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'Dragging The Shutter: Balancing Fill Flash With Ambient Light'

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by RT_Panther, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
  2. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Any idea on the best way to implement this technique using the E-PL1's built-in flash? In aperture priority mode with the slowest sync speed set to 1/60sec the flash seems to completely dominate the exposure regardless of the ISO I'm using. Any ideas on where I'm going wrong?
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Soften your light and don't shoot flash bare-bulb. With the E-PL1, you can push the built-in flash back to bounce it off the ceiling or wall.
  4. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    There should be a flash exposure compensation menu somewhere. I don't ue the Oly's so i do not know exactly where it is. Use spot meter on the subject, not evaluative as that will try to illuminate the whole frame. Then guess and check, flash compensate if intended exposure is off. I'm assuming the pop up is ttl? with that caveat, each time you shoot it will reset the exposure where as the next method will net you more consistancy.

    Pop your camera to manual, look up your guide number, figure your distance (if your lens has the focus distance scale on it, just AF on to the subject, and approximate from that info), get your f stop (F#=GN/distance), and manually set your shutter by spotting or center evaluating metering the background ambient light you want, and keeping the previously calculated f stop.
  5. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    Are you adjusting the flash power? You should have options from 1 (full) down to 1/64 or thereabouts.
  6. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I just tested my e-pL1 on Aperture priority with 1/64-power pop-up direct flash and -3 flash-EV and the result showed ambient light balanced with dim flash : i.e. it worked right.

    But ... I do not understand what you mean by "slowest sync speed set to 1/60sec" (in aperture priority?) so I'm way too dumb to understand your problem.
  7. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    While a good writeup on balancing the ambient light by adjusting the shutter speed. It's not what I think of when I hear the term dragging the shutter. I tend to think more of something that looks like this:

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  8. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Thanks for the tips, especially about spot metering, as I hadn't thought of that. I do know how to use flash exposure comp and adjust flash power manually, the article just made it seem like using Av mode and adjusting ISO made things pretty much automated, which I found wasn't the case. I thought maybe I was missing something.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    No you aren't, I just wasn't using the correct terminology. What I should have said was 'slow limit' meaning the slowest shutter speed the camera will select is 1/60sec.
    • Like Like x 1
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