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On Camera Flash

IanBarberIanBarber Member
edited August 2013 in flash & lighting
Having watched a Craftsy video by Neil, I more or less understand now how to deal with photographing a subject with a bright background by keeping to the max sync speed.

The part I am not quite getting is if the ambient is low for example...

I'm stood in front of a flower and the ambient has metered to ..

1/8th @ f/2.8 @ ISO 800

Now I know I cannot hand hold at 1/8th so would you increase the shutter to say 1/60th and let the flash do the rest in TTL


  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    There are two exposures: ambient + flash

    In the example you mention (flower), the ambient light isn't sufficient. So instead of going the usual way of properly metering for exposure, you just shrug a little, and switch you TTL flash on and let your flash take care of your exposure.
  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited August 2013
    Yes you technically can hand hold at 1/8 but it is not the best thing to do on a regular basis. If you are in really dark environment say a poorly lit reception pros will shoot slow shutter speeds to bring in more ambient light. The trick is to insure the camera meter shows at least two stops underexposed. This will make the flash the dominant light source and essentially freeze the subject because the burst is so fast.

    The drawback is the flash will only freeze within a certain distance. If your subject is within 10 feet or so it will freeze him/her but people further back are subject to motion blur. Not a good technique to use if there is dancing in the background. If you are steady and there is not much movement then it is OK. A little background movement will go unnoticed as the focus is on the subject/s.

    I took this at 1/15, the ambient was at least two stops underexposed. I swept the camera pressing the shutter. Notice that the T shirt and card on the table look OK. The xmas tree and background is blurred. You could get some nice effects at events after you get your key shots. I'm still working on it. Of course with high ISO capable cameras these it is easier to bring in ambient in a low lit situation.

  • Hi IanBaber
    You have to raise your Iso
    I created a couple of example images for you . Both images S.O.C with a little Colour Correction
    1st w/o flash just enough ambient exp F2.8 1/160 @ 1600 Iso


    2nd image with Bounced Flash same ambient exp

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