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01-03-2011, 12:05 PM   #1
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Coloured reflections when using flash

Hi all
After taking several family pics over Christmas I noticed that most of the ones on which I used the popup flash were very yellowish, particularly the walls and on skin. The walls in the room are actually a tan/dark orange colour, so there is a yellow component to it (the colour of the walls in the attached pic is way off). Lighting is from spiral fluorescents. The room has a 14' vaulted ceiling and very glossy dark brown laminate flooring.

Any ideas why I'd be getting so much yellow reflection from the walls? Is it just plain overexposed?

I was shooting mostly on the automatic setting. I do want to get away from using that setting (and the popup flash), but until I get the hang of this camera it's the only way I can get the pics without having everyone wait around for me to experiment with different settings.

Thanks
Ross

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01-03-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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If you're set to AWB then your camera should have switched to flash white-balance automatically...

I had a similar issue a few months back... Turned the pop-up flash power down and have had better results since...

Although I generally use 'M' mode I now stick to AWB as I tend to forget to set it for the correct light source when I get my camera out... AWB on my K-x is generally pretty good... The pop-up flash... Not so much...
01-03-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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I think what you are seeing here is the result of the 1/8 shutter time. The area hit with the flash (shirts and such) look good and the correct color. So, the camera did indeed expose the flash correctly, and used the correct WB. But, with such a long shutter speed, the yellow/red incandescent lights shown their yellowy glow and burned that color into the areas exposed to the incandescent light. So, in short, slightly less shutter time -- maybe 1/30 with all the same settings.
01-03-2011, 01:24 PM   #4
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I would think this is a tad more ambient light than you would have preferred; a little faster shutter and lower iso would reduce the amount of ambient light in the picture.

01-03-2011, 01:36 PM   #5
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Auto modes seem to set exposure time based on available light even if flash is used. One would expect AUTO PICT at least to do a better job, but it seems that with the k-x the best thing to do when using the internal flash would really be using M with the max. sync speed (1/180s) and a largish aperture (say 4-5.6) lowish ISO (say 200) and let pttl take care of the exposure using flash compensation instead of the regular exposure compensation if need be.

Rationale for keeping close to the sync speed and keeping ISO low would be getting as little of ambient light as possible so that WB can be set for flash (either automatically or explicitly), largish aperture should compensate for lowish ISO, relatively shallow DOF should actually match the flash intensity being relative to the inverse of distance squared, that is, the depth of the zone with an optimal intensity is shallow anyway. In general the key things to note are that with flash the shutter time affects ambient light only (the flash burst is very short), pttl (which the built-in flash does) in fact turns M in an auto mode (while other modes go for correct exposure by ambient) and that a mix of ambient and flash might make it impossible to set a white balance that would suit both.
01-03-2011, 05:59 PM   #6
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Thanks you all for your prompt responses. I'll do some experimentation with less ambient light, white balance, and using M and P modes.

Jolepp, am I able to manually set the max sync speed (1/180s)? In the ops manual I see that the flash compensation values can be set between -2.0 and +1.0. Is that what you are referring to?

Thanks
Ross
01-03-2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yukoner777 Quote
Thanks you all for your prompt responses. I'll do some experimentation with less ambient light, white balance, and using M and P modes.

Jolepp, am I able to manually set the max sync speed (1/180s)? In the ops manual I see that the flash compensation values can be set between -2.0 and +1.0. Is that what you are referring to?

Thanks
Ross
That was about setting the shutter speed to 1/180s; the max sync speed is the fastest shutter speed that works with flash, with faster speeds part of the frame would miss the light from the flash = dark band in the picture. / Yep, that flash compensation was what I was referring to.
01-04-2011, 01:31 AM   #8
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Well I had to read the thread a couple of times through, but I think I get it now. Thank you all again. I'll try out some of your ideas and knowledge.

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