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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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

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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.

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And the “Hue” variation.

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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”

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After applying the same workflow this is the result.

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And the 2 variations :

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With the “Hue” as well.

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

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And the 3 variations :

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The B/W variation :

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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.

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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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