No bounce?

What if you shoot an event in a dark room?

First, set your ISO-Aperture-Shutter combination to something you desire – in my case that is -2 stops metered w.r.t. ambient. E.g. 1/30th second, f/4. and 800 ISO in a dark, dark room like the venue Many options. where I shot a corporate event yesterday night.

But then you do need flash light to fill in the rest. And what if you cannot bounce? If the venue, like mine, is black, with high black ceilings and all black walls? You curse inwardly, of course. And then what?

Many things.

In my case, in a total no-bounce environment I use this: A Fong Lightsphere with a Honl Photo reflector behind it:

Which gives me not the very best light, but it is, I think, perfectly acceptable:

Many other techniques also, but that will come another day.

One more:

And all that in a no bounce environment – which goes to show, you can always do something!


7 thoughts on “No bounce?

  1. Michael,

    Would it be possible to shoot an even like this without a flash at all? I would suspect that you’d have to open up the aperture, increase iso and increase exposure time. But having the aperture wide open might cause field of view problems and incresing exposure time might cause motion blur.

    In my mind, the theory suggests that it would be a shot with high noise levels at super high iso to compensate for those potential field of view and motion blur issues.

      • That makes sense. I thought I was just doing something wrong when I was experimenting with no flash in a relatively low light event that I attended.

        I have had the trouble of exposing my background more than I would like when taking these pictures. In the photos that you’ve posted here, were they at your typical starting point of:
        400 ISO, f/4.0 and 1/30th sec?

  2. I have been to banquet halls that have dark walls and dark ceilings, and I have always wondered how I would set up my flash. I will definitely try out your set up, and will be extremely happy if I can get results like yours.

  3. I never considered putting the Honl reflector behind the Lightsphere. I’ll have to give that a try. I’ve gotten some good results with the Lightsphere alone, but I know I’m wasting a lot of the flash output behind me.


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