How do you get photos like this in night clubs?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Noted, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. Noted macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2006

    How do you get photos like this in a night club? I don't think flash is being used here is it? It looks like a high ISO but then again there seems to be no noise so maybe not. What about aperture/shutter speed?

  2. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    1. High ISO (ISO 3200 shots from a Canon 5D or Nikon D3 should be virtually noise-free...or at least should get close to noise free with suitable PP)
    2. Very fast lenses (we're talking F/1.8, with F/1.4 or even F/1.2 being even better)

    You're looking at a combination of these (and perhaps bounce flash). The sharpness of the posted pic suggests a relatively quick shutter speed.
  3. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    It either bounced or diffused flash judging from the reflections off the skin on the girl on the right.
  4. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    And the strong shadows. Either that or they're very near a hanging light.
  5. rhomsy macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    That shot has a very big aperture as you can tell from the fact that one of the girl's hands holding the cup is out of focus and the background is a complete blur. So, to do that, you need a very fast lens, and you will still need to kick up the ISO in order to handhold the camera and avoid blur.

    However, do you really want to bring equipment like that into a night club? I wouldn't. With all of the drunks and hooligans, you might get your equipment damaged or stolen. I'd just bring a P&S.
  6. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    I'd say mostly done with a diffused flash. I bought a Gary Fong diffuser over the weekend and used it a dance party and got very similar results. It's a nice diffuser... point the bounce flash up but the Gary Fong still shoots the flash out sideways, without creating red-eye.

    Also, the dark shadows under their chins suggest flash to me...
  7. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    the reflections on all three noses also suggest flash
  8. sonor macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    London, UK
    The catchlight in the eyes would usually suggest would the background being in almost total darkness.
  9. joel8x macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2001
    There is definitely a diffused flash being used here because the light is coming slightly above where the camera was - note the depth of the shadow from the guy's hat brim.
  10. Jopling macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    Probably the dozen or so photographers I've used in nightclubs have used diffused flashes and the pictures come out looking around that quality.
  11. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    Definitely a low powered diffused flash. Highlights were pulled down in PS or another program.

    I ALWAYS shoot with flash in low-light when I'm allowed to. The harshness is easier to correct for me in post than blurry images with little data to work with. If you can't read in it, why are you trying to capture an image without help?
  12. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Has anyone ever tried a setup with two flashes, one diffused/fill, and one from below to fill in those harsh shadows? That's a lot of light, and a lot of weight... but I'm wondering if anyone has ever tried it.
  13. Noted thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2006
    I forgot to mention I'm using a Sony Cybershot W200 P&S.

    The ISO goes up to 3200 and aperture can go to 2.8. You have 3 options for flash.. normal amount, increased amount or decreased amount.

    So from that, which do you think would give me best results?
  14. unknown87 macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2007
    To be perfectly honest, you won't get those kinds of results with a PS with an onboard flash. With regards to the three flash settings.... pick the one that is the least harsh I guess.
  15. bross00 macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2007
    It's definitely a defused flash. Shutter speed isn't critical for the main subject - aperture + flash intensity will likely govern your exposure (lest your shutter speed is too quick for the flash). However, shutter speed and aperture will govern the exposure of things not illuminated by the flash. Based on the darkness of the baground and the depth of field - you have a low intensity diffused flash with a fairly quick shutter speed and a wide aperture.

    There are ways you can try to diffuse or bounce your onboard flash. A small plastic, semi-opaque tupperware container over the flash or even just a sheet of paper. You'll have to fudge the exposure to compensate because it will confuse your camera.

    Pending on the ceiling height, etc. you can try bouncing with an opaque card too.

    Lighting in clubs can be difficult - the best bet is find a setting that works and stick with it...

    These were taken with a bounced flash, 250 sync speed and 2.5 and 2.8 aperture (slight change due to the tone of the subjects).

    Attached Files:

  16. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    Good luck... You probably won't get the look of the first picture under the stated conditions.

    P&S < SLR, especially for stuff like this.
  17. digitalfrog macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2007
    That picture is quite bad I would say, where are all the colors of the nightclub ?

    No need to have high ISO's in a club. I do 200/400 ISO's max all the time.

    The key is going slow to capture the colours (half second), and use a flash.


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