What is the proper way to take night outdoor flash potrait?


edenK

New Member
Apr 28, 2010
121
0
0
#1
Hi all - as above.

Normally I'll just set to manual mode, higher iso to get the "background bokeh" & experiment with the flash settings.
Very tedious process so I thought I must be doing something wrong. =(

Would would you guys do instead?
1. Nice night background bokeh i.e. round orbs or sharp background i.e. singapore flyer
2. Correct exposure on subject
 

tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
3,660
10
0
#2
really depends on the lighting condition.

in general, i will:

1) exposure for ambient(background) lighting first, without using flash
2) bump up my ISO to attain at least a hand-holdable shutter speed
3) add in flash(2nd curtain if need be) and fill in the lighting for your human subjects
 

Last edited:

farbird

New Member
Jan 14, 2004
670
0
0
41
www.farbird.com
#3
ISO 800-1600 to get the background properly exposed.
decrease the flash exposure compensation value to prevent over exposing the faces.
relatively fast shutter speeds to prevent motion blur.

last but not least, using a f2.8 or larger aperture lens and IS helps too.
 

pinholecam

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
10,929
84
48
#4
1. Set camera to M.
2. Expose for the ambient. If your subject is cooperative and can stand still, you can use a tripod to go a bit lower on the shutter speed so that you don't need too high an ISO.
3. Power on flash on ttl mode. If your flash is smart enough in ttl mode it should expose your subject properly. Adjust flash power compensation to taste. (Nikon flash system supposed to be the best in business). If ceiling is low enough, you can bounce the flash for more flattering and softer light.
4. Failing #4, use the flash in M mode and adjust flash power accordingly.
 

coolthought

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2008
2,310
1
0
#5
edenK said:
Hi all - as above.

Normally I'll just set to manual mode, higher iso to get the "background bokeh" & experiment with the flash settings.
Very tedious process so I thought I must be doing something wrong. =(

Would would you guys do instead?
1. Nice night background bokeh i.e. round orbs or sharp background i.e. singapore flyer
2. Correct exposure on subject
The most important keywords you have to know here is "slow sync flash".
Go find out what it is and how to use properly.

If there is movement in your subject, go read and find out what is "rear curtain sync and front curtain sync"

If you want to have a sharp background at night, use a tripod or shoot at a shutterspeed fast enough so that there will be no handshake blur. Just as the same you would do in a normal landscape photo.

You can also shoot in Aperture or Shutterspeed priority mode and together with TTL or i-TTL, it should be a breeze getting everything right as the camera and flash will help to determine the correct exposure and at the same time let you determine the dof and whether to have motion blur or motion freeze. Do note that not all lenses allow the flash to be set to TTL mode.

Going a step further, find out what are the deflectors and diffusers available and it's results and how to use off camera flash.
 

Last edited:
Top Bottom