ViewFinder Photography Forum

General discussion - our photography living room. Talk about aesthetics, philosophy, share your photos - get inspired by your peers! Moderated by another view and walterick.
ViewFinder Forum Guidelines >>
Introduce Yourself! >>
PhotographREVIEW.com Gatherings and Photo Field Trips >>
Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    1

    Night photography question

    Hello all,

    Here's a question about night photography/ambient light techniques. I am shooting with a Canon Elan 7E, 420EX speedlite and Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM lens on Fuji Velvia 50 and 100F. I want to do nighttime street photography, without tripod, so I am experimenting with how to use exposure times in the 1/4-1/20th range with an added fill flash synchronized to second curtain.

    Here's the question:

    I've been trying to reduce the flash output by 1-2 stops so that I still am using a predominant ambient light effect. However, should I also reduce the exposure by a few steps as well? I am having trouble finding the best combo of flash output reduction and exposure metering since I am currently on an extended trip and developing film is not convenient. I assume also that to have a blurred but usable background with a more in-focus subject the proper technique is to use second curtain sync?

    Adam

  2. #2
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Newport, NC
    Posts
    4,319

    I"ll Take A Crack At This...

    Quote Originally Posted by bikewithadam
    Hello all,

    Here's a question about night photography/ambient light techniques. I am shooting with a Canon Elan 7E, 420EX speedlite and Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM lens on Fuji Velvia 50 and 100F. I want to do nighttime street photography, without tripod, so I am experimenting with how to use exposure times in the 1/4-1/20th range with an added fill flash synchronized to second curtain.

    Here's the question:

    I've been trying to reduce the flash output by 1-2 stops so that I still am using a predominant ambient light effect. However, should I also reduce the exposure by a few steps as well? I am having trouble finding the best combo of flash output reduction and exposure metering since I am currently on an extended trip and developing film is not convenient. I assume also that to have a blurred but usable background with a more in-focus subject the proper technique is to use second curtain sync?

    Adam
    Even though I shoot Nikon.

    First, 50mm f1.4 lenses ROCK! I love mine, and I can take clear handheld photo's down to about 1/30th second standing, and down to 1/8th second braced against something. Not knowing what kind of street photography you're doing, I'd recommend bracing against something, leaning against a wall, etc, whatever you can to get as stable and steady as possible.

    I would not use the Velvia 50 if I could avoid it. Very slow film. I think you'll get better results with the 100 speed.

    To bring out the ambient light, second curtain (it's called rear curtain in Nikons) is definitely the way to go. If you want more background light, reducing your flash output by up to -1 stop will help, but don't get too far away from your primary subject. I wouldn't even try to use -2 flash compensation. Your distance to subject becomes very critical, and the mojority of your subjects will be dark. BTDT!

    Finally, I would NOT reduce the exposure at all. Go with the metered value. All reducing your expsure will do is under-expose everything.

    Good luck, and I hope this helps.
    Nikon Samurai # 1


    http://mccabephotography.tripod.com

    http://precisionshotsphoto.tripod.com

    "Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry." - Thomas Jefferson

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. List Of Photography Websites
    By hpinternikon in forum ViewFinder
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 04-28-2014, 12:08 AM
  2. I have a question about concert photography...
    By Angel in forum Digital Cameras - General
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-06-2004, 09:59 PM
  3. How much are you willing to sacrafice/spend on photography?
    By racingpinarello in forum ViewFinder
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-22-2004, 09:42 AM
  4. Which camera for B&W photography F100, N80, D70 ?
    By Hahabas in forum Help Files
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-22-2004, 08:26 AM
  5. Which camera for B&W photography F100, N80, D70 ?
    By Hahabas in forum Digital Cameras - General
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-17-2004, 12:02 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •