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Thread: Questions regarding exposure and flash

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    batman44's Avatar
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    Questions regarding exposure and flash


    Just two for right now....

    1) Can someone explain to me how to use the Grey/white card thing for exposure??? How do you DO it???? Tests shot???? How do you read the exposure test then for your picture???


    2) What exactly is fill flash???? I've heard about it but don't know what it really means.

    If there is some online instruction / explaination site I could read that would help me out would be great too. I've searched, but haven't found anything that helps the NEW person - it's all pretty technical...I need basic right now.

    Thanks for any help/guidance!!!!

    Kori
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 16th April 2009 at 02:20 AM. Reason: Change thread title

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    Re: Questions regarding exposure and flash

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    Just two for right now....
    ... but hopefully many more to come

    Can someone explain to me how to use the Grey/white card thing for exposure??? How do you DO it???? Tests shot???? How do you read the exposure test then for your picture???
    Hi Kori,

    This ties in quite a bit with another thread - can I suggest that you have a read through all the posts there, and then get back to us as to how many gaps that fills?

    But in summary; an "18% Gray card" reflects the average value of light from a black and a white surface ... so if your camera is set to expose this right in the middle of it's dynamic range (which is really easy because it's what it tries to do by default anyway) then (barring out-of-the-ordinary phenomina like specular reflections and back lighting) should result in a good exposure. A White card can be used, but it has to be used a bit differently. However - you can use a white OR a gray card for white balancing ... but that's a whole new question for you to ask

    What exactly is fill flash???? I've heard about it but don't know what it really means.
    When you take a photo of someone - and the sun is high in the sky - there is a tendency for unflattering features to be highlighted; eye sockets will be darker - skin abberations will be accentuated - areas around next and ears can disappear into shadows (especially with people who have long hair) - shadows will be cast by the nose etc. So a "fill flash" is a flash (often on camera) that throws a little bit of light forward to "fill in" the shadow areas, thus making for more natural, balanced, and flattering photos.

    Taken to the extreme, if you're shooting into the light, then their vital unless all you want to have is a silhouette.

    Is this helpful as a starting point?
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 16th April 2009 at 02:37 AM.

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    Re: Questions regarding exposure and flash

    Colin-
    oops..... I will read that thread.... probably take me a week to read and another month to understand.... Maybe I should print it out...LOL

    Yes I think I understand fill flash better now. I thought if you had sun you didn't need the flash as it would make the subjects too bright. I will give it a try and see what my outcomes are..... then attack that forum!

    Thanks again Colin for your help and patience!

    Kori

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    Re: Questions regarding exposure and flash

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    Yes I think I understand fill flash better now. I thought if you had sun you didn't need the flash as it would make the subjects too bright.
    Hi Kori,

    It would do if the camera didn't compensate - but modern cameras are pretty clever. You also get the option of applying EC (Exposure Compensation) and FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation) (probably different terminology for Nikon though) - with these you can change how the flash affects the overall distribution of light ... it sounds complicated, but it's actually pretty straight forward

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    Re: Questions regarding exposure and flash

    Colin-
    Pretty straight forward - for you! ha ha

    I have the EC and FEC on my camera settings - so I will have to play with those and see what happens.

    Thanks!

    Kori

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    Re: Questions regarding exposure and flash

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    Colin-
    Pretty straight forward - for you! ha ha
    Trust me, if you can raise a kid, you can figure out EC/FEC!

    I have the EC and FEC on my camera settings - so I will have to play with those and see what happens.
    All it's really doing is biasing the foreground / background exposure to give you more or less light - end of story really!

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    Re: Questions regarding exposure and flash

    Kori, some good subjects to look for if you are doing a Google are, Fill Flash, Balanced Fill Flash, Backlighting Fill Flash.

    I would say that I use my flash as much for "Fill" work as I do for indoor work.

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    Re: Questions regarding exposure and flash

    Colin,

    I now have an 18 yr old son...who thinks he can come and go as he pleases ....so I have challenges ahead...so yes...this camera challenge does seem easier to tackle than him!

    Bill-

    I will make sure to google those specific words to see what I come up with. Thanks!

    Time is short the next week or too as I am volunterring some Overtime at work - but the overtime will be done at home....So I will be busy! My breaks away will be this photo stuff....as confusing as it is...it's much more relaxing!

    Spring is looking closer as we might hit the low 60's tomorrow! It's about time! Tired of being so cold and windy! Gets me in a good mood and wanting to go out and shoot more...

    Thanks!!!!

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    Re: Questions regarding exposure and flash

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    Colin,

    I now have an 18 yr old son...who thinks he can come and go as he pleases ....so I have challenges ahead...so yes...this camera challenge does seem easier to tackle than him!
    Hi Kori,

    I'm reminded of the old saying: "Tell him to leave home, get a job, and pay his own way ... while he still knows everything!"

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    batman44's Avatar
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    Re: Questions regarding exposure and flash

    Colin-
    I love it!

    It's so true...I showed him this and he laughed. I said to him "So you agree!!!!!" He laughed again! Kids!

    Kori

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    Re: Questions regarding exposure and flash

    Quote Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
    Colin-
    I love it!

    It's so true...I showed him this and he laughed. I said to him "So you agree!!!!!" He laughed again! Kids!

    Kori
    I grabbed a book once on talking to teenagers that had some wonderful illustrations ... one was a sketch of a teenager trotting away from home with a big grin "freedom" ... followed by one of him running back into home with a worried look "don't like, don't like"!

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