How to shoot night portraits?


#1
Been trying to shoot handheld but am not getting it right. It's always either:

1) people turn up in the pics and the background is totally blacked out (with flash, A mode, f8, iso800)

2) everything is correctly exposed but image is blur due to hand shake(without flash, A mode, f8, iso4000)

experts please advice what settings you normally use? Should I take with or without flash?

I'm using the 18-105 lens mainly when I'm out with my family. Tripod is not a solution as i'm with family and will need to take care of child also(no hands for so many things). My equipment list is in the sig, feel free to advice this noob. Thanks!
 

catchlights

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Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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#2
you need to balance exposure the ambient in background and flash on your subject,

the best way is shoot in manual exposure mode, so take the meter reading the background, make your exposure it in hand held-able shutter speed and about one to one half stops underexposed, and shoot with flash, you may need to adjust flash compensation to suit your taste.

please don't ask for magic setting, as we don't know how bright is the background and how the composition be and how near how far you are away from your subject.
 

tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
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#3
expose for the background but with a handhold-able shutter speed.

then fill in your subjects with your flash.
 

#4
you need to balance exposure the ambient in background and flash on your subject,

the best way is shoot in manual exposure mode, so take the meter reading the background, make your exposure it in hand held-able shutter speed and about one to one half stops underexposed, and shoot with flash, you may need to adjust flash compensation to suit your taste.

please don't ask for magic setting, as we don't know how bright is the background and how the composition be and how near how far you are away from your subject.
haha... am not asking for magic settings cos I know it doesn't exist.
Just wanna tap on the experience you guys have and how you do it so that I can try it out.

I'm still a noob when it comes it handling my camera... :sweat:

How do I "meter the background"?
(currently reading up the camera metering in cambridgeincolour)
 

Last edited:

FTphoto

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Apr 19, 2011
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#5
Just turn the knob to night potrait mode. let the camera do everything for you
 

robin-ang

New Member
Sep 11, 2011
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sengkang
#6
SkimMilk said:
Been trying to shoot handheld but am not getting it right. It's always either:

1) people turn up in the pics and the background is totally blacked out (with flash, A mode, f8, iso800)

2) everything is correctly exposed but image is blur due to hand shake(without flash, A mode, f8, iso4000)

experts please advice what settings you normally use? Should I take with or without flash?

I'm using the 18-105 lens mainly when I'm out with my family. Tripod is not a solution as i'm with family and will need to take care of child also(no hands for so many things). My equipment list is in the sig, feel free to advice this noob. Thanks!
Hi bro u can try to use on f8-11 and 1/10
Or higher a bit and iso u have to try manage ur own self...by the way for shoot in low SS try to learn ur breathing skill and how handle ur hand shake..
Try google it..
 

Last edited:

kutten

New Member
May 12, 2008
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#7
haha... am not asking for magic settings cos I know it doesn't exist.
Just wanna tap on the experience you guys have and how you do it so that I can try it out.

I'm still a noob when it comes it handling my camera... :sweat:

How do I "meter the background"?
(currently reading up the camera metering in cambridgeincolour)
This one may help.... watch the 2nd half portion of the video.

On-Camera Flash Basics - YouTube
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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rainy Singapore
#10
haha... am not asking for magic settings cos I know it doesn't exist.
Just wanna tap on the experience you guys have and how you do it so that I can try it out.

I'm still a noob when it comes it handling my camera... :sweat:

How do I "meter the background"?
(currently reading up the camera metering in cambridgeincolour)
You find out the appropriate exposure settings in order to have the background adequately exposed. If you know how to take meter reading, you should know how to meter the background :)
 

takafan

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2008
1,000
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Bedok
#12
ZerocoolAstra said:
I prefer "keep still for 2seconds!" for that lovely forced-smile look ;)
Keep still and don't move after first flash thinking it's over...? ;)
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#16
it all depends on how bright the background is. and your flash control.

slow down your shutter speed, increase your ISO. and adjust and adjust till the setting is just right.
 

#18
Not photographer keep still, but subject keep still for 2s :)
wahahha! this one lagi jialat!
ahahaha...

Kei: shooting with family is tough... they expect the dslr to behave like a compact. PnS nia. Whenever I tweak settings, they say I take too long and walk off.... *sigh*
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#19
hmm i've got an idea. tell everyone in the area with a DSLR, who are standing in the background.... to shoot their own group photos at the same time.

i guarantee you, that the background will very bright :bsmilie:
 

takafan

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2008
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Bedok
#20
wahahha! this one lagi jialat!
ahahaha...

Kei: shooting with family is tough... they expect the dslr to behave like a compact. PnS nia. Whenever I tweak settings, they say I take too long and walk off.... *sigh*
You can always take a reading of the available light before hand since it's already dark ~ Set to manual then fill in the flash accordingly will do.....
 

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