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Taking flash pictures indoors

 
 
Colin D
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      08-06-2005


Gene Palmiter wrote:
>
> Two ways to be sure...I used to use a warmcard set for fluorescent lights
> www.warmcards.com I think...but now I shoot everything in RAW mode and fix
> the casts in the computer.
>
> --
> Thanks,
> Gene Palmiter
> (visit my photo gallery at http://palmiter.dotphoto.com)
> freebridge design group
> www.route611.com & Route 611 Magazine
> "Ken" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> >I tried taking some pictures of a birthday party. The main lights were
> >fluorescent. I tried AV setting on my Digital rebel with the onboard flash
> >up and the white balance set to fluorescent. The pictures turned out
> >yellowish. I tried setting white balance to flash and pics were not much
> >better. I tried using the portrait setting with flash and the pics turned
> >out bluish gray. I am not sure what settings I should have used to get more
> >natural looking skin tones.
> >
> > Any suggestions for the future?


Yep. Courtesy of other posters in the rec.photo. groups, there are two
ideas which are said to work well. One is to use an ordinary white foam
plastic disposable coffee cup over the lens, disable autofocus, and
shoot from the subject's position, treating the camera as you would an
incident meter. The resultant blank image is then used to set white
balance. This helps to get the balance right where it matters, e.g. the
subject's face, since you aren't going to get the whole scene balanced
anyway. A second spinoff of this method is that the indicated exposure
read through the cup is pretty close to the correct exposure as per gray
card, but is easier to do. Use the camera on 'manual', adjust the
stop/shutter till the camera indicates proper exposure, and then shoot
your subject at that setting. Play with it first, of course. This idea
came from Alan Browne.

The second is the same procedure as outlined above, but using a white
plastic Pringles lid instead of a coffee cup. I don't know who suggested
this, but it has been repeated a number of times by different posters.

There is also a commercially produced filter-like lens attachment which
is used in the same manner, but is fairly expensive at about $120 US.
See: http://www.expodisc.com/


I personally haven't tried these ideas, tho' I intend to try the coffee
cup one soon.

Colin D.
 
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Colin D
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-06-2005


Colin D wrote:
>
> Gene Palmiter wrote:
> >
> > Two ways to be sure...I used to use a warmcard set for fluorescent lights
> > www.warmcards.com I think...but now I shoot everything in RAW mode and fix
> > the casts in the computer.
> >
> > --
> > Thanks,
> > Gene Palmiter
> > (visit my photo gallery at http://palmiter.dotphoto.com)
> > freebridge design group
> > www.route611.com & Route 611 Magazine
> > "Ken" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > >I tried taking some pictures of a birthday party. The main lights were
> > >fluorescent. I tried AV setting on my Digital rebel with the onboard flash
> > >up and the white balance set to fluorescent. The pictures turned out
> > >yellowish. I tried setting white balance to flash and pics were not much
> > >better. I tried using the portrait setting with flash and the pics turned
> > >out bluish gray. I am not sure what settings I should have used to get more
> > >natural looking skin tones.
> > >
> > > Any suggestions for the future?

>
> Yep. Courtesy of other posters in the rec.photo. groups, there are two
> ideas which are said to work well. One is to use an ordinary white foam
> plastic disposable coffee cup over the lens, disable autofocus, and
> shoot from the subject's position, treating the camera as you would an
> incident meter. The resultant blank image is then used to set white
> balance. This helps to get the balance right where it matters, e.g. the
> subject's face, since you aren't going to get the whole scene balanced
> anyway. A second spinoff of this method is that the indicated exposure
> read through the cup is pretty close to the correct exposure as per gray
> card, but is easier to do. Use the camera on 'manual', adjust the
> stop/shutter till the camera indicates proper exposure, and then shoot
> your subject at that setting. Play with it first, of course. This idea
> came from Alan Browne.
>
> The second is the same procedure as outlined above, but using a white
> plastic Pringles lid instead of a coffee cup. I don't know who suggested
> this, but it has been repeated a number of times by different posters.
>
> There is also a commercially produced filter-like lens attachment which
> is used in the same manner, but is fairly expensive at about $120 US.
> See: http://www.expodisc.com/
>
> I personally haven't tried these ideas, tho' I intend to try the coffee
> cup one soon.
>
> Colin D.


Well, no time like the present, as my old dad used to say. I gleaned a
styrene coffee cup from the kitchen - a clean one, luckily - and stepped
outside to have a go.

We have a large white corrugated iron fence around our back yard, very
bright in the sun. I stuck the cup over the Canon 17-85 lens, AF off
(stops the lens trying to focus on the cup), set the camera to manual
and f/11, and adjusted shutter speed to centre the exposure indicator
in the VF. Came out at 1/400 at f/11. Took a shot through the cup and
white-balanced on the resulting gray image. Then I shot the fence, and
the rhubarb patch in front of it. Looked at the LCD and the histo.
Whites very close but not touching the right-hand end, excellent. Went
indoors to the lounge, pale off-white wall, large brown piano, venetian
blinds half-closed. Some daylight, but turned on the fluorescents.
Stood in the corner by piano, cup on lens, set exposure via exposure
indicator to 1/4 sec at f/8, took shot of cup, WB on the image, then
shot the lounge with walls, piano, etc. from across the room. Again,
great exposure, the walls close to the highlight end on the histo.

Loaded the images into Photoshop and looked at WB. Excellent exposure
and color rendition, from the white fence and rhubarb to the lounge
walls and piano, all looked good.

This system works.

Colin D.
 
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Colin D
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-06-2005


Colin D wrote:
>
> Colin D wrote:
> >
> > Gene Palmiter wrote:
> > >
> > > Two ways to be sure...I used to use a warmcard set for fluorescent lights
> > > www.warmcards.com I think...but now I shoot everything in RAW mode and fix
> > > the casts in the computer.
> > >
> > > --
> > > Thanks,
> > > Gene Palmiter
> > > (visit my photo gallery at http://palmiter.dotphoto.com)
> > > freebridge design group
> > > www.route611.com & Route 611 Magazine
> > > "Ken" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > > news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > > >I tried taking some pictures of a birthday party. The main lights were
> > > >fluorescent. I tried AV setting on my Digital rebel with the onboard flash
> > > >up and the white balance set to fluorescent. The pictures turned out
> > > >yellowish. I tried setting white balance to flash and pics were not much
> > > >better. I tried using the portrait setting with flash and the pics turned
> > > >out bluish gray. I am not sure what settings I should have used to get more
> > > >natural looking skin tones.
> > > >
> > > > Any suggestions for the future?

> >
> > Yep. Courtesy of other posters in the rec.photo. groups, there are two
> > ideas which are said to work well. One is to use an ordinary white foam
> > plastic disposable coffee cup over the lens, disable autofocus, and
> > shoot from the subject's position, treating the camera as you would an
> > incident meter. The resultant blank image is then used to set white
> > balance. This helps to get the balance right where it matters, e.g. the
> > subject's face, since you aren't going to get the whole scene balanced
> > anyway. A second spinoff of this method is that the indicated exposure
> > read through the cup is pretty close to the correct exposure as per gray
> > card, but is easier to do. Use the camera on 'manual', adjust the
> > stop/shutter till the camera indicates proper exposure, and then shoot
> > your subject at that setting. Play with it first, of course. This idea
> > came from Alan Browne.
> >
> > The second is the same procedure as outlined above, but using a white
> > plastic Pringles lid instead of a coffee cup. I don't know who suggested
> > this, but it has been repeated a number of times by different posters.
> >
> > There is also a commercially produced filter-like lens attachment which
> > is used in the same manner, but is fairly expensive at about $120 US.
> > See: http://www.expodisc.com/
> >
> > I personally haven't tried these ideas, tho' I intend to try the coffee
> > cup one soon.
> >
> > Colin D.

>
> Well, no time like the present, as my old dad used to say. I gleaned a
> styrene coffee cup from the kitchen - a clean one, luckily - and stepped
> outside to have a go.
>
> We have a large white corrugated iron fence around our back yard, very
> bright in the sun. I stuck the cup over the Canon 17-85 lens, AF off
> (stops the lens trying to focus on the cup), set the camera to manual
> and f/11, and adjusted shutter speed to centre the exposure indicator
> in the VF. Came out at 1/400 at f/11. Took a shot through the cup and
> white-balanced on the resulting gray image. Then I shot the fence, and
> the rhubarb patch in front of it. Looked at the LCD and the histo.
> Whites very close but not touching the right-hand end, excellent. Went
> indoors to the lounge, pale off-white wall, large brown piano, venetian
> blinds half-closed. Some daylight, but turned on the fluorescents.
> Stood in the corner by piano, cup on lens, set exposure via exposure
> indicator to 1/4 sec at f/8, took shot of cup, WB on the image, then
> shot the lounge with walls, piano, etc. from across the room. Again,
> great exposure, the walls close to the highlight end on the histo.
>
> Loaded the images into Photoshop and looked at WB. Excellent exposure
> and color rendition, from the white fence and rhubarb to the lounge
> walls and piano, all looked good.
>
> This system works.
>
> Colin D.


Shouldn't need saying, but just in case ... the camera and cup should be
treated as an incident meter. Camera adjacent to subject, looking at
light source. You are measuring the light falling on the subject, not
reflected off the subject.

Colin D.
 
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Roy
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-06-2005
"Colin D" <ColinD@killspam.127.0.0.1> wrote in message
news:42F42282.EA0075C1@killspam.127.0.0.1...
>
> .
>> > > >I tried taking some pictures of a birthday party. The main lights
>> > > >were
>> > > >fluorescent. I tried AV setting on my Digital rebel with the onboard
>> > > >flash
>> > > >up and the white balance set to fluorescent. The pictures turned out
>> > > >yellowish. I tried setting white balance to flash and pics were not
>> > > >much
>> > > >better. I tried using the portrait setting with flash and the pics
>> > > >turned
>> > > >out bluish gray. I am not sure what settings I should have used to
>> > > >get more
>> > > >natural looking skin tones.
>> > > >
>> > > > Any suggestions for the future?
>> >-----SNIPPED----------


>>Well, no time like the present, as my old dad used to say. I gleaned a
>> styrene coffee cup from the kitchen - a clean one, luckily - and stepped
>> outside to have a go.
>>
>> We have a large white corrugated iron fence around our back yard, very
>> bright in the sun. I stuck the cup over the Canon 17-85 lens, AF off
>> (stops the lens trying to focus on the cup), set the camera to manual
>> and f/11, and adjusted shutter speed to centre the exposure indicator
>> in the VF. Came out at 1/400 at f/11. Took a shot through the cup and
>> white-balanced on the resulting gray image. Then I shot the fence, and
>> the rhubarb patch in front of it. Looked at the LCD and the histo.
>> Whites very close but not touching the right-hand end, excellent. Went
>> indoors to the lounge, pale off-white wall, large brown piano, venetian
>> blinds half-closed. Some daylight, but turned on the fluorescents.
>> Stood in the corner by piano, cup on lens, set exposure via exposure
>> indicator to 1/4 sec at f/8, took shot of cup, WB on the image, then
>> shot the lounge with walls, piano, etc. from across the room. Again,
>> great exposure, the walls close to the highlight end on the histo.
>>
>> Loaded the images into Photoshop and looked at WB. Excellent exposure
>> and color rendition, from the white fence and rhubarb to the lounge
>> walls and piano, all looked good.
>>
>> This system works.
>>
>> Colin D.

>
> Shouldn't need saying, but just in case ... the camera and cup should be
> treated as an incident meter. Camera adjacent to subject, looking at
> light source. You are measuring the light falling on the subject, not
> reflected off the subject.
>
> Colin D.


Hi there.

All very good, and it is a good system for working out correct exposure and
WB.

BUT

The OP was asking about using Flash Indoors.

This system can not be used as an incident exposure meter for an "On Camera
Flash".

It will be Ok for measuring the WB of the scene under the Room Lighting, but
the problem is about when there are Mixed Lighting Sources - Florescent Room
Lights and Flash.

Roy G


 
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Colin D
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-06-2005


Roy wrote:
>
> "Colin D" <ColinD@killspam.127.0.0.1> wrote in message
> news:42F42282.EA0075C1@killspam.127.0.0.1...
> >
> > .
> >> > > >I tried taking some pictures of a birthday party. The main lights
> >> > > >were
> >> > > >fluorescent. I tried AV setting on my Digital rebel with the onboard
> >> > > >flash
> >> > > >up and the white balance set to fluorescent. The pictures turned out
> >> > > >yellowish. I tried setting white balance to flash and pics were not
> >> > > >much
> >> > > >better. I tried using the portrait setting with flash and the pics
> >> > > >turned
> >> > > >out bluish gray. I am not sure what settings I should have used to
> >> > > >get more
> >> > > >natural looking skin tones.
> >> > > >
> >> > > > Any suggestions for the future?
> >> >-----SNIPPED----------

>
> >>Well, no time like the present, as my old dad used to say. I gleaned a
> >> styrene coffee cup from the kitchen - a clean one, luckily - and stepped
> >> outside to have a go.
> >>
> >> We have a large white corrugated iron fence around our back yard, very
> >> bright in the sun. I stuck the cup over the Canon 17-85 lens, AF off
> >> (stops the lens trying to focus on the cup), set the camera to manual
> >> and f/11, and adjusted shutter speed to centre the exposure indicator
> >> in the VF. Came out at 1/400 at f/11. Took a shot through the cup and
> >> white-balanced on the resulting gray image. Then I shot the fence, and
> >> the rhubarb patch in front of it. Looked at the LCD and the histo.
> >> Whites very close but not touching the right-hand end, excellent. Went
> >> indoors to the lounge, pale off-white wall, large brown piano, venetian
> >> blinds half-closed. Some daylight, but turned on the fluorescents.
> >> Stood in the corner by piano, cup on lens, set exposure via exposure
> >> indicator to 1/4 sec at f/8, took shot of cup, WB on the image, then
> >> shot the lounge with walls, piano, etc. from across the room. Again,
> >> great exposure, the walls close to the highlight end on the histo.
> >>
> >> Loaded the images into Photoshop and looked at WB. Excellent exposure
> >> and color rendition, from the white fence and rhubarb to the lounge
> >> walls and piano, all looked good.
> >>
> >> This system works.
> >>
> >> Colin D.

> >
> > Shouldn't need saying, but just in case ... the camera and cup should be
> > treated as an incident meter. Camera adjacent to subject, looking at
> > light source. You are measuring the light falling on the subject, not
> > reflected off the subject.
> >
> > Colin D.

>
> Hi there.
>
> All very good, and it is a good system for working out correct exposure and
> WB.
>
> BUT
>
> The OP was asking about using Flash Indoors.
>
> This system can not be used as an incident exposure meter for an "On Camera
> Flash".
>
> It will be Ok for measuring the WB of the scene under the Room Lighting, but
> the problem is about when there are Mixed Lighting Sources - Florescent Room
> Lights and Flash.
>
> Roy G


Well, you answered that problem very well yourself a few posts back.
The OP's problem, as you said, was insufficient flash power to overcome
the ambient lighting. I also have the 300D, and the on-camera flash is
pretty well useless beyond about 8 feet, which is generally where the
backgound is. Although I didn't spell it out, the idea in those
circumstances is to dispense with the flash and just use the room
lighting with a custom WB set. He may need to push the ISO to 800 and
use a wide open lens - and the on-board flash in 'P' mode forces a
wide-open lens anyway, to maintain maximum range. Note that if you
attempt to stop down by using the Av setting, the camera will then meter
for the ambient lighting regardless of flash or no flash, and set the
shutter speed accordingly, so you could find the shutter going off at a
slow speed with the smaller aperture, and that will just add to the
mixed lighting problem, as well as shake and subject movement.

Colin D.
 
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