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02-03-2014, 09:12 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
Before the day of reckoning, set up a similar situation--persons or dolls/mannequins in the nearest and farthest positions of import, other house lights on, candles, etc., and take notes of what you are trying.
This is probably the best advice Jai. Practice makes perfect.

02-03-2014, 09:19 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
Oh, and very likely the best approach is not to use flash! Try both in your practice. So with the candles that would be on the cake--what exposure can you get away with. Isn't digital great! You can try things out and get, in an instant, results to study.
Jai, if all you are trying to do is capture the candles, I think you might avoid the flash and use a fast lens instead. You can get a Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 on eBay for 40-60 bucks. It's manual focus, but it will give you that out of focus bokeh you want. But my advice is try to capture all the moments before and after the candles, not just the few minutes of candle time. Try to capture both group shots and candid portraits, and for that you'll be better off with an external flash.
02-03-2014, 09:21 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaikumarr18 Quote
Thanks guyz. Also another issue I have is, I cannot zoom in fully to create background blur on indoors I believe. So all images are going to be without background blur. Also if am going to zoom in, then I might be getting semi circle on pictures due to shadow cast from the lens.

Regards,
Jai
If you are using the pop-up flash, don't attach the petal lens hood, that's one big source of shadow.
02-03-2014, 09:28 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaikumarr18 Quote
Thanks Everyone. So I believe my options would be without external flash.....I can understand that using external flash is a whole new thing to master.....

Regards,
Jai
Actually external flash doesn't need to be mastered all at once. Put it in P-TTL mode and you're good for the birthday. You might need a little bit of compensation here and there, but it makes a world of difference. I recommend you get an external flash with a head that both tilts and swivels, this way you can be bouncing it off walls and ceilings whether you take your shots in portrait or landscape. For a softer and more even shot indoors bouncing off ceilings and walls is what's going to give a beginner the best birthday shots.


Last edited by donfenix; 02-03-2014 at 09:48 PM.
02-03-2014, 09:34 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuggie76 Quote
An important aspect that I didn't see mentioned, is to get down to the childrens level, lay on the floor if need be! A bunch of photos looking down on the kids is not very impressive.

Tuggie76
This is an excellent advice Jai! In general you want to have your camera at the same level as your subject's eyes. Be careful about the laying on the floor though. Go only as low as needed but not lower otherwise you'll be in Leni Riefenstahl territory...
02-03-2014, 09:37 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I politely disagree. For general purpose, I find a flash is far more useful than a fast lens. The 50/1.8 will give you between 2 and 3 stops benefit and after that it's finished. And it comes at the cost of shallow DOF.
I agree with you! Also at 50mm, you won't be able to get many group shots indoors. You need to have a wider focal length for group shots, so your 18-135 is better suited for those.
02-03-2014, 09:46 PM   #37
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Jai, if you decided to stick to your pop-up flash, here's a very cheap solution that sometimes works marvels: hold a large kleenex or paper towel in front of the flash. It will act as a negative exposure compensation and diffuse the light to some extent at the same time. I use it sometimes when I don't have my external flash with me and it makes the lighting much less harsh. It might take some practice. You might need to fold the paper towel once or several times before you get a nice level of diffusion
02-16-2014, 12:48 AM   #38
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At last the birthday party was over and I had mixed results with the pictures taken. I used aperture mode with f/4.5 and tried to force the ISO to the max 800 but the lighting condition was not good and hence had to increase it to 1600. Or else its affecting the shutter speed which I cannot compensate due to moving subjects. If I try to reduce aperture to f/8 for group shots, the shutter speed was unbearable. The day before the party, I used the exact same light condition to practice.

I tried to reduce the flash to -2 but it was not enough since the picture was still bit dark in that lighting condition. Hence had to increase it to -1.3 and it was just ok. Tried using visiting card to bounce flash (flash set to 0 -normal) but had mixed results.

The white balance kept on changing since the lighting varies from place to place within the same hall. I had to change it few times though from cool white to warm daylight etc...

I noticed that the sharpness is not that great on my pictures. My friend had the same camera and he showed the pictures that was taken using Prime 50mm f/1.4 lens and the sharpness was just amazing. Not sure if the WR 18-135 zoom lens would not be able to match that lens in terms of sharpness.

Focus : I really had hard time since K30 struggled a bit with the focus in dim lighting conditions. Even though it locked the subject, some pictures were not that focused. Tried manual focus on few pictures but even then its mixed result. Since I did not have much exposure to the manual focus at that time and hence switched back to AF.

Overall its a great experience to learn and I really have to thank the fellow pentaxians to help me out. Kindly provide some pointers for me to improve.

-Jai

02-16-2014, 06:40 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaikumarr18 Quote
At last the birthday party was over and I had mixed results with the pictures taken. I used aperture mode with f/4.5 and tried to force the ISO to the max 800 but the lighting condition was not good and hence had to increase it to 1600. Or else its affecting the shutter speed which I cannot compensate due to moving subjects. If I try to reduce aperture to f/8 for group shots, the shutter speed was unbearable. The day before the party, I used the exact same light condition to practice.

I tried to reduce the flash to -2 but it was not enough since the picture was still bit dark in that lighting condition. Hence had to increase it to -1.3 and it was just ok. Tried using visiting card to bounce flash (flash set to 0 -normal) but had mixed results.

The white balance kept on changing since the lighting varies from place to place within the same hall. I had to change it few times though from cool white to warm daylight etc...

I noticed that the sharpness is not that great on my pictures. My friend had the same camera and he showed the pictures that was taken using Prime 50mm f/1.4 lens and the sharpness was just amazing. Not sure if the WR 18-135 zoom lens would not be able to match that lens in terms of sharpness.

Focus : I really had hard time since K30 struggled a bit with the focus in dim lighting conditions. Even though it locked the subject, some pictures were not that focused. Tried manual focus on few pictures but even then its mixed result. Since I did not have much exposure to the manual focus at that time and hence switched back to AF.

Overall its a great experience to learn and I really have to thank the fellow pentaxians to help me out. Kindly provide some pointers for me to improve.

-Jai

Im glad you saw it as a good learning experience
Getting good results with a flash is hard. Good photographers and pros make it look easy, but it really isn't. But I think nothing will improve your pictures more than being a master with a flash.
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