PDA

View Full Version : Convention Hall [indoor] Portraits


Cicada
07-17-2006, 03:51 AM
Since i'm gearing up for another convention [comic con], what are some things/settings you do/have to get nicely exposed images inside the convention hall when you can't effectively bounce flash off of anything [except a bounce card if you have a mounted flash], and there isn't enough ambient light to _not_ use flash?

things i have trouble with are controlling the flash; obviously not directly as the subject, as that would create too flat of an image and run the risk of over exposure and hot spots. any suggestions/tips for metering and exposure compensation?

i usually shoot wide open and use a diffuser or bounce it off the card with the head pointed straight up; this doesnt usually generate enough light, so depending on the distance, i'll dial in some extra [or less] flash.

Oklahoma
07-17-2006, 01:26 PM
Try looking through this thread it starts off talking about indoor studios but gets into convention areas later.
HERE (http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=84195)

Also, what equipment are you using at a convention this will really help us in determing things that would work well for you.

Falkenhayn
07-17-2006, 07:02 PM
Well, I'm not flash expert, but I use direct flash (auto mode) and manually set the shutter speed and aperature on my camera (something like 1/200 and 5.6). Then I check the camera's histogram to see if the exposure is decent and the highlights are not blown out. If the lighting is too harsh, I would use a stofen diffuser.

staereo
07-18-2006, 06:41 AM
To be honest, you are asking a question that is somewhat hard to answer.

I think you probably take images perfectly fine. Hot spots, flat images, overexposure and underexposure happen to all of us. Using a flash is risky business, and using a flashgun is even more tricky. You are creating exposure as well as capturing it, which makes double the opportunity for mistakes.

Your Oe and Ue issues would best be handled by a light meter. Thats not to say you need to run out and by one, but that IS a way to correct the problem. Even if you DID do this, are you really going to walk around with it, and use it? No, likely not. So this sort of thing comes with experience, and a bit of luck. Often times, leaving your flash to ttl metering can be beneficial to overall success rates throughout a day of shooting.

A tactic I often use, distance depending, is just to run my flash at a 70 degree tilt. It works surprisingly well. Get too close, and of course you'll have hot spots. But you stay 15 feet out or so, and youll not only get a balanced image with depth, but you'll have pretty catchlights as well.

I *always* use a flash bracket when I use a flash. It allows me to move that flash up, down. and to the side. It's really important to keep that flash away from the lens when you start getting closer to your subjects. If you raise it up, you start to add more natural shadows on the subjects face. Furthermore, if you can get near a wall, and bounce it slightly against the wall AND have it elevated, now youre really getting more natural and flattering.

If you're stuck getting close, definately diffuse, as you've already talked about. I use a big ole softbox style diffuser on my mounted flash. It's not perfect, but it DOES soften that light when you get close enough to your subject for this to matter.

As I said, often times without a flashmeter, you're going to get the highest ratio of good:bad exposures if you use your TTL metering. Unfortunately, this often means losing some creative control over your captures. Its a trade off. Is it more important that you not miss a shot, or is it more important that you make just a couple really nice shots. Its situation dependant.

One thing you ought to try, if you're going to go the creative/manual route, is to use exposure bracketing if your camera offers this. Check your camera's manual to find out if you have it, and how to use it on your camera.

Bruce

Cikgu101
07-18-2006, 09:08 AM
Ive attended singapore Cosfest two weeks ago but I wasn't too happy with the outcome due to the fact of that I've yet to master flash photography
but
This will be my set~u for up-coming cosplay eventz in Covention Halls

DSLR
Flash Unit
24-70mm / 18-200mm lens
Gary Fung LightSphere II System
(http://store.garyfonginc.com/liiido.html)

Now practicing with it on my collegues haha. anyway practice makes perfect :bigtu:

Cicada
07-25-2006, 01:53 PM
Also, what equipment are you using at a convention this will really help us in determing things that would work well for you.

the equipment that goes with me:

Nikon D70 70-200 2.8 VR
Nikon D200 17-55 2.8 DX, RRS Flash Bracket, SB800
Canon XL1s [sometimes, not always -- i do video, too]

in the bag:
24-120 VR
50mm 1.8

Demonsun
07-27-2006, 01:36 AM
Nice Equipment, Have you tried using the diffuser that comes with the SB-800?

I've found it helps to sometimes have a second flash in the bag with you, when you need that extra bit of light. The SB-800 Has plenty of options for using a second sb-600, or sb-800, you can even use another type of flash as long as it has a sync cable port.

another suggestion, use the filters ioncluded with your flash, and use it with the diffuser, whitcard, and have the flash at 45 degrees.
Also try out various things,such as manually setting the flash, and practice with friends and family, under similar indoor or outdoor lighting conditions.

Finally PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
It will make you a better photographer in the long run

Cicada
07-27-2006, 03:27 PM
Nice Equipment, Have you tried using the diffuser that comes with the SB-800?

I've found it helps to sometimes have a second flash in the bag with you, when you need that extra bit of light. The SB-800 Has plenty of options for using a second sb-600, or sb-800, you can even use another type of flash as long as it has a sync cable port.

another suggestion, use the filters ioncluded with your flash, and use it with the diffuser, whitcard, and have the flash at 45 degrees.
Also try out various things,such as manually setting the flash, and practice with friends and family, under similar indoor or outdoor lighting conditions.

Finally PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
It will make you a better photographer in the long runIt's a little hard to simulate a high-ceiling room like a convention center; i dont have ap roblem bouncing flash to fill in a normal room, but where it can't be bounced is where i have a bit of a problem...

Demonsun
07-27-2006, 05:42 PM
Try going outside in a forest, and look for a clearing, usually good for simulating a high ceiling room, Or go to a game in an arena and take pictures under those wonderful 40 foot ceilings most of them have