Why did my photo went dark when I used my flash?

TaraTara Posts: 36Member
edited February 2015 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I have a nikon D610, mounted 50mm 1.8G, speed light SB600. I was taking indoor shots that were exposing correctly but when I added my flash to bouce off the wall and act as a bit of a fill in on one side - it made the photo go very dark. I tried shooting in aperture priority set at f4 (and let the camera set the shutter and I also tried in Shutter setting the camera at 1/100 and let the camera choose aperture and it happened both times.

Any suggestions please?
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Comments

  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    Sounds like a setting problem. Did you check the flash settings in the menus? Make sure it is set to iTTL.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited February 2015
    can you post a photo with the complete exif ?

    One of the possible issues is that the distance the light has to travel to "bounce" may be too much for the settings eg: if you have set the ISO to 100 and you are shooting in a hall.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • TaraTara Posts: 36Member
    I'm trying to post a photo and I'm clicking on the little picture but it's just doing tags.
  • TaraTara Posts: 36Member
    20150214-DSC_3638.jpg
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,427Moderator
    @Tara: please read the sticky post at the top of the front page on how to post an image on PAD. It also works for any thread (like this one).
    Always learning.
  • TaraTara Posts: 36Member
    can you post a photo with the complete exif ?

    One of the possible issues is that the distance the light has to travel to "bounce" may be too much for the settings eg: if you have set the ISO to 100 and you are shooting in a hall.
    I think you're right. I took lots of photos and got rid of most of them. This is the only one left that kind of shows what happened. It is in a large room. and F11 was probably asking too much in this case. I thought I took some at f4 and they didn't work also but because I got rid of the photos I can't check the other data.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,427Moderator
    That may be the problem, but we can't see the EXIF data for the image. As it is missing from your image, can you read it and tell us what it is please?
    Always learning.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    edited February 2015
    To me it doesn't really look like it fired. Could you see it going off? I used a sb600 in a large church and it worked fine. You are only using a 50 mm lens so distance shouldn't be a problem. Are you positive your flash was set on the right setting? On the sb600 you can change the mode on the back. I am trying to remember how if I used it a certain way it wouldn't automatically change and zoom like it was supposed to. Maybe when I did or didn't have the diffuser down.
    Post edited by tcole1983 on
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,427Moderator
    I agree, if it had, there would be light dropping off across the ceiling. If we had the EXIF we would know.
    Always learning.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,363Member
    edited February 2015
    What angle was the flash head set to? If you had the head pointed right up (90º) then the light might not have reached the intended subjects.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • blandbland Posts: 812Member
    @Tara Were you using single point or dynamic metering? The glass door in the middle of the picture is perfect exposure. I'm wondering if you accidentally had it on single or center point?
  • TaraTara Posts: 36Member
    Forgive me if this appears twice - I posted and it disappeard - and said I couldn't post - so writing again.

    I had the flash pointed to wall on the right out of view but close. I had the camera set to single point metering so bland, you may be onto something. Although I don't think I had it pointed that way for all the photos (but I deleted them so can't see them now to examine them).

    I've been watching some youtube videos on using speed lights. A couple have been great most boring and not very helpful. Has anyone watched some that they could recommend?

    Thanks
    Tara

    Aperture Value: 6.919
    Contrast: Normal
    Custom Rendered: Normal process
    Date Time Digitized: 14/02/2015 1:28:07 PM
    Date Time Original: 14/02/2015 1:28:07 PM
    Digital Zoom Ratio: 1
    Exif Version: 2.3
    Exposure Bias Value: 0
    Exposure Mode: Auto exposure
    Exposure Program: Aperture priority
    Exposure Time: 1/60
    File Source: DSC
    Flash: Flash fired, compulsory flash mode, return light detected
    FNumber: 11
    Focal Length: 50
    Focal Length In 35mm Film: 50
    Focal Plane Resolution Unit: centimeters
    Focal Plane X Resolution: 1,675.015
    Focal Plane Y Resolution: 1,675.015
    Gain Control: Low gain up
    ISO Speed Ratings: 400
    Light Source: unknown
    Max Aperture Value: 1.6
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Saturation: Normal
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    Scene Type: A directly photographed image
    Sensing Method: One-chip color area sensor
    Sharpness: Normal
    Shutter Speed Value: 5.907
    Subject Distance Range: unknown
    Sub-second Time Digitized: 20
    Sub-second Time Original: 20
    White Balance: Auto white balance
    Image Number: 1,980
    Lens ID: 176
    Lens Info: 50, 50, 1.8, 1.8
    Lens Model: 50.0 mm f/1.8
    Serial Number: 2027434
  • TaraTara Posts: 36Member
    . Are you positive your flash was set on the right setting?
    Nope - still working out the settings and what they all mean. I thought I had kind of got my head around it but need to go back to the drawing board.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    Best way is to just sit in your house and take pictures of stuff. There are two parts to the equation wiith the flash. One is in camera settings...ie in the menu button. The second part is the flash itself. According to your exif data the flash went off and the flash picked up light, but from looking at the picture the exposure is off. Sounds like it fired, but not with enough power.

    Honestly there are numerous things that it could be and I can't tell from the exif data...it doesn't show which mode the flash was in or anything. Download and look at the manual from Nikon. Check out pages 13, 32-33. I can investigate some of my pictures when I get home tomorrow to compare.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 456Member
    Check out strobist.com and read lighting 101. It may help.
  • TaraTara Posts: 36Member
    Download and look at the manual from Nikon. Check out pages 13, 32-33. I can
    Thank you. I have downloaded the manual in will read those pages.

  • TaraTara Posts: 36Member
    Check out strobist.com and read lighting 101. It may help.
    I will do. Thank you.


  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    F11 is probably the issue .. You can try with F1.8 and it would probably be fine. The other issue would be the flash may be set to low.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited February 2015
    In preparing for the weddings that I've shot - primarily concerning the receptions - I've learned to trust bumping the ISO higher than I usually desire. The venues are usually large and poorly lit similar to your setting here @Tara. In other words, I tend to want to keep ISO low to avoid noise but in some cases one must push it higher to get proper exposure, even when using flash. If I'm reading the info correctly it appears that your ISO was 400. In addition you're bouncing flash.

    Best case scenario is that the surface from which you're bouncing light is white and it appears that that wall is a few shades darker than white - rendering your bounced light less effective. The ceiling is white, so you might have gotten a better exposure with the flash head aimed upward along with an increase your ISO and/or along with a wider aperture - since the ceilig is very high. Maybe an F-stop in the 6.0 to 8.0 range since you've got several people to try to keep focused.

    As others have said, play/practice at home, visit Strobist dot com for excellent flash instructions as well as Neilvn dot com > Photo Edu > Tangents (Neil van Niekerk). Have fun!!

    Oh, and just throwing this in regarding Aperture:
    Going from f/11.0 to f/8.0 actually doubles the amount of light reaching your sensor.
    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited February 2015
    Lots of comments here but when using flash I find turning off the auto ISO is best. In a case where there is back light or a bright source, i.e., windows, this may fool the camera not thinking there is more light than actually present. Also, if one is using a spot metering setting, and the spot is on the window, once again, the camera thinks there is a lot more light than actually exists on the subject.

    Actually, when using flash I use a full manual mode....but I do this most of the time anyway except use Auto ISO when in rapidly varying conditions.

    My thoughts.....and for sure, IMO only
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • DaveCDaveC Posts: 12Member
    I use a D300 with the SB600 and over Christmas had many problems with the flash. Flash settings would change or would not be available, the flash would not fire etc.. Solved it by cleaning the contacts on the flash and in the hot shoe. Might be worth a try
    D750. Vixia HV30, Nikon 24-120 f4, Nikon 70-300mm f 4.5-5.6 VR, Nikon 50mm f 1.8G G, Speedlight SB 600. Nikon Aw100.
  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    edited February 2015
    According to your exif data the flash went off and the flash picked up light, but from looking at the picture the exposure is off. Sounds like it fired, but not with enough power.

    Honestly there are numerous things that it could be and I can't tell from the exif data...it doesn't show which mode the flash was in or anything.
    I think @tcole1983 nailed it.

    There is no connection whatsoever between your problem and any of the settings concerning ISO, aperture etc. – for the simple fact that you have a picture, the flash fired, and it's just that the flash didn't fire brightly enough.

    The exposure value for your settings (ISO 400, 1/60, f/11) equals 11, that's some light, but not something the flash couldn't overpower in a way that you'd recognize it in the picture, even if it's bounced. You should see it as a light source, which you don't.

    I've had exactly your problem a couple of times, and it's always been due to the flash being in the wrong mode (manual, mostly, set to some low value) from some time before, without me noticing it. It can't be anything else. Always make sure it's set to ETTL, and you're done.

    In a non-controlled (i.e. non-studio) setting, there is rarely any use for a mode other than ETTL. If you want more control over the ratio of ambient vs. strobe light, you can always set your camera to manual and leave your flash at ETTL. Adjust your camera to your liking and let the flash do the rest – automatically.

    @tcole1983 advice is really good, just run around in your house and check out how easy it is to get good lighting with the flash. Don't forget to check out the (camera) manual-mode trick to get a feel for how it works.
    Post edited by FlowtographyBerlin on
  • TaraTara Posts: 36Member
    Thank you for all those replies. I didn't realise there were more comments! I don't get emails to notify me so hopefully I've just changed that in my profile settings. Thanks.
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