Big Group Shot Indoors RX10IV Focus Flash Mode Help

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 3,636
Re: Big Group Shot Indoors RX10IV Focus Flash Mode Help

Rusty D wrote:

I wanted to report back about my experience trying to photograph a party for my mom.

I wish we hired a pro photographer but we did not think to do that. I was caught between various roles and did not get shots and video I wish I would have gotten but that being said, I had help from my partner, niece and a friend who is a serious photographer who all took great photos with their phones.

When I was focused on taking pictures, using a flash worked pretty well. It was a daytime event in a room with big windows and a water view. So a flash was needed to expose the inside without over exposing the outside view.

If I were more on the ball, I would have had more great photos. I did not get everything out of my kit that I could have. Oh well. Below is an example of a photo I thought came out well where I got the exposure right - and was able to show off the view -- RAW to JPG in LR with some retouching.

Thanks again for the advice. I know I will have fun using the flash going forward, especially for indoor and product photos. It can add a level of drama and poise.

Even this compact Godox Thinklite TTL TT350S w/batteries adds 10oz, so that is a factor for handheld shots, especially for many RX10IV users who want to keep the weight of their camera down.

Another separate issue I found was getting the focus to lock on all subjects from 2 to 10 people. I did not play around with face or eye focus - A question I have about the advanced focus system - revealing my ignorance here - is can the different focus points lock onto different subjects at different distances from the lens ( I think physics prevents this) or does the multi point focus just lock on different objects at the same distance from the lens?

I'm sorry you didn't get all the shots as well as you wanted. Going into a difficult situation as you did, with limited experience with flash, can be tough. You are right about the metering in this kind of scene. Meter for the outside. Then, with the flash in auto TTL mode, it will calculate the output to bring up the indoor subjects to match. In most cases, you will want to tweak the flash exposure compensation to get just the right ratio of inside and outside lighting. A little minus compensation is often required to get a natural look. The shot above is nearly impossible to light perfectly with a single direct flash. With your subjects being so close to the camera, the flash can't provide much light before overexposing them. However, you have a lot of background further away that needs that additional light.

Light falls off at a rate of the inverse square of the distance. That's a fancy mathematical way of saying that if you double the distance from the light source (flash, here) you need 4 times the amount of light for the same exposure. i.e., people twice as far away from you and your flash as the couple are going to be underexposed by 2 stops. In this scene, you have people even farther away than that. A single direct flash just can't light the background without overexposing the close up couple. Physics is against you. Bouncing the flash off the ceiling is your best solution. It effectively makes the ceiling a huge light source.

You could bring up the shadows a bit. Although, I think it looks good the way it is. While it doesn't look the way your eyes saw it, it brings the viewers eyes to the two primary subjects in the foreground. You still have a beautifully exposed scene outside to see too. The other people are just background, and should not pull your eyes away from the main couple. I think you did a nice job on this one.

As you get more practice with flash photography you will wish you could go back and recreate this event. That's just the learning curve.

You are also exactly correct about focus. In spite of the number of faces the camera is telling you it's locking on, a camera (lens) can only focus perfectly at one distance. You are then dependent on DOF to have subjects at closer and farther points to be acceptably sharp. This is also a matter of experience to learn what aperture setting to use to get the required DOF. I suspect you are already quite knowledgeable about this part of photography.

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Steve

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