Sunday, January 17, 2010

More Portraits

Once again, I volunteered to do the pictures for the group I was in for my school's Preference dance last night. And once again, the original plan to shoot outside was assassinated by too little light, and waiting too long before meeting up to do pictures. So I got to shoot inside.

click to enlarge, or see it on Flickr
Aperture: f/2.6
Shutter Speed: 1/6
ISO: 100

The white balance in the house was a nightmare. Without a flash, I was using shutter speeds in excess of 1 second, which was not an option. With a flash, I could go to 1/6—still significantly shorter than I like to shoot any kind of moving subject in, but it was doable. Unfortunately, flash lighting and Incandescent bulbs are two very different flavors of light. So I basically gave up on getting the WB right in-camera, and fixed it in Lightroom afterwards. It turned out okay. I still would have rather shot these outside.

I had to bump my ISO up to get those extra fractions of a second for my shutter speed. Normally I try to shoot ANYTHING I'm considering printing in 80 ISO, but I had to compromise somehow. I used my flash on it's dimmest setting, mostly as a fill flash, because, it being an in-camera flash, anything over the dimmest setting gives you awful glares that make portraits look horrendous. Since I'm only printing these at 5x7, I felt okay with shooting at 100.

I'm reasonably happy with how they turned out, considering my difficult situation. They lack the really "professional" look you get when you shoot with a super wide aperture to blur the background, and the WB is merely acceptable, but I feel okay about it. At least it gave me some more portraiture experience. And if I take nothing away from my last two dance-photo attempts other than "SHOOT OUTSIDE WHILE THERE'S STILL LIGHT," then the effort hasn't been wasted.


  1. Very well done for the circumstances. I don't see any shadows on the wall as a result of the flash. Good job.

  2. I think you totally worked it out! The light looks incredibly even and balanced. All of your people are looking at the camera, and all have a smile and look relaxed - so great job directing the people too. Nothing wrong with this portrait - you should be pleased with your result!


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