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Author Topic: Question, lighting and windows going black  (Read 2411 times)

stacibeth

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Question, lighting and windows going black
« on: October 10, 2013, 07:31:34 PM »

Hi all,
I'm trying to take some portraits inside during the day using strobes and the windows just go black. I've tried changing my settings, but unless my shutter speed is super slow ( which I then run the risk of my subject being blurry just by breathing) I can't seem to figure it out. What am I doing wrong? What am I missing?

Thanks for all your help
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Question, lighting and windows going black
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 07:52:18 PM »

Open up the aperture and/or increase ISO.

Ed B

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Re: Question, lighting and windows going black
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 10:08:45 PM »

Your flash is overpowering the natural light, shoot them manually and use a lower power setting.
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Question, lighting and windows going black
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 11:16:35 AM »

Assuming you are working with a smart hotshoe mount speedlight (or Speedlite if yo uuse Canon) yo ucan use the speedlite in either TTL controlled or anual control mode but setthe camera to manual exppsure control. See what expsure works for the background (outside the window) exposure and then adjust the flashes output accordingly to create the balance you want.

Of course if it is really dreary or dark outside you could be talking about some very long exposure times at any f-stop and ISO combination.

Also don't worry about always making the two exposures balance. Use your eyes and see what makes the most emotionally appealing portrait.
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Ken Bennett

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Re: Question, lighting and windows going black
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 06:11:01 PM »

You are working with two separate light sources -- your flash, and the ambient light. The exposure of your flash is controlled solely by the ISO and aperture settings on your camera -- the shutter speed doesn't affect the flash exposure as long as you are under the maximum sync speed.

The ambient light exposure, however, is controlled by all three exposure variables -- ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Changing any one of them will affect the light seen through the windows. But -- and this is the crucial thing -- TWO of those variables are fixed by your flash exposure. The only one left that you can use to adjust the ambient light exposure is your shutter speed. So you are doing the right thing to set a slower shutter speed to get the ambient light to show up.

So your choices are (1) use a long shutter speed ("dragging the shutter") and put the camera on a tripod (and ask the model to please hold still); or (2) lower your flash power, which will force you to either open the aperture or raise the ISO -- thus making the windows brighter without lowering the shutter speed.

The key is to choose flash settings that balance the flash exposure with the ambient light in whatever way is pleasing for the final image.
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