Originally posted by fish
Interesting. Thanks for sharing.
If u don't mind me asking, for indoor events like such, u mean it would be good to use higher ISOs (eg. 200 - 400)?
what difference will that make?
i got no idea on this. hope u dun mind giving me some tips.
i'm assuming u're also asking in general how to take good flash photos. gosh, this is a big topic and it's 12:30 am now, but i'll try ;p i'm assuming u have some kind of auto / TTL flash
Using manual flashes changes things!
First, the golden rules:
1. flash metering is different from ambient light metering.
2. Changing your aperture affects the amount of flash output. Set a big aperture say f2, and the flash output will be less. Set a smaller aperture and the flash output will be increased. (Note: this applies for TTL flashes)
3. Changing your shutter speeds will NOT affect the amount of flash output by your camera. (Note: this applies for TTL flashes)
4. Changing your shutter speed affects the amount of ambient light reaching your camera. Set a lower shutter speed and you will be able to capture more of the ambient light of the scene.
A nice flash photo should show your subjects well exposed by the flash, and still show the background to give context as to where they are. (my opinion anyway, otherwise, you may as well take the same shot in a studio with black background). Okay, sometimes u might want a certain effect, and really want a in-your-flash flash photo, but let's ignore those options for the time being.
Let's imagine the typical indoor scene at a dinner, and u're asked to take a group photo. If u use a compact camera with slow film, or with your SLR in P or auto mode, the result is a guaranteed shot whereby subjects are well exposed, but the background is completely black. (most likely the flash would be quite harsh as well). Not very nice right? Your SLR in P or Auto mode or a compact camera will thoughtfully try to limit your shutter speeds to a handholdable value, but this also ensures you lose the background. A faster film will help, but not much.
So now with your SLR, and keeping the golden rules in mind, meter the ambient light and determine the correct exposure for the scene. Is the shutter speed reasonable? If yes, go ahead and take the photo with your camera in manual mode.
most likely however, the shutter speed will be fairly low, esp indoors. A good tried and tested method would be to deliberately underexpose the background by 1 stop. This should still allow you to capture the background, while making your subjects stand out a little. Adjusting your shutter speed (remember that shutter speeds affect ambient light exposure) to underexpose the scene by 1 stop will allow you to use your flash to illuminate your subjects nicely while still retaining the background.
Sometimes however, it may be so dark that even underexposing by 1-2 stops don't help with good shutter speeds. That's when a higher speed film comes in. A higher ISO allows you to have more shutter speed. Normally pple use ISO 400 for most indoor shoots, but i've known of wedding photographers who use ISO 800 for wedding dinners.
So you see, it's a constant juggling between good shutter speeds and ambient light capture. Sometimes, it may be so dark that you do have to sacrifice the background for handholdable shutter speeds. Also, be careful of depth of field for large groups of pple. Setting too big an aperture may allow less flash output, but your subjects may be out of focus if they are standing out of the plane of focus.
for group shots, the most i go down is f4 and 1/30s - with a wide angle lens. Generally i try to shoot with higher (safer) shutter speeds of 1/50 to 1/60 and with a smaller aperture of f5.6. Your in camera meter is your best friend for telling you how much are u underexposing (or overexposing - watch out for that, esp when u change from indoor to outdoor shoot. watch that meter!)
hope this helps. i'm sure others may have some good tips too. note that the above applies to indoor shooting. outdoor fill flash technique is another different story.