Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fuji X10 – Review Part 29 – Portrait in Terrible Light

I haven’t played with the flash much at all, and on the eve of the end of this test series (the X10 goes home to Toronto tomorrow morning, sad to say) I though I should do something with the flash.

So these last two parts explore two aspects of flash photography.

This one is about shooting a portrait in absolutely rotten light. Backlit by strong compact fluorescent light and front lit by very low Halogen light a long way away. My eldest volunteered to show off his Canada tat for me to try this out. I shat RAW+JPG at 3200 ISO and the the backlight was giving fairly high shutter speeds. This was not helping the dark face, so I had a choice. Use flash fill (wrong color of light) or shoot ambient at +2/3EV.

I tested both and converted to black and white with heavy processing because of the massively horrid light.

JPEG with flash

RAW with Flash

JPEG Ambient


The flash images were much easier to process, although the mix of light temperatures forced me to go B&W. The ambient JPEG was horrid and I was not able to recover a nice image from it. The RAW worked out adequately, but the flash images spanked it.

So if you have a backlight situation, don’t be afraid to add flash fill … but be prepared to change it to black and white if the colors go wonky. The X10 handled this pretty well …. brutal light but three out of four of these are adequate.

Anyway see that little bloom on the door edge in the ambient shots? Cool …