Indoor Exposure Mixing


McGregNi

Link Posted 08/01/2019 - 01:49
A flash failing to fire for one shot gave me the idea to show this example:

How the ambient and flash exposures are independent, and how powerful a single on-camera flash can be in controlling extreme contrast indoors ....

The scenario was a bit of birthday cake baking, with bright sunshine streaming in from the windows behind. This sunlight was creating very bright highlights on the wall but leaving the table area and faces facing away from the window in deep shadow. So it was of course flash to the rescue, not direct flash, but on-camera sideways bounced and flagged ....

This is the equipment : K7, AF-540FGZII, "Flag thing"




I had to meter for the ambient in order to control the very bright sun highlights which were going to be in the picture ..... if I didn't do this then these highlights could blow out and be an ugly distraction. So in Manual mode I fixed the settings at ISO400 / F8.0 / 1/180th, which just brought the sun highlights under control .... here is the shot without the flash, showing the extreme contrast in this sort of situation, and of course it demonstrates how difficult contrast control would be without flash ....




Then of course its flash to the rescue, with the on-camera flagged AF-540FGZII in P-TTL mode, the light being bounced to the right of the camera position into the walls and coming back onto the left side of my sons face ..... (my daughters whole face is illuminated more evenly because she is turned more towards the light source) ....




The result is an evenly balanced exposure mixing the ambient highlights and flash covered areas, taking care of the extreme contrast challenges in the scene. The angle of the bounce I hope gives a natural impression as the direction of the flash light appears to come from the brightly lit wall area ....

I hope this will prompt some more Pentax Users to try out some bounced flagged flash indoors when needing to take control over contrast, and when combining ambient and flash exposures will deal with dynamic range challenges. Hope you find it useful
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

richandfleur

Link Posted 08/01/2019 - 02:17
Great real world example.

[Side note but I think photographers tend to worry about blown highlights much much more than your everyday viewer.
In some cases blowing out the windows means the viewers attention is more on the indoor subject matter, without the irrelevant outside content being a distraction. ]

Bounced can do a great job of widely illuminating a scene, and it looks very natural too. Thanks for sharing.

stub

Link Posted 08/01/2019 - 02:40
After metering for the ambient light and getting that correct. Why choose P-TTL for the flash exposure and not manual ?
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..

McGregNi

Link Posted 08/01/2019 - 03:52
richandfleur wrote:
Great real world example....

Bounced can do a great job of widely illuminating a scene, and it looks very natural too. Thanks for sharing.

You're welcome Richard, I hope it sparks some ideas for indoors flash use!

stub wrote:
After metering for the ambient light and getting that correct. Why choose P-TTL for the flash exposure and not manual ?

I think automatic or manual modes for flash comes down to the situation, and the amount of fluidity if things are changing. Certainly for on-camera work I always use P-TTL, its more efficient than trying to find a manual setting I believe. In this case, the ambient exposure was always going to be static, so Manual suited that, but I was moving around the table and getting different angles and distances, so for the subjects themselves and the foreground then P-TTL was best, as it automatically adjusts and accounts for the bounce angles and distances.

If the flash was off the camera, and therefore not moving around, then Manual would make sense .... although nowadays with the excellent Cactus XTTL firmware, I find there is very little practical workflow differences between Manual and TTL modes!
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 08/01/2019 - 03:55

RobL

Link Posted 08/01/2019 - 07:38
What white balance do you use? I find that the multi setting works best with different light sources (when I remember!).

McGregNi

Link Posted 08/01/2019 - 08:27
This is Flash WB, as the main subjects are lit entirely by flash. There's a fine tuning tweak of 4 steps towards cool, because the walls are a creamy warm white, and flash takes on the colour cast from surfaces it bounced off.

I wasn't worried about the ambient WB, as it is so secondary to the images in this case.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

stub

Link Posted 08/01/2019 - 10:47
Great thread.. Its nice to talk lighting for a change...
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..

McGregNi

Link Posted 08/01/2019 - 17:33
Yes, there's so much potential, but unfortunately the vast majority are not venturing beyond the familiar, or the idea that you don't need flash as the ISO can always be turned up ....

I try to show the mundane, everyday things that can be captured far better with some general practical flash techniques. I'm sure there's plenty of occasions when our cameras are staying in the cupboards, when they could be out in use creating images that no phone can do, if only the full utility of the DSLR system was being taken advantage of.

There's a member just above selling a flash after one use, because he "doesn't use flash" .....I wouldn't hi jack his thread out of courtesy, but I hope he looks wider to here and cancels his sale .....
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 08/01/2019 - 17:36

McGregNi

Link Posted 09/01/2019 - 19:11
. No, looks like he's going for the sale .....
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

richandfleur

Link Posted 09/01/2019 - 23:24
I don't use the flash particularly well, but your posts always motivate me to try a bit harder.

McGregNi wrote:
the idea that you don't need flash as the ISO can always be turned up ....

The flash allows you to relight the scene as you'd like, and that's quite different conceptually to just boosting the light levels in a darker shot.

stub

Link Posted 09/01/2019 - 23:55
McGregNi wrote:
Yes, there's so much potential, but unfortunately the vast majority are not venturing beyond the familiar, or the idea that you don't need flash as the ISO can always be turned up ....

I try to show the mundane, everyday things that can be captured far better with some general practical flash techniques. I'm sure there's plenty of occasions when our cameras are staying in the cupboards, when they could be out in use creating images that no phone can do, if only the full utility of the DSLR system was being taken advantage of.

There's a member just above selling a flash after one use, because he "doesn't use flash" .....I wouldn't hi jack his thread out of courtesy, but I hope he looks wider to here and cancels his sale .....

Exactly...!! Well said. We don't need to visit the spectacular or go on holiday to use our camera's.. Mundane things can bring just as good results...

Sorry bit of a personal rant..!!
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..

McGregNi

Link Posted 10/01/2019 - 17:28
richandfleur wrote:
.... The flash allows you to relight the scene as you'd like, and that's quite different conceptually to just boosting the light levels in a darker shot.

Yes, and I was aiming to show how in fact no photo really exists in the configuration as shot without flash, as the light distribution is completely wrong (assuming we don't sacrifice dynamic range limits completely). Richard I'm glad you saw this and I hope you re still enjoying exploring new possibilities with your flash. I strongly recommend getting a flag type diffuser and going for sideways (and slightly upwards) bounce, as the results can be far better than basic ceiling bounce.

And Stuart, yes, lets keep on photographing the mundane things about life, so long as we use flash to control the contrast and quality of light!
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

McGregNi

Link Posted 13/01/2019 - 19:11
Thanks!
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
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