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Thread: Low light interiors

  1. #1
    DH59's Avatar
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    Low light interiors

    Hi all, not been around for some time, so I thought I'd pay a visit and catch up.

    I am going out tomorrow night on the occasion of my sister's 70th birthday (she's a LOT older than me!!) and I thought I would try and get a few images of her, alone and with her friends, and possibly put together a little album for her. My problem is that the pub where we're having the meal is very dark, with walls that are half-panelled in dark wood and walls above painted in a mid-toned colour. If memory serves me correctly from my last visit, there are also beams on the ceiling.

    I will take my flash, but I don't want to have to set up a lighting stand and umbrella, etc, so what would be my best option for settings and where to bounce the flash in such a dark place? It will be dark outside too, so no window light. I have the 580EX II and a small choice of diffusers/bouncers - Fong collapsible, home-made white foam bounce thingy, Stofen.

    Thanks,
    Diane

  2. #2
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Low light interiors

    Diane

    I would generally bounce off the ceiling or from behind/side of me but beware of colour casts. The diffusers will help a lot softening the flash down. Maybe arrange with the landlord to go and do a few test shots before the event? Takes the pressure off a little.

    How good is your camera at low light situations anyway?

    A white balance card may help too.

  3. #3
    DH59's Avatar
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    Re: Low light interiors

    Ian, thanks for your advice.

    It was the colour casts I was worried about, really, and whether to use the white flash bounce attachment I made rather than diffusing the light with the Fong or Stofen. I reckon I might just try both and see which comes out best.

    It's no pressure, as I haven't made any arrangements to do this shoot with my sister. I just thought I'd take my camera and flash along and see if I can get any nice shots.

    I am not really sure about the camera's performance in low light, as it's not something I do a lot. I have the Canon 40D and I would probably use my 24-105mm lens, and I shoot in RAW. I am in the process of starting a photography business, so party/celebration shoots might be something I can add to my repertoire, such as it is at the moment!

    Must get a white balance card - been meaning to do that for ages.

  4. #4
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Low light interiors

    Probably too late for tomorrow, but you could try one of these.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-Prem.../dp/B000HDFH6W

    Enjoy the party!

  5. #5

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    Re: Low light interiors

    If you could rent or borrow a 17-55 f/2.8 IS, I'd recommend you do so. You'll also have little choice but to shoot at 3200 ISO.

  6. #6
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    Re: Low light interiors

    I use a Joe demb Flash Diffuser Pro which is a two-part affair.

    www.dembflashproducts.com

    One part is a diffuser which fits in front of the flash

    The second part is a Flip-It reflector which has an adjustable angle that can be set forward 45 degrees to reflect most of the light from the flash forwars (if there is no ceiling or other surface to bounce off).

    I took these shots at a Chinese night market with no overhead to bounce off...

    Low light interiors

    Low light interiors

    I believe that there is a substitute for the Flash Diffuser pro available in the UK...

  7. #7
    DH59's Avatar
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    Re: Low light interiors

    Ian, thank you for the link to the white balance cards. Will get sorted with that soon.

    Eric, I won't be able to get that lens sorted by tonight, so I will have to make do with what I have for now. I will be looking for a wider lens at some point, though, so I will check that one out.

    Thanks, Richard. They look very good. I did take a look at the Flip-it a while ago, but then bought the Fong diffuser as it was available from a distributor in the UK. I didn't see any substitute for the Flip-it in the UK, but I will look into it.

    I made this bounce attachment a little while ago - linky thing - but I sandwiched some black foam to the white foam to make it a bit more stable. I will give that a try as well.

  8. #8
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Low light interiors

    I dont generally do 'Blue Peter' solutions (for those of you outside the uk its a kids programme thats being going since the 1960s and tend to do 'make them yourself' solutions.)

    However, I must say that a 2 pint plastic milkbottle, suitable carved and mistreated has been in my kit bag for quite a while now as a diffuser and works really well. (bet Mr Fong wishes he had thought of that!) and cost nothing (well I drank the milk and it would have been in the bin otherwise)
    Last edited by shreds; 20th October 2011 at 06:05 PM.

  9. #9
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Low light interiors

    Do we get to see the Party results Diane? How did it go? Did the flash work ok?

  10. #10
    DH59's Avatar
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    Re: Low light interiors

    Ian, I saw a DIY technique using a milk carton some time ago. Perhaps not quite as professional looking as the bought ones though!

    As for the party - well, not too good. Firstly, it was a smaller turnout than I had been led to believe, which is usually the case with my sister's estimations, it has to be said. So, there was only 6 of us there in total.

    I am not happy - perhaps the settings weren't quite right, but I used the Fong diffuser with flash set to manual and camera set to manual and I angled the flash towards the wall to my left for the first one and to the ceiling for the group shot.

    Low light interiors

    Low light interiors

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