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Need advice on Flash slow sync situation
I'm planning a portrait shot indoors in candlelight (no other light source present). The idea is to use the light from the candle so that the subject is dimly lit and the background is (almost) dark. However, there's one complication.. The subject is a very young child that will not stay perfectly still for the 2-3 sec exposure that such a scene will require. I've thought to use Flash in slow sync mode and perhaps flash exposure compensation to reduce the flash illumination to a minimum, then in Photoshop apply some selective exposure adjustment. But even with slow sync, some of the motion blur will remain, right?.

Any advice on how I could produce the best result - i.e. a subject that is as sharp as possible with an image that looks as less "flashy" as possible? Is this actually possible...I wonder... .

Thanks.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/96953368@N00/..

Comments (7)

Some shots can't be taken. This is one of them. There is no way to get a decent photo of a moving subject in extremely low light unless the subject is glowing. And if you use supplemental lighting (flash or whatever), you'll lose the whole "candlelit" look...

Comment #1

The best plan might be to cheat. Instead of using a candle, use a clear glass light bulb. It will be a whole lot brighter, enabling a shot to be taken, but will give somewhat similar shadows and lighting effect to a candle..

Adjust the camera exposure to under-expose somewhat, so the shadows become really dark - or do that in post processing. If you want to include the actual candle in the image, it becomes another matter altogether, you might have to combine parts of two separate shots.Regards,Peter..

Comment #2

Well might try taking two pictures and blending them together..

First pic:The 2-3 second image without the girl..

Second pic:.

Then one with the girl lit by flash - no candle. Go for an under-exposed flash image..

In post-processing change the white balance of the flash pic to match the candlelight. Or at time of capture could gel the flash to more closely match the candlelight and leave the candle in the frame then won't have mixed lighting color temps..

Layer the two images and "paint" the girl into the candle pic..

Good luck.

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #3

Take a third pic properly exposed for just the candle..

Then "paint" the just the candle into 2-3 exposed image..

That way your candle won't be "blown out".That way your candle won't be "blown out"..

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #4

Doug Pardee wrote:.

Some shots can't be taken. This is one of them. There is no way toget a decent photo of a moving subject in extremely low light unlessthe subject is glowing. And if you use supplemental lighting (flashor whatever), you'll lose the whole "candlelit" look..

Not True ... it is in fact a fairly easy shot to make..

I is possible that there may be some "ghosting" on the child's face .... but the flash will overpower it and still present a "usable" ... (and possibly a very GOOD image)..

It may take some experimenting to get the exposure time vs aperture balance correct .... but it CAN be done. I have done it very often..

I do it at every wedding when they bride/groom light a candle ... I adjust so the candle is visible; and the bride/groom are frozen with the flash..

But ... put camera on tripod, it will keep the candle flame from "smearing" during the longer exposure..

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #5

Drug the kid? Well, maybe just attract the kid's attention to something special for a sec..

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/..

Comment #6

I think the best option would be to "cheat" and go for 3 different exposure, as suggested above. Thanks .

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/96953368@N00/..

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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