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How to handle tricky lighting?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cajun angel, May 16, 2007.

  1. Today I attended a luncheon that was held outdoors and the lighting was the trickiest I've ever tried to shoot in! The deck was where we were all congregated, so the sun was filtering through the trees. I tried all the tricks I knew to try - except for 1 - fill flash. I was getting everything from under exposure to blown highlights. I tried adjusting the EV settings, checking my highlights, histogram, ISO was at 200, WB for the most part was on shade, I tried upping the
    F stop. I just couldn't get what I was after, and feel I barely managed to pull it off in photo shop. Does anyone have any ideas for next time? I"ll post a photo only if I have to - these were all senior citizens and I don't want to risk upsetting anyone. So, I know it's a hard one to advise without seeing a pic, I'll have to ask permission before posting a pic.
  2. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    Dianne, indeed that is tricky lighting. The best thing to do is to use fill flash from a fairly powerful speedlight like the sb800.

    You can expose for the background and the lower the EV a tad and then use the Flash in ttl/bl (balanced) to add light to the subject. Unfortunatley, you might have hotspots from the sun, if you are in shade with the sun shining thru tree branches.

    This image was shot under a lattice work deck covering...the sun was beaming down and throwing criss-cross shadows everywhere. I took the flash off camera and held it up a bit and shot it in ttl/bl with matrix metering.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2007
  3. Dianne,

    Next time, try this:

    1. Manual mode on camera
    2. Matrix metering...set an aperture/shutter speed that meters your scene to a -1 on your light meter, keeping shutter speed at least 1/125.
    3. Now spot meter. SB800 on TTL. Diffuser on.

    Fire away. The SB800 should properly expose your subject, and your manual camera settings will make the background look darker...thus "popping" your subject a little more, and removing the shadows as much as possible.
  4. Yes, that would be my only suggestion: fill flash.
  5. Definitely fill flash and follow John's advice as he is right on.
  6. Thanks ya'll! I kinda thought about that, but in my big hurry to get my dessert salad made, get ready to go, I forgot to throw in one of my sb800's! I bet next time, I take it! I guess I need a bag big enough to hold the camera and the flash. In some of the photos, I did have completely blown highlights on silver hair, sometimes on a white blouse/shirt, and noticed some hot spots on an arm or hand here and there. All in all, I can say the luncheon was a delightful time, no visiting skunks like last year, and as always the food was just outstanding!
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