stops or more most of the time. Anyway, what I'm trying to ask is:

- is it a MUST to meter -right on the spot , ie trust the cam when shooting digital?

- does it gives 18% grey for a white object we do not compensate durnig metering?


I know these are very basic questions to most people but I need all the help I can get.

Thanks:)

DT
That depends on what type of camera you use, matrix metering will work in most situation for nikon. For canon, you need a little knowledge on shooting with spot-metering.
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#5
HotSpots said:
You use direct flash? Try bouncing the flash off the ceiling or bounce card.
hotspots giving advice on hotspots... :bsmilie:

actually for his situation, wedding dinner, most likely would have bounced the flash about liao... (btw i thought its some birthday thingy?)

i think for such situation, most ppl would put on those makeups that produce very reflective results, hence, bouncing would only lighten, not diminish... best way is still a diffuser... den bounce, set flash to manual... hehehe... :thumbsup: or simple, just do more post processing... and if print 3R/4R, u wouldn't see a difference...
 

Aug 20, 2004
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Serangoon Nth
#6
Thanks a million guys :)

Yes, actually I caught quite a bit of the table cloth because I use them as reflectors also - to fill up the shadows under the face caused by the bounced flash.

So I better be careful to lessen the coverage white reflective stuff when I compose, is that right?

For my own set up, I just trust the E-ttl becasue I have no bad results so far. Unless there are big patch of black or white in the frame, which I will use FEL - but alwyas with +1.5 for flash compensation.

With all your kind and generous advices, I think I am a step closer to geetign famliar with dslr. Thanks :) (but also means I must 'fight' harder to resist the urge to buy one ...hahaaa )

Thanks everyone! but pls keep your advices coming, I'm not closing this thread yet.

DT
 

Splutter

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#7
I think sometimes hot spots are unavoidable esp when it comes to reflective surfaces. Like wat Del_CtrlnoAlt (really hard to rem leh) has mentioned, can only try to reduce by bouncing, best if via a white ceiling. I also find that on most DSLR, the exposure is slightly under, best if overexpose it by abt 0.5 -1 stop. Oh yeah, just to note that when using a 300D or 10D series, flash ETTL metering is via the partial circle for auto focus and the entire scene for manual focus. Sometimes this screw things up when you are the type who focus and recompose.
 

Aug 20, 2004
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#8
Yeah, I was told about the problem with intellegent flash exposure system like the e-ttl. Luckily till now, I've not encountered any major exposure problem with my film cam :)

Would'nt it be safer to under expose when shotting digital? I was told that it is easier to recover the image this way. For overexposure, from my understanding,, there is no way to 'PS' it and get the details of the image.

Advice? Thanks :)
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#9
dreamtheatre said:
Yeah, I was told about the problem with intellegent flash exposure system like the e-ttl. Luckily till now, I've not encountered any major exposure problem with my film cam :)

Would'nt it be safer to under expose when shotting digital? I was told that it is easier to recover the image this way. For overexposure, from my understanding,, there is no way to 'PS' it and get the details of the image.

Advice? Thanks :)
yeap, underexpose in digital pics, can play with curves to get back to its 'optimum' exposure, overexpose become white spots (in digital = no data) den cannot revive. esp in raw, can play with lightings later even if you din do Custom white balance.

btw, my nick Del_CtrlnoAlt, most ppl in other forum use DCA lah, easier to remember as well... some use DCnA also...
 

ortega

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#10
actually the problem is that you have to change your mindset when shooting digital,
on film (negs) when you +1.5 there is still enough latitude to save the picture, while on digital when you do the same the results is "no data" as mentioned by DCA above.
 

Aug 20, 2004
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#11
:)

Thanks thanks everyone with your input. Keep'em coming please:)

So , that means that even if I shoot a white object with maybe -0.5ev, the 'original pic will come out as not pure white (18%grey) --- but by doing some adjustments , I can get back a true white color? Is that it?

This leads me to think that composing with digital is more tricky because if there is something white in the background and your subject is of a darker color, then, must compose in such a way to minimise the white/bright background so as to get the same brightness range for the whole pic.

But then again, I see many amazing digital pics by CS'ers that have wild dynamic ranges, is this down to the use of PS ?

DT
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#12
if your object is white, depends on your background already... and depends on the nature of the white, PVC reflective white, or Cloth silky white, or something non reflective, rather dusky white.. every white gives of a different feel to capture.

for eg, to shoot a white PVC tube, your background confirm cannot be white, cos it will blend in, also cannot be black, cos it will look like black & white photo... so best to get a dynamic range is use blue or red... shoot in raw and play with PS, you can shoot with 0ev... it all depends on how you position the light & where u meter it. no point playing with the 18% grey just to get a perfect white to take the pic... digital is not same as film... (just found out that my D7D have zone matching & reading it up mean that when i use that, it will emphasize black details or white details when u select the correct settings.)

btw the reverse is a whole new story... colored objects with white background....
 

yqt

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#14
ortega said:
ha ha RTFM works
All right Ortega, I was wandering when you'll say this.
Ortega with his by now famous advise, RTFM, and it really work!
For me I either use bounce or an omni bounce with the flashlight at about 60 deg. up. It seems to work for me as the table cloth is not wash out and the people are properly exposed. And OT abit, for dinner shots you can bum up the asa or use higher asa film. For digital I've tried to go up to as high as 800 asa.
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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yqt said:
All right Ortega, I was wandering when you'll say this.
Ortega with his by now famous advise, RTFM, and it really work!
For me I either use bounce or an omni bounce with the flashlight at about 60 deg. up. It seems to work for me as the table cloth is not wash out and the people are properly exposed. And OT abit, for dinner shots you can bum up the asa or use higher asa film. For digital I've tried to go up to as high as 800 asa.
if use high iso den cannot print big big copies liao lor, or maybe use noise reduction software... (asa same as iso rite...)

actually your idea is good... cos i tend to forget about iso, used too much prosumer cams, den restrict myself to low iso den try every method of flashing...

after this i guess, maybe just use high iso, lower the flash ratings, so lesser reflection from strong lightings may help. cos the stronger the flash, the more 'power' the hotspots...
 

yqt

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#16
Del_CtrlnoAlt said:
if use high iso den cannot print big big copies liao lor, or maybe use noise reduction software... (asa same as iso rite...)
yes that's right. I've tried with ASA 800 and sent to lab for correction and written on CD , I blow it up to 8X12 and it still look acceptable. Not super sharp and grain free but acceptable. Not much noise too. I think the lab took care of that.

I think better not OT too much here. The tread starter is asking about flash light and we're talking about ASA speed.
 

Aug 20, 2004
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Serangoon Nth
#17
Hi yqt,

no problem, as long as it's about photography knowledge, it's fine by me. Anyway, DCA and I know each other, so considered ka-ki-lang :)

My digital pics from that night was using ASA800, still got hot spots, I guessed I must have been really overexposing it right?

What is OT ?


(that's why i dun restrict topic in ths thread, always got something new comming up)
 

Aug 20, 2004
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Serangoon Nth
#19
KT SMS me , I can only confirm by tomorrow evening, sorry.

What new weapon? with all the killer gears KT has, he can start a rental business already :)

Why din I know you guys earlier? Then I will use Nikon.....seeing all the cool stuff but can't try ....very peck-chek...hahaaa ... :D

Now I myself OT already.....but it's my thread so I guess it's OK ;)

anyway,hope I can join you guys on sunday. Still got 1/2 roll of ASA400 and ASA 1600 'must' finish shooting so can process them.
 

yqt

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#20
dreamtheatre said:
Hi yqt,

no problem, as long as it's about photography knowledge, it's fine by me. Anyway, DCA and I know each other, so considered ka-ki-lang :)

My digital pics from that night was using ASA800, still got hot spots, I guessed I must have been really overexposing it right?

What is OT ?


(that's why i dun restrict topic in ths thread, always got something new comming up)
Did you see the hotspots on all the shots and were you using direct flash without omni bounce? It can happen sometimes :think: .
Another thing to note, some flash with auto zoom are not totally compatable with the camera ie: my flash and my cam. You may be shooting at wide angle but your flash is at telezoom ie: camera at 28mm zoom and flash at 85mm zoom. Don't laugh, it have happened before :sweat: . Check it out.
 

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