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SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2

Help

I am taking a photo for my Christmas card. I have a lit candle in the photo along with a reflective Christmas ornament. How would you shoot this without too much of a bright spot on the ornament? I have found that I need a fairly fast shutter to keep the candle light from blowing out around 1/100. With that speed the rest of the photo is dark, so I need some bounced flash. I have an acceptable photo, but I would like a better one, if it is possible. I have tried a lighter room and a darker room. I’m not getting a blown spot on the ornament, just a brighter spot than I would like.



orion940
Attractive like a magnet
Premium
join:2001-12-23
Windsor, CT

1 recommendation

Can you get a less shiny ornament? or use flood lights on the sides and lose the flash.
--
Windsor, Home of the Decorative Zamboni



SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2

Thanks for your reply. The ornament is not as shiny as glass, but it picks up any light. The more light in the room I have, means less ambient light from the candle, which changes the mood.



EGeezer
zichrona livracha
Premium
join:2002-08-04
Midwest
kudos:8

1 recommendation

reply to SueS

I wonder if this would be the situation for bracketing shots and using HDR software.
--
Buckle Up. It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car.



SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2

I even tried taking a photo adjusting for the candle light and one for the rest of the photo at a longer exposure. I was thinking I might merge the two. Because of the light from the candle the two images are too different. I may have to look for another ornament. The color of this one is perfect.



badd
Premium
join:2001-10-04
De Queen, AR
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to SueS

Have you tried defusing the flash along with bouncing it? Or perhaps no flash and then adding fill flash in post.
--
Just another day in Paradise



29886823
Premium
join:2005-03-29
kudos:3
reply to SueS

Without seeing the actual image it's not possible to suggest much in the way of processing, or even lighting.



SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to badd

said by badd:

Have you tried defusing the flash along with bouncing it? Or perhaps no flash and then adding fill flash in post.

Defusing the flash is one thing I did not try, but I did try no flash and the image too bright, I don't get the candle ambiance.

I even thought about making a softbox without a top. I don't want to go to the trouble if it is not going to work. I put the stuff all away yesterday, and won't set it all up again till after Thanksgiving. I will be back at it on Friday.

Thanks for the replies. I welcome any more ideas anyone might have.


pkalona
Wannabe GWC
Premium
join:2002-06-29
San Carlos, CA
reply to SueS

Have you tried using your flash and dragging the shutter to capture more background light?



badd
Premium
join:2001-10-04
De Queen, AR
kudos:1
reply to SueS

You also might try 2nd curtain flash although that may cause the candel to blow now that I think of it.
--
Just another day in Paradise



multi

@tmodns.net
reply to SueS

Please show a sample.

Some ideas

use only candles extra candles

dim the flash by putting yiur finger acriss half or 3/4 of it to dim by 1 stop or two stops

use inxandescents instead of flash

or eliminate hot spot by copy and paste from a normal part of the ornament



SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2
reply to SueS

Am I correct in thinking dragging the shutter and 2nd curtain flash are the same thing? If so I have tried this. Thanks for the replies.



SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2
reply to multi


Canon EOS 7D
40mm 1/100th F8 ISO100

Using only candles would take how many, and the light would still be reflected.

I tried covering part of the flash.

I know I will have a bright spot, I just would like the spot to be smaller and not as noticeable, with more attention going to the candle and the flame.


tmpchaos
Requiescat in pace
Co-Lead Mod
join:2000-04-28
Hoboken, NJ
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to SueS

Instead of doing a second shot for the candle (which is providing the 'feel' for the shot), do a second shot for the ornament. Then cut and paste as necessary.
--
***ATMFAQ***DIFAQ***Kitchen Sink***



SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2

That's the whole problem, I have to use fill light to get the exposure needed on the ornament. With out the fill light the colors do not match. I really like the candle light not blown in this image because of the overall colors in the photo.



grendal
Mmm Donuts
Premium
join:2001-10-10
Fremont, CA
reply to SueS

if you used lightroom, you can do localized dodge/burn for each hotspot.



SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2

I can do dodge and burn in GIMP, but I don't think it looks real. Can you take the example I posted and show how you would fix it?



29886823
Premium
join:2005-03-29
kudos:3


Canon EOS 7D
40mm 1/100th F8 ISO100


Radial Gradient
Sue,
I tried this by applying a radial gradient fill layer in PS, and was able to knock down the bright spot a bit, though I'm not sure without seeing the rest of image how far to go. Good thing you're getting an early start!


SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2

Your redo changed the color of the gold glitter, but I might play with some gradients, something I had not thought about.

I have a pretty image as is, I just want to make it better. Part of the fun of photography is continually trying to improve ones work. The ornament is a very small part of the whole image, I just cropped it out to post here.



bfreas
Premium
join:2001-06-16
Franklin, KY

1 recommendation

reply to SueS


Canon EOS 7D
40mm 1/100th F8 ISO100

If you were using the RAW file in Lightroom you could also do localized highlight recovery which would probably take care of it. Here's an attempt in PS where I added a 50% gray layer set to Soft Light mode and did some burning on that layer. Would have liked to had the RAW to work with....
--
"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark." — John Muir


multi

@tmodns.net
reply to SueS

The highlight is both bright n big.

Notice too that the highlights on the glitter and ornament cap are bluer. U could play with color gels on the flash.

To reduce the highlight size move the flash farther back. You can do that by moving the camera back and then using a longer lens or lens setting. Or if your flash is detachable you can leave the camera where it is n use a flash extension cord or trigger it manually.

Moving the flash back to double the distance it was will reduce the highlight size but will also reduce the amount of light by two stops. The inverse square rule - it has to cover 4x the area so intensity is reduced to 1/4 or two stops loss. There may be enough power in your flash to compensate automatically. Or if you can trigger it manually use four pops instead of one.



multi

@tmodns.net
reply to SueS

Plan b

quick paintout. Glitter strips retAined by cut paste


SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2

2 recommendations

reply to SueS


Canon EOS 7D
75mm 1/125th F8 ISO100

I re-shot today. I believe I tried everything mentioned here, thanks guys. This is what I have settled on, and I think it is improved. I ended up just putting a diffuser on the flash, with my hand in front of the flash when it fired. It was also bounced off the ceiling. I then blended two photos using slightly different curves. The blending was done only on the ornament.


Jodokast96
Stupid people really piss me off.
Premium
join:2005-11-23
Erial, NJ
kudos:2

A bit late, but was it possible to have bounced off the wall behind you? I'm thinking that would have helped it diffuse a bit more.



SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2

I tried bouncing from the back as well as the side. I am ok with the way it turned out. The ornament is a very small part of the photo.

Should anyone figure out a better or correct way to do this for future use I would be interested. It is something I think everyone should at least try.

I took another photo of a bunch of the same ornaments in different colors, without the candle. It was easy, and turned out fine.