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Getting Pro Results from a Compact Camera

Turning the flash off at twilight


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Getting Pro Results from a Compact Camera

with Derrick Story

Video: Turning the flash off at twilight

Well, here we are in beautiful twilight scene and believe it or not, this is a great time to take a portrait. You'll need your flash on. Now the problem that a lot of people have when they try to take this sort of shot where we have our subject in this beautiful background here is they use just a regular flash mode. And the shutter fires too fast to capture all the colors in the sky. But if we were to slow that shutter down, we could have both the color and a beautifully exposed subject. The way we do that is we use a special scene mode called Night Portrait, or a special flash mode called Slow Synchro.

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Getting Pro Results from a Compact Camera
1h 1m Intermediate Jan 27, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Compact, point-and-shoot cameras are convenient, travel-ready, and inexpensive. They're also more capable—and complex—than ever. In Getting Pro Results from a Compact Camera, photographer Derrick Story shows how to use a compact camera to take photos that rival those of far more expensive cameras. Derrick shows how to get the most out the camera's lens as you shoot wide-angle, telephoto, and even macro shots. Derrick also discusses the camera's exposure system and clarifies the differences among ISO settings and scene modes. He also shows how to get the best pictures in a variety of lighting conditions, including making judicious use of the flash to supplement existing light.

Topics include:
  • Understanding ISO
  • Stitching a panorama
  • Using exposure lock
  • Using the flash indoors and out
  • Adapting professional techniques to small cameras
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear
Author:
Derrick Story

Turning the flash off at twilight

Well, here we are in beautiful twilight scene and believe it or not, this is a great time to take a portrait. You'll need your flash on. Now the problem that a lot of people have when they try to take this sort of shot where we have our subject in this beautiful background here is they use just a regular flash mode. And the shutter fires too fast to capture all the colors in the sky. But if we were to slow that shutter down, we could have both the color and a beautifully exposed subject. The way we do that is we use a special scene mode called Night Portrait, or a special flash mode called Slow Synchro.

Your camera will have one of these two. All you have to do is find them, either in the scene modes or in your flash modes. Once you do that then, you just steady the camera, because remember that shutter's staying open longer, so we don't want camera shake. And you have to remind your subject to stand still too. So we don't have movement with your subject. Once you do that, you are ready to go. Now make sure that you're within flash range, so that the flash can reach your subject. Hi Samara! You are ready for a portrait? Samara: I am ready. All right, a nice little smile.

So what's happening right now is the camera is balancing both the background and Samara. It's a very dramatic shot. You are going to absolutely love it when you see it in the studio. I am going to show you how these work. It's a homerun portrait and I encourage you to give it a try.

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