Flash / post processing standards / Variations

Since in the near future I am about to shoot during night conditions and I’m required to use the built in flash option, I decided to go out and make some tests. I used the flash full blast, I used it with the lowest intensity and I even took photos with no flash during night in low light conditions. I set up the ISO on Auto-Mode (totally unhappy with the result – in low light conditions it goes way up high and the image comes out full of “noise”) ;

Second thing, I started saving “presets” and creating workflows for improving the photos. I’m aiming for modifying all of the photo shoot by creating a standard. All the images should have the same tonality, same brightness, same type of vivid colors.

There are of course, variations of the same image – black and white, black and white with a hue of another color involved, or 2 other color hues only used for the same image.

Also I bought a new display – its a BEn Q GW2406Z – 24 inch. I know ts the cheaper model but in the beginning will do just fine. I need to see the “big picture”.

I’ve selected below 5 images (not necessary the best ones – some of them are out of focus) and my aim was the transformation and lighting result.

Same camera was used – Nikon D7100 with the same lens – AF-S Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G VR with out a hood. I shoot in Manual Mode mostly only RAW format. I used Spot Metering and Zone Metering. All the Post-processing was done only in Lightroom.


This is the image that came out of the camera. The flash was not set up on full blast. Honestly I don’t remember the flash setting.


This is the modified image. I was aiming for a warm feel of the image. I think it got a little bit yellowish the image – but this is just a personal opinion. I played around with all the options : from Exposure, Contrast to the “Dehaze” option and “Vignette”.


As a standard for B/W, I was aiming for a Matte effect. Giving a “Shiny” B/W effect in this case I didn’t find at all attractive.


And the “Hue” variation. Which is a little bit strong I admit. Maybe in the future I will make the “hue” a little bit subtle.


The flash was used here – full blast. Also the focus point was the grass in front of the baby (the baby is completely out of focus).

The first variation looks like this.


Honestly I like the colors in this one and I like the fact that the image doesn’t have a “warm yellowish” feeling. Maybe the baby’s skin should have been a little bit lighter. Maybe.


And the “Hue” variation which I consider better then the previous image with the same hue. Not perfect but better.


The next image has been produced with the Flash Blast set to minimum power. I’m not really sure if is actually a matter of Blast Power but more of a timing issue. I think most likely the Flash blasts and the image is taken by the camera many fractions of a second later when actually the Flash light is fading away in the darkness. I’m still an Amateur Photographer so I’m not really sure of what I’m saying right now


After applying the same standard in Editing this is what came out.


I had also a moment of revelation when doing the post processing for these images. I came to the conclusion that you can recover much more easily an under-exposed image than an over-exposed one. The image information capture in the RAW file is still there from what I can see. On the other hand when I “burn” a photo because of various reasons (the sun light to strong, the flash blast to high, etc) I don’t think I can get back all the RAW information on that file. Just my impression.


And the “Hue” variation.


Next image was done with the Flash Blast timing exactly right (at least in my opinion). This is the image that came out of the camera without any “improvements”


After applying the same workflow this is the result.


And the 2 variations :


With the “Hue” as well.


Again, in the next image, I find the Flash blast timing a little bit off. I was running a lot of tests.


And the 3 variations :


The B/W variation :


In this one, I think I overreacted with the baby’s skin – I’m pretty sure this shiny skin would look good on a adult model but on this baby its changing completely the color of the skin.

And the “Hue” variation – again doesn’t look that good because the base from where I started was the B/w image above.


As a conclusion, I can say that I learned some valuable lessons – not only behind the camera but also in front of the monitor. In the fallowing photo shoots I will try to apply what I discovered so far and try to get closer to a Premium product.


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