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12-21-2014, 08:42 AM   #1
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shooting with flash

I have a K30 that I am very happy with but I am having mixed results shooting inside with the flash. I end up with many pictures that are blurry or have significant `ghosting``. I have tried different flash settings but it still happens. Funny thing is that the next shot will be fine. Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong.

12-21-2014, 09:00 AM   #2
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Are you shooting fast? One possible explanation is that the flash is not ready yet for the next shot and the shutter value is set lower, causing motion blur.

12-21-2014, 09:21 AM   #3
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It might be but I often leave quite a bit of time between shots to no avail. It seems that often it has trouble focusing and then sometimes there will be 2 flash discharges....
12-21-2014, 10:00 AM   #4
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The ghosting is almost certainly caused by having too slow of a shutter speed. It's important to understand that when you are dealing with flash, you are potentially making two exposures at the same time, one for the flash and one for the ambient light.

Think of it this way, if you shot in a pitch black room with your flash, 100% of the exposure would come from the flash itself which has a very short duration. You could in theory (and in practice) shoot with a 30 second shutter speed and still get tack sharp photos, assuming you managed to focus in the dark. Only for those few milliseconds that the flash is firing, do photons accumulate on the sensor.

Now think of normal, non-flash photography. In broad daylight, if your shutter speed is, oh 1/8th of a second with a 50mm lens, you are probably going to see some camera shake, or subject movement, or both. The reason for this is the ambient light continues to accumulate over the duration of the exposure, and anything moving in the image will blur. In this case, the answer is to change your ISO or open up your aperture until you can get your shutter speed to roughly the reciprocal of your focal length, ie 1/60th for a 50mm lens, or 1/30th for a 35mm lens. (though you can usually coax an extra stop of hand-holdability out of the shake reduction feature, but only with inanimate subjects)

When mixing flash and ambient indoors, you want enough ambient light to make the photo look like the room is lit naturally, but not enough that it causes your subjects to blur. If a compromise needs to be made, and this will be determined by the amount of ambient light, then it's usually best to underexpose the background by a stop to maybe a stop and a half, and let the flash add the missing light to your subject. So take a look at the exposure info on some of these shots where you see ghosting. What was your shutter speed? Can you afford to open the aperture or raise the ISO a stop, and increase the shutter speed by the same amount? (n.b. this is easiest to do in manual mode) Let us know how it goes.

12-21-2014, 02:18 PM   #5
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I too struggle with indoor flash and done some reading on different techniques. I shoot raw if this matters with a K-5 II and a Metz 50 AF-1 flash. What seems to work most of the time for me is to shoot manual settings with an external hot shoe flash. I set shutter speed at least 1/125th which I find fast enough to stop motion in most people, F stop 5.6 and ISO either 200 or 400. Then I take a couple of test shots and raise or lower the flash power setting on the flash itself. This way if while shooting my main subject is closer to me I can quickly dial down the flash power and dial it back up for general distances.
I usually leave the white balance setting either on auto or manual select "flash" but because of mix lighting it is not totally accurate. I will find something that is white and take a picture of that, maybe two or three times during the session. I should use a color correct white card but these photos are not for professional and I find this a quick way to do it.
I take everything into Lightroom and make final adjustments there. Most adjustments can be made by syncing from the first photo. Indoor I am using either my 18-135mm, 35mm or 15mm lens. When using the 18-135 I find most of the photos I take indoors with flash are in the 20-24mm range, so my next lens purchase will probably be a prime in that range, which will also work with landscape photography, which I enjoy more.
12-21-2014, 02:46 PM   #6
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The camera behaves differently depending on your mode. Page 236 of your manual mentions that, but does not fully describe the effects you see. To fix your immediate problem, Tv or M mode allows you to set the shutter speed yourself up to 1/180 sec. Av mode is useful for natural light but does not allow direct control over shutter speed. The camera will choose that based on the focal length of your lens, roughly conforming to the 1/focal length rule for handholding. So if you use the kit lens at 18mm, you might see shutter speeds that are too slow to capture ordinary people.

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