Working with available light has its drawback. The shot is easily out of focus, blurred, or of poor exposure. Candid shots work better with available light. Flash makes it more formal. And, it stops conversation by its brilliant burst of light.
You could bounce flash. That works. But with auto- everything nowadays, I find that available light works pretty well. I can still zoom. The main camera thing adjusting to compensate for the conditions is ISO. By comparison to digital this was a variable that film could never adjust to in the moment. The ISO here was 1000. There should be a lot of noise. But today’s sensors and technology really smooth out the end result. I have to say I am quite pleased. Professional it ain’t, but then again these are family candids. It works!
Little did I know in early 2003, that my conversion to digital commitment was about a year away. I used film and sprinkled in digital here and there. Generally, I used my film camera primarily punctuating my shots with a few digital images. Not bad though, the digital images were solid shots. It seems I was less hesitant to include the use of built-in flash in the Canon G3. Ok!
Lots of things were happening in our lives at the same time back then. Jules was headed to college. Dave was a high school senior. Life was about to change significantly for us all. Who could know the future (digital) was right around the corner?
I am not a fan of flash. It tends to be too contrasty. Too many shadows. Exposure is a challenge. Fill flash? not something I much cared for. I used bounce flash after taking lessons. But flash was not built in (for my film cameras) and built in flash on the G3 does not bounce. So…. I did find and was pleasantly surprised at the results of using built-in flash on my digital camera. I considered the flash to be “dinky” and yet it proved itself quite capable. Lesson learned.
… that is the critical question. Fleeting moments, it’s an instant call. You get one try… pick. It doesn’t come very often you get to shoot one with and one without flash. It’s a choice. Here David sat long enough for me to get two shots. The Canon G11 white balances automatically. Great! But it’s still ambient light you deal with. So it’s not quite right. The natural lighting gives less detail in the eyes and no gleam or catch light for the eye. Flash is a little too bright and a bit too artificial for my taste. I would pick the natural light. I’m not a fan of obsessive manipulation in Photoshop, so this is what it is.
Well you can at least tell that this is a stormy day. The lighting belies the storm. I didn’t check but presume you used fill flash as usual. This helps the exposure. But it takes away the gloomy mood of an impending storm. It’s another decision you make as to whether to get a good exposure or to play to the mood of the day. With all those colorful clothes this would not have been a shot to convert to black and white.
Jennifer went to the zoo and sent me some early edits of her trip. It was the San Diego zoo. I’m a sucker for deep blue sky. The cactus in the foreground is the main subject. The shadows are a problem. Once again the bright background sky is too much for the foreground shadows. It’s otherwise a nice graphical image. And yes, that bright blue sky….
Stewart sent me this image today. He’s got a spiffy D800. The lighting is evenly done with the help of flash. That’s his daughter, her fiancé, and best friend (my daughter). All grown up and about to be married, we have known these kids for a very long time. Nice to see that their sense of humor hasn’t changed so much. It’s good to have a camera around for a spontaneous moment. This is pretty tight quarters with a lot os distracting background. Decisions need to made about cropping and whether to keep the hands in the frame or to focus in on the faces. I like Stewart’s shot.
David shot this with a tripod and presents two exposures of the scene. I guess there is more detail in the normal image. I suppose that is better. There is more mood in the HDR. It’s a matter of taste. Shooting RAW also gives you options. It’s a problem to shoot indoors and aim at the outdoors. The window light will overwhelm the interior lights. And then there is the issue of mixed color balance in daylight and incandescent. You could use fill flash indoors to balance the light also. It’s nice to have options. Too many choices and I just go ahead and shoot. You can peek (chimp) at the LCD and then adjust. And, don’t miss the fact that a tripod was used to get these image exposures and registration.
Susan is still concerned about the exposure. It’s about backlighting. Since it’s not about the expression or the eyes, this exposure is fine. It even sets up the mood. Remember that technical excellence should not trump artistic license. Go with you gut. You got a good shot. I like the clouds above pointing in toward Matilda.
Susan sent this and asked, “What can I do to make the shot brighter?” Not a whole lot… It’s a backlit shot on a bright sunny day. The extreme in contrast from shadow to bright is hard to compensate and balance. So you do what you have done so successfully with the Nikon. Use fill flash. It can be turned-on on the Canon G11. Otherwise, I have no problem with the exposure. You weren’t really shooting the face and eyes. The vertical crop is great and the rule of thirds is in order. This is a mood shot. And there is so much more about endless summer days and thoughts than it is about the actual subject. I like this as it is.
Same settings… So I just got done talking about the focus on the eyes. Here two of the bubbles in the foreground are in pretty good focus. I guess that’s why Susan was concerned in her last shot. With the eyes closed, the expression is the main interest. Then, you look at the bubbles, which happen to be in focus. That’s fine. The eyes are closed, which usually means the image is a ‘discard.’ But here it’s part of the expression and part of the image. Good shot. Note that the flash will ‘freeze’ the motion blur of the moving bubbles. So, in fact the bubbles are sharply in focus. It’s a cute shot. The foreground flash is more dominant here.