Shadows in indoor flash pics

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by George, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. George

    George Guest

    I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the shadow
    caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a second flash
    and that was worse, two shadows behind the person. What is the secret
    guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that there is noting for the
    shadow to form on?

    Maybe you could direct me to a source to do a little reading up.

    Bill in New Mexico
    George, Jul 25, 2006
    #1
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  2. George

    [BnH] Guest

    Bounce your shot 90d up and don't shoot directly.

    "George" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the shadow
    > caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a second flash
    > and that was worse, two shadows behind the person. What is the secret
    > guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that there is noting for the
    > shadow to form on?
    >
    > Maybe you could direct me to a source to do a little reading up.
    >
    > Bill in New Mexico
    >
    [BnH], Jul 25, 2006
    #2
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  3. George

    Guest

    George wrote:
    > I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the shadow
    > caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a second flash
    > and that was worse, two shadows behind the person. What is the secret
    > guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that there is noting for the
    > shadow to form on?


    Like somebody else said, use a bounce flash. Or if you want to get
    serious, use a stand-alone flash off to the side, so the shadow is out
    of the frame. Or use a second, hotter flash to flash the background to
    eliminate the shadow.

    -Gniewko
    , Jul 25, 2006
    #3
  4. George

    Jim Townsend Guest

    George wrote:

    > I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the shadow
    > caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a second flash
    > and that was worse, two shadows behind the person. What is the secret
    > guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that there is noting for the
    > shadow to form on?
    >
    > Maybe you could direct me to a source to do a little reading up.
    >
    > Bill in New Mexico


    As others have mentioned, try bounce the flash, (if you don't have
    a swivel head, then use a hotshoe extension cord and get the flash
    off the camera where you can point in anywhere you want.

    You might want to try a flash diffuser. It will will soften the
    light and make the shadows less harsh.

    http://www.ehow.com/buy_15425_flash-diffuser.html
    Jim Townsend, Jul 25, 2006
    #4
  5. George wrote:
    > I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the shadow
    > caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a second
    > flash and that was worse, two shadows behind the person. What is the
    > secret guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that there is noting
    > for the shadow to form on?
    >
    > Maybe you could direct me to a source to do a little reading up.
    >
    > Bill in New Mexico


    bouncing and defusing the light helps a lot. Often you can predict where
    the shadows will fall and adjust so they are not as objectionable.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Jul 25, 2006
    #5
  6. George

    Robert Cooze Guest

    George wrote:
    > I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the shadow
    > caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a second flash
    > and that was worse, two shadows behind the person. What is the secret
    > guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that there is noting for the
    > shadow to form on?
    >
    > Maybe you could direct me to a source to do a little reading up.
    >
    > Bill in New Mexico
    >

    Point the flash head up loop a peace of A4 paper (60~80gsm) over the top
    and you have a very large soft light source.

    --
    http://cooze.co.nz home of the RecyclerMan aka Robert Cooze

    / __/ / / / / /__ / / ___/ / __/ / / / |/ / /__ /
    / / / /_/ / / /_/ / _-' / __/ / / / /_/ / / /| / _-'
    ___\ ____/ ____/ /___/ /____/ /_/ ___\ ____/ /_/ /_/ |_/ /___/
    Robert Cooze, Jul 25, 2006
    #6
  7. Lets address why you get the shadow. You will with most on camera flash unit
    or built-in flashes not get a shadow if you shoot landscape and will get one
    if you shoot portrait. Actually you get one both ways but with landscape the
    flash is above the lens and the shadow falls behind the subject. Holding the
    camera sideways the flash is to the side of the lens and falls to the
    opposite side of the subject.

    Sort of explains the solutions all by itself now doesn't it? If using the
    built-in shoot landscape or get your subject away from the wall. If you have
    a slave then use it to light the background. If you have a cable you can use
    it to get the flash above the lens. You can condition the light with
    diffusers to soften the shadows or you can bounce it off something if there
    is something white around.

    --
    Thanks,
    Gene Palmiter
    (visit my photo gallery at http://palmiter.dotphoto.com)
    freebridge design group

    "George" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the shadow
    > caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a second flash
    > and that was worse, two shadows behind the person. What is the secret
    > guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that there is noting for the
    > shadow to form on?
    >
    > Maybe you could direct me to a source to do a little reading up.
    >
    > Bill in New Mexico
    >
    Gene Palmiter, Jul 25, 2006
    #7
  8. "George" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the shadow
    > caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a second flash
    > and that was worse, two shadows behind the person. What is the secret
    > guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that there is noting for the
    > shadow to form on?
    >
    > Maybe you could direct me to a source to do a little reading up.
    >
    > Bill in New Mexico
    >


    Problems with shadows brings back memories. I hope I don't start getting
    them because you brought up the subject ;)
    Seriously though, I think we stopped getting shadows when we started
    shooting in better ambient light. Gone are the days (or should I say
    nights) we shot almost in total darkness. The camera adjusts the output of
    the flash. I use the bounce flash. My wife uses the built-in flash.
    Red-eye is the problem now. I live with it unless it's going to be printed.
    I can only harp on it just so long before I start sounding like a broken
    record.
    mark_
    =?iso-8859-1?Q?mark=5Fdigital=A9?=, Jul 25, 2006
    #8
  9. George

    Roy G Guest

    "George" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the shadow
    > caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a second flash
    > and that was worse, two shadows behind the person. What is the secret
    > guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that there is noting for the
    > shadow to form on?
    >
    > Maybe you could direct me to a source to do a little reading up.
    >
    > Bill in New Mexico



    Hi.

    It rather depends on what sort of situation you are in.

    If it is a studio, then use an additional flash for just the background.

    If you are taking groups at a wedding or social function, then using more
    than one flashgun becomes a little awkward, especially if you are moving
    around.

    What you need to do is to position the flash, on a bracket, so that it is
    always directly above the lens. You are not eliminating the shadows, but
    they will not be noticeable, because they will be directly behind the
    subject.

    Special hinged brackets are available which allow the Flash to be moved into
    this position in both Landscape and Portrait Formats. You will see Pro
    Wedding Photographers using them.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Jul 25, 2006
    #9
  10. George

    Guest

    TROLL

    Roy G wrote:
    > "G


    Did I see a posting last week, thanking the heavens that a certain
    Troll
    seemed to have vanished up his own arsehole??

    Talk about tempting fate.
    , Jul 26, 2006
    #10
  11. Re: TROLL

    On 7/25/06 4:54 PM, wrote:
    > Roy G wrote:
    >> "G

    >
    > Did I see a posting last week, thanking the heavens that a certain
    > Troll
    > seemed to have vanished up his own arsehole??
    >
    > Talk about tempting fate.
    >

    Mebbe so. But what you're doing is stalking.

    --
    lsmft
    John McWilliams, Jul 26, 2006
    #11
  12. George

    Daryl Bryant Guest

    Re: TROLL

    "John McWilliams" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On 7/25/06 4:54 PM, wrote:
    > > Roy G wrote:
    > >> "G

    > >
    > > Did I see a posting last week, thanking the heavens that a certain
    > > Troll
    > > seemed to have vanished up his own arsehole??
    > >
    > > Talk about tempting fate.
    > >

    > Mebbe so. But what you're doing is stalking.


    LOL - is the Troll i.e. in the Kill File you go!
    Daryl Bryant, Jul 26, 2006
    #12
  13. George

    Roy G Guest

    Re: TROLL

    "Daryl Bryant" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "John McWilliams" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> On 7/25/06 4:54 PM, wrote:
    >> > Roy G wrote:
    >> >> "G
    >> >
    >> > Did I see a posting last week, thanking the heavens that a certain
    >> > Troll
    >> > seemed to have vanished up his own arsehole??
    >> >
    >> > Talk about tempting fate.
    >> >

    >> Mebbe so. But what you're doing is stalking.

    >
    > LOL - is the Troll i.e. in the Kill File you go!
    >



    Isn't that sweet.

    I seem to have got myself a new little pet, which is following me everywhere
    I go.

    Roy G
    Roy G, Jul 26, 2006
    #13
  14. George

    silent lamb Guest

    "George" <> wrote in
    news::

    > I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the
    > shadow caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a
    > second flash and that was worse, two shadows behind the person.
    > What is the secret guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that
    > there is noting for the shadow to form on?
    >
    > Maybe you could direct me to a source to do a little reading up.
    >
    > Bill in New Mexico
    >

    ----------

    A quick and dirty fix to the problem is to use a small white card as
    wide as the flash and about 2x higher, held on by elastic bands. Point
    the flash head vertical and take the shot.

    This is known as a "specular highlight" reflector.

    Another method is to difuse the flash with tracing paper or tissue
    paper. In an emergency, I have used a white sweets (candy) bag or even
    my white hankerchief.

    If you use a P&S camera, you can tape the difusser over the flash. You
    can find $2 flash difussers on EBay too. The trade off is power
    consumption. Most of these solutions will require double the flash
    power to work.
    silent lamb, Jul 26, 2006
    #14
  15. George

    Bill Funk Guest

    On Tue, 25 Jul 2006 19:06:00 GMT, "Gene Palmiter"
    <> wrote:

    >Lets address why you get the shadow. You will with most on camera flash unit
    >or built-in flashes not get a shadow if you shoot landscape and will get one
    >if you shoot portrait. Actually you get one both ways but with landscape the
    >flash is above the lens and the shadow falls behind the subject. Holding the
    >camera sideways the flash is to the side of the lens and falls to the
    >opposite side of the subject.


    In Superzooms and DSLRs with the flash directly above the lens, you'll
    get the shadow as you describe when shooting landscape.
    But, with the majority of P&S cameras, the flash is above and off to
    one side of the lens, so shadows will appear in both landscape and
    portrait mode.
    >
    >Sort of explains the solutions all by itself now doesn't it? If using the
    >built-in shoot landscape or get your subject away from the wall. If you have
    >a slave then use it to light the background. If you have a cable you can use
    >it to get the flash above the lens. You can condition the light with
    >diffusers to soften the shadows or you can bounce it off something if there
    >is something white around.

    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
    Bill Funk, Jul 26, 2006
    #15
  16. George

    J. Clarke Guest

    George wrote:

    > I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the shadow
    > caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a second flash
    > and that was worse, two shadows behind the person. What is the secret
    > guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that there is noting for the
    > shadow to form on?
    >
    > Maybe you could direct me to a source to do a little reading up.


    If you go to amazon.com and look for books on photographic lighting you'll
    find quite a few.

    The trick is to use diffuse or indirect lighting. There are all kinds of
    ways to achieve this. One quick one is to just point the flash at the
    ceiling or at a corner of the room behind the camera--that has its
    disadvantages but give it a try.

    > Bill in New Mexico


    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
    J. Clarke, Jul 27, 2006
    #16
  17. George

    Guest

    silent lamb wrote:
    > A quick and dirty fix to the problem is to use a small white card as
    > wide as the flash and about 2x higher, held on by elastic bands. Point
    > the flash head vertical and take the shot.
    >
    > This is known as a "specular highlight" reflector.

    A "specular highlight reflector", eh, Dougie? Anyone else heard that
    name for a bounce card..? I would have thought ANTI-specular highlight
    refelctor would be more appropriate.. sigh..

    A card of that size will help a little, but it needs to be larger to
    make a more useful difference, preferably *much* larger. (I've seen
    some of Douglases 'difussed' (grin) shots, and they aren't much
    different from the non-'difussed'.. Show us that one of the wedding
    couple again - you know, with the car and its headlights on - willya,
    Doug? (O;)

    > If you use a P&S camera, you can tape the difusser (sic) over the flash.


    Again, this will give only very slight improvement in shadow diffusion.
    If you don't believe me try it and see for yourself. The light source
    should be made LARGER to have any appreciable effect - eg hang the
    tissue or whatever at least a couple of cm or so in front of the
    flash...

    I've improvised this type of structure using clear-but-frosted bendable
    plastic purchased from a craft store, fashioned into a little structure
    that sits about 3" in front of one of my flashes. Its area is about
    FOUR times that of the flash head, and it is still a bit short of
    ideal... Drafting film (ask your newsagent..) also works well for
    diffusion. The hard part is making it big enough to make a useful
    difference, and then somehow supporting it out from the flash. You
    should of course, always check that your diffuser material doesn't
    cause a colour cast. Some semi-transparent materials give very nasty
    casts, even though they may look neutral.
    , Jul 28, 2006
    #17
  18. George

    ASAAR Guest

    On 25 Jul 2006 06:58:10 -0700, George wrote:

    > I have yet to figure a way to eliminate or at least reduce the shadow
    > caused by using a flash indoors. I once tried to hook up a second flash
    > and that was worse, two shadows behind the person. What is the secret
    > guys? Keep walls and things so far behind that there is noting for the
    > shadow to form on?


    That would work, and the further the walls are, the less you'll
    have a problem with shadows. But they don't have to be a great
    distance away, just not so close that dark shadows are emphasized by
    very bright surrounding portions of the walls. Repositioning to
    place something between the subject and the walls that doesn't
    introduce too much clutter or otherwise reduce the quality of the
    picture would help, such as shrubbery, etc.

    Another thing that would help is to reduce the relative brightness
    of the flash's contribution to the background's brightness. You
    could do this either by moving the subject further from the wall, by
    moving the camera closer to the subject, or both. Similarly,
    brightening the room by using more lights or letting more sunlight
    through windows would help, and could even have the effect magnified
    if you're using the flash in "fill" mode, if the additional light in
    the room causes a reduced output from the flash.

    A couple of small slave flashes could help considerably even if
    you have a P&S that lacks a PC connector or hot shoe. You'd have to
    make sure to get ones that ignore the camera's preflash, and it
    would probably if you can reduce the output of the camera's built-in
    flash even if it amounts to taping a small piece of white cardboard
    in front of the flash.

    Lastly, using a high ISO might be a bad idea, as it seems like it
    would enhance the flash's contribution to the overall lighting,
    making shadows even more obvious. But as you can tell from my
    wording I'm not completely sure about this. You might want to take
    some pictures in a moderately lighted room with a subject close
    enough to a wall to guarantee a noticeable shadow. Then take shots
    using your camera's minimum and maximum ISO to see if it makes any
    difference. If it does make a difference, use the lowest reasonable
    ISO for your shots. Most people would use a low ISO as standard
    practice anyway, but this suggestion is just to make sure that if
    high ISOs worsen the problem that you avoid using them if possible.
    ASAAR, Jul 29, 2006
    #18
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