I attended a Canon Canada industry event today: launch of the C100 MkII video camera. Here it is:

(1600 ISO, 1/60 sec, f/1.4, bounced flash).

Hey. Wait. Let’s talk about this shot. Why those particular settings?

  1. It was dark, and bouncing was tough, so the lens will need to be open at f/1.4 to let in enough light. Also, this creates round bokeh background lights, not hexagons. So, aperture done.
  2. I wanted a handheld sharpness guaranteed shutter speed. Say twice the lens focal length. And with a 35mm lens, that means 1/60 second. So, shutter done.
  3. So now I wanted the background to read around -3 stops, or something thereabouts: dark, but not pitch dark; a nice warm glow. My first guess was that 1600 ISO would get me there. If it had not been, I would gave tried other ISO values until done.
  4. White balance to zero. Flash compensation to minus one (the camera is black and the flash is metering off the camera).

That wasn’t so difficult now, was it? And note, I am not saying that my way is the only way. If you have another way of getting to good settings, good for you. But this works for me and you should think about what works for you. And then, and you are probably starting to recognize a theme: practice. practice. practice.


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