Where to meter when doing slow sync for sunset shots with people?


Aimevous

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2009
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#1
Hi,

I've always had a problem when shooting people with sunsets in the background.

Because it is a little bit dark, I will usually fire a flash at the people.

However, I would like to know when using the Aperture priority mode in slow sync flash mode, do you meter the sky or the human face, assuming the flash gun (external flash) is set to auto?

Because right now I can't seem to get it right and I'm mostly using full manual for my body and flash but sometimes it takes way too many tries to get it right and I lose the enthusiasm from the human subjects.

Or am I missing out something or doing something wrong here?

Thanks!
 

aspenx

New Member
Aug 10, 2008
1,350
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#2
It is not just about where you take your metering from but also how.

Matrix/evaluative metering will take the entire frame into consideration when giving you the reading so it is useless in this application (assuming that you have both the sunset and subject in your frame) because it will try to give you a reading that attempts to somewhat "average" the entire scene to a neutral gray.

What I will do is meter the sunset with maybe -0.3EV compensation in matrix/evaluative metering mode, use that aperture and shutter speed combination (adjust accordingly if you want more/less DOF etc) in manual mode, change the metering to spot or centre-averaging and meter the subject and let the flash take care of the rest.
 

May 5, 2009
480
0
16
#3
first you have to take care of your background (i.e. sunset) first, i will usually set to aperture priority and take a photo, usually u will need a small aperture (say f8-f11) because you will wan both subject and background to be sharp, depending on the result, i will make some exposure compensation accordingly (usually need -ve compensation), then turn to manual mode and set the settings accordingly. then turn on your flash, set it to auto, focus on your subject (not the background), and shoot, look at the photo, adjust flash compensation if necessary. also, try not to shoot too close to your subject as this will decrease the DOF, experiment yourself to get a reasonably sharp subject and background.

so usually i'll take about 2-3 test shots before the actual one, and all these are usually done while they are posing themselves, ppl tend to lose their patience if we take too long to get the "right" setting, so shoot more and experiment more! enjoy! :)
 

Numnumball

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2009
13,899
0
0
Central
#4
Hi,

I've always had a problem when shooting people with sunsets in the background.

Because it is a little bit dark, I will usually fire a flash at the people.

However, I would like to know when using the Aperture priority mode in slow sync flash mode, do you meter the sky or the human face, assuming the flash gun (external flash) is set to auto?

Because right now I can't seem to get it right and I'm mostly using full manual for my body and flash but sometimes it takes way too many tries to get it right and I lose the enthusiasm from the human subjects.

Or am I missing out something or doing something wrong here?

Thanks!
In this kind of scenario, you should meter the sky in P to determine the settings that will propoerly exposed the sky. Following that switch to M, dial in those settings and meter Spot on your sibject (since Spot metering is formed on the basis of measurement from a very small area of the frame which in this case is your subject and thus is more accurate in identifying a specific mid tone to represent correct exposure of that mid tone and other mid tones that is similar to it. ). Lastly ur flash will come in (either as a primary light source or as a fill) to light up ur subjects, adjust ur FEV)-ve or +ve) accordinly to derive a more natural lighting thats blends in with the ambience..

HTH bro :)
 

Aimevous

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2009
787
0
16
#5
In this kind of scenario, you should meter the sky in P to determine the settings that will propoerly exposed the sky. Following that switch to M, dial in those settings and meter Spot on your sibject (since Spot metering is formed on the basis of measurement from a very small area of the frame which in this case is your subject and thus is more accurate in identifying a specific mid tone to represent correct exposure of that mid tone and other mid tones that is similar to it. ). Lastly ur flash will come in (either as a primary light source or as a fill) to light up ur subjects, adjust ur FEV)-ve or +ve) accordinly to derive a more natural lighting thats blends in with the ambience..

HTH bro :)
Hi, am I right to say that when in M mode, the metering info that was captured from metering will be used for adjusting the flash?

Since in M, the aperture, iso and shutter is fixed...

Thanks!

whats hth btw? lol
 

aspenx

New Member
Aug 10, 2008
1,350
0
0
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#6
Hi, am I right to say that when in M mode, the metering info that was captured from metering will be used for adjusting the flash?
Yes, since your flash is still in "auto" mode.

HTH in this case means "hope this helps"
 

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