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Setting fill flash and ambient for photojournalistic images

Hi Neil 
I need a little advice , Ive been reviewing your Tutorials on Crafty and they are great for when the model is standing still , but how would you determined your ambient and fill flash when you are doing a more photojournalistic images  outdoors where every thing is quickly changing? Sometimes I don't have time to take several test shots to get it correct.  

Lou Recine

Comments

  • dbrunodbruno Member
    Hey, Lou - I know he is pretty busy, but I am really hoping Neil chimes in on this, and gives some ideas and tips. As I think about it, I guess the majority of my work - Event Photography - is really a "photo-journalistic" style.

    I would also like to ask for some tips on"to gel or not to gel", depending on the situation.

    Dave
  • You should always gel tugsten lights, it makes Colour correction much easier.

    Lou Recine

  • dbrunodbruno Member
    Right, but sometimes you can get an awful color cast if the walls are not white or close to white. That's why I wrote "... depending on the situation".

    Dave
  • qrickmanqrickman Member

    Lou

    If you are talking about exposure, try setting your ISO, shutter and aperture manually and set your flash to TTL. I typically set my shutter to the maximum sync speed with a relatively low ISO setting so I’m using a low f stop and adjust the flash exposure compensation -1/3 to -1.  You’ll have to adjust for the ambient as conditions change.

    Quin

  • dbrunodbruno Member
    Quin - when you set your shutter, ISO, and aperture, are you centering your in-camera exposure meter to 0? (That would be on the ambient light, correct?)If you are, then what is your flash doing for you, other than a catchlight? I'm not doubting your method by any means, I'm just curious.

    Dave
  • dbrunodbruno Member
    Quin - Why I ask this question is: I deal with lousy ambient lighting often during events I photograph - a mixture of tungsten and colored, dark walls, sunlight blasting in from one side of a room, etc. Lately (depending on the situation), I have been under-exposing the ambient by about a stop, and making my on-camera flash work harder. In big ballrooms for conferences, I might have my flash at full manual (I carry an external battery pack in a shoulder bag). Anyway, it seems to be working mostly, based on the "if you don't like the ambient, stomp on it" idea.

    Dave
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Lou, for fast-changing lighting I would rely on the TTL flash's capability to give me results which are more or less balanced the way I want to. 

    I would still use Manual Exposure mode on my camera, and then TTL on the flash. If you really have to, then use Aperture Priority on the camera, and TTL flash. 

    Dial your FEC to -1 or -2.  
    In other words, adjust to taste. 

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