Nightclub style photography?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by acearchie, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #1
    I am looking to replicate nightclub portraits with sharp faces but blurry lights. Similar to the picture below:

    [​IMG]

    I have read and been told to use rear curtain flash but after setting this on the Nikon D3000 it appears that my flash gun Nissin Speedlite fires as the shutter opens and when it closes not getting the effect that I desire!

    Can anyone help me with tips on how to help this situation or any other tips for the best nightclub group portraits?
     
  2. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #2
    According to the specs I've seen, the D3000 has rear curtain sync. Thus it should only flash at the end of the exposure. Do you have something like anti-red eye activated as well?
     
  3. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #3
    You could be right! I thought at first that it might be the flash gun but I have taken it off and tried it and it still flashes twice!

    Still searching online for a solution!

    Cheers
     
  4. davegregory macrumors regular

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario
    #4
    Do you have rear-sync enabled on the camera? It won't be by default (usually). I think for Nikon D3000 you have to have the shooting info up on the LCD and then you press the "i" button on the back of the camera, then select flash mode it's the lightning symbol, then choose the lightning bolt with "rear" next to it. As FourCandles said, make sure you have red-eye reduction off.

    Also, a good tip is to get the flash off the camera, or use a bounce card or something on the flash. Then play with the power as you need it, maybe start at 1/8th or something.
     
  5. acearchie, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010

    acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    Jan 15, 2006
    #5
    It's all set alright in the camera. I think it might have something to do with ttl as since I have turned the pop up flash to manual power (1/2) it now only does one flash.

    However, I will try it later with the speedlite attached and see what happens.

    EDIT: just checked and the flashgun still flashes twice as that menu option is now blanked out as there is an external flash in the hot shoe!
     
  6. davegregory macrumors regular

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario
    #6
    Are you using the camera in an automatic mode? Such as shutter priority or aperture priority or "P" for professional? If so, that's the reason it's firing twice. It's trying to determine the power needed to expose the scene properly. Switch to manual mode.
     
  7. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    Jan 15, 2006
    #7
    Nope, I've been completely shooting on M and I still can't seem to figure it out. I have tried the other modes as well but it is the same double flash firing!
     
  8. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

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    England
    #8
    Just had a thought - have you actually examined the exposures to see if the first flash is appearing on the image?

    If your D3000 is like my D80 then the first flash is a preflash for the TTL unit to measure the exposure. It fires just before the shutter opens, not just after. So it shouldn't be recorded.

    Otherwise AFAIK there should be a Custom Setting somewhere to turn the preflash off.
     
  9. davegregory macrumors regular

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario
    #9
    I'm baffled then. I'm not sure what else to try. Maybe it's a limitation of the camera? I don't know enough about it to say. That seams wrong though to me. Hopefully someone else more knowledgeable than I can help out!
     
  10. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #10
    We have a winner! I had read something similar online so I set it to a 1 second exposure and shot myself in the mirror whilst moving it! Only one flash comes up (aka the end one!) So yes it is a pre-flash even though it is literally right before the shutter opens (don't really see the point of it in that case!)

    Thanks for the help and I'll see what sort of shots I can get this weekend!
     
  11. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #11
    The reason for the preflash is metering. It fires the preflash and hen records how much light gets through the lens. It then knows how much power to give to the flash on the real exposure. Hence the name "TTL" or through the lens metering. As the light meter is not the sensor, the shutter doesn't need to be open for this to work.
     
  12. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #12
    Ah then the reason for my confusion is justified as it does the pre-flash even when I have manually set the power of the flash therefore the camera does not set the power.

    Oh well! I can live with that!
     
  13. FourCandles, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010

    FourCandles macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    EDIT: nevermind, I didn't read the OP's above post properly, even though I quoted it....
     
  14. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Location:
    Over there------->
    #14
    That does seem like strange behavior for a camera. I just tried it with both of my Canon cameras, and neither of them fired a pre-flash with the camera's flash mode set to manual (which is separate from the power setting). I then tried it with my husband's Pentax camera, but there is no setting on his to specify manual flash instead of TTL--you can set the power to whatever level you want, but you can't actually specify 'manual' flash within the Pentax camera's settings. Perhaps that's the case with your Nikon. You can change the power level but don't have a true option for 'manual' flash.
     
  15. davegregory macrumors regular

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario
    #15
    That's what I thought as well. Having both the camera and the flash on manual should not require the camera to fire a metering flash, since you're manually setting exposure anyway! Oh well, must be a Nikon quirk /sarcasm :)
     
  16. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #16
    Hehe. Yes, I suppose we could have some fun thumbing our noses at Nikon over this one, but I'm willing to bet that the higher-end Nikon bodies have the option to turn that nonsense off. If nothing else, it's an unnecessary battery drain, so surely the more expensive cameras offer a true manual mode. I also would not be surprised if the lower-end Canon cameras have the same limitation.
     
  17. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #17
    Well Occam's razor is looking pretty dull at this point, I'd chalk it up to some kind of 3rd party flash incompatibility before I concluded that a low-end DSLR body couldn't turn off the TTL strobe.

    Maybe it's red-eye reduction? This was proposed a couple times but you never confirmed it to be off/disabled.

    Perhaps a careful read-through of the flash section of your manual, another careful read-through of your speedlight manual, and a triple check on your flash settings is in order here.

    Ruahrc
     

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