Shooting people with bright background


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ehotzc

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Dec 1, 2009
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#1
Dear all,
I wanted to shoot a potrait with bright and beautiful background (eg sunset). I see many pictures where the potrait is bright, while not lossing the beautiful background...
I tried to set my camera's exposure to brighter, end up the potrait is good, but the background (the sky of sunset) became white also.
I tried to set my camera's exposure to darker, end up the potrait is too dark (cannot see the face), but the background is nice...

Is there any way i can have nice background, with nice potrait, without doing any post editting?

Thanks.

regards,
eho
 

ziploc

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Jan 17, 2002
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Snoopyland
#3
Use fill flash. You'll need to adjust flash compensation so that it doesn't look so obvious that it is filled.
 

ehotzc

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Dec 1, 2009
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#4
ah.... thanks for advice... actually i am new in DSLR photography....
Mind to tell me more about what is fill flash, and what is flash compensation? how do i set it?
I am using canon 500D...

Thanks...

regards,
eho
 

redname

New Member
Oct 8, 2009
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#5
does this apply tpo night shots.

for example, the bckgrd are nice bright neon lights and i wanna take shots of my frens

tried this last nite, fill flash and all, shots came out bad. tried to play ard with the flash compensation too
 

ZerocoolAstra

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Mar 13, 2008
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#6
does this apply tpo night shots.

for example, the bckgrd are nice bright neon lights and i wanna take shots of my frens

tried this last nite, fill flash and all, shots came out bad. tried to play ard with the flash compensation too
For night portraits, I think using the flash in 'slow' or 'rear' would work. Then the camera would meter for the dark areas.
But then dark means long exposure. So you gotta have the camera steady, and also the subjects steady for a brief moment.
 

ZerocoolAstra

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Mar 13, 2008
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#7
ah.... thanks for advice... actually i am new in DSLR photography....
Mind to tell me more about what is fill flash, and what is flash compensation? how do i set it?
I am using canon 500D...

Thanks...

regards,
eho
Fill flash, as the name implies, is a burst of light from the flash to fill-in the dark areas.
When you take a photo of someone against a bright background, and the camera meters for the background, then the person's face will be dark. So you need fill flash to help balance the brightness (strange as that sounds.... flash? in the bright outdoors??).
 

redname

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Oct 8, 2009
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#8
For night portraits, I think using the flash in 'slow' or 'rear' would work. Then the camera would meter for the dark areas.
But then dark means long exposure. So you gotta have the camera steady, and also the subjects steady for a brief moment.
oh yah, think saw this in a video b4. hahaha, silly me, old liao, so forgetful. suppose to change the flash to slow instead
 

ziploc

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#9
ah.... thanks for advice... actually i am new in DSLR photography....
Mind to tell me more about what is fill flash, and what is flash compensation? how do i set it?
I am using canon 500D...

Thanks...

regards,
eho
Ah canon user. Don't know, cause I'm a Nikon user. ;p

Ok... here is how it is done in Nikon:
  1. Just pop up the internal flash.
  2. Shoot the pic once the flash is ready.

That's all! The camera will automatically adjust the flash output to perform "fill in". :bsmilie:

Ok here is the catch:

If you're doing fill flash in daylight, and you want to control aperture, you'll probably need a "high speed sync" flash mode. This is especially when you want to use wide aperture (low f-stop number, e.g. f/2.8). Why? Because most DSLR can only sync to 1/250s (or some nearby value, depending on your DSLR make & model). So in broad daylight, and the background is, say, 1/1000s at f/2.8, normal flash will be unable to sync, unless it has "high speed sync" mode. Almost all built in flash do not have this mode, so you'll need an external flash that has this mode.

If on the other hand you're doing the fill at night, you're ok with internal flash, but to have a good picture with both foreground & background properly captured:

  1. You must be using "slow sync" mode (or similar modes that offers slow sync, e.g. rear curtain sync.)
  2. You camera must not be moved during the shoot (e.g. on a tripod or something similar.)
  3. Your foreground subject is holding still.

Cheers and have fun. :)
 

ehotzc

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Dec 1, 2009
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#11
Hi everyone,
Thanks for the advice...
I did try using flash... and the result, the human's lighting is un-natural, eg, too bright....
i am using EX270 flash light of canon. if i direct the flash to the human, the human will be lighted, but too un-natural, but if i direct the flash 90 degree, seems like no effect on the lighting. I am thinking is diffuser useful in this place? where can i get diffuser for 270EX?

regards,
eho
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#12
On your camera, you should be able to reduce the flash intensity through the flash EV setting... am I right?
I know my Nikon can do it! :)
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#13
I did try using flash... and the result, the human's lighting is un-natural, eg, too bright....
i am using EX270 flash light of canon. if i direct the flash to the human, the human will be lighted, but too un-natural, but if i direct the flash 90 degree, seems like no effect on the lighting. I am thinking is diffuser useful in this place? where can i get diffuser for 270EX?
Please check your manual for "Flash Exposure Compensation", it's explained there and it works for pop-up and external flash. Diffuser is a good option, the simplest diffuser is a tissue (one ply) in front of the flash. Not sure if there are some diffusers for the 270, most are for 430 and 580. But if you search here for "IKEA flash diffuser" you'll get an idea for DIY :) Check also for 'Softlite Diffuser' as example how it could work.
Regarding 90 degree angle: what do you expect if you shoot the flash into a different direction than your camera points? Unless you use a reflector (search for 'flash reflector') or a bounce card there is little chance that the light will illuminate your subject.
 

redname

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Oct 8, 2009
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#14
oh yah, one more thing.

if at nite, using slow sync flash to shoot, how to do the metering?
 

spheredome

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Jul 5, 2007
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AMK
#15
What about asking the subject to hold a baking tray to reflect more light on the face.
 

Octarine

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#16
if at nite, using slow sync flash to shoot, how to do the metering?
Meter for the background, without subject. Use Matrix metering (or equivalent of your camera), do some test shots. Once you got the right settings ask your subject to step in, switch on flash and shoot.
 

redname

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Oct 8, 2009
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#17
What about asking the subject to hold a baking tray to reflect more light on the face.
huh? then like tht i gotta bring a baking tray in my camera bag and whenever i see a xmm tht i wanna take a pic of, i'll pass it to her to use ;p
 

redname

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Oct 8, 2009
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#18
Meter for the background, without subject. Use Matrix metering (or equivalent of your camera), do some test shots. Once you got the right settings ask your subject to step in, switch on flash and shoot.
oh ok, thanks for your advise.

guess it's different from daylight where center-weighted metering is used and meter off the sky 1st
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#19
huh? then like tht i gotta bring a baking tray in my camera bag and whenever i see a xmm tht i wanna take a pic of, i'll pass it to her to use ;p
But that will definitely get you lots of attention and plenty of chances to get into closer contact with her. First you need to convince her holding the tray, explain the purpose, then direct her ... can print your email or hp on backside of the tray. And if you fail you will hear the noise of the dropping tray and get lots of attention from people nearby :bsmilie:
 

redname

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Oct 8, 2009
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#20
But that will definitely get you lots of attention and plenty of chances to get into closer contact with her. First you need to convince her holding the tray, explain the purpose, then direct her ... can print your email or hp on backside of the tray. And if you fail you will hear the noise of the dropping tray and get lots of attention from people nearby :bsmilie:
no lah, they will hear the sound of me dropping cause she'll slap me hard with the tray :embrass:
 

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