Shutter Speeds for Studio Work

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Paul Furman, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Paul Furman

    Paul Furman Guest

    I'm no flash pro but the basic idea is the long exposure is for the
    background and the flash only illuminates the foreground subject for a
    short portion of that exposure. So set it up for the background then add
    flash for the subject.
    Paul Furman, Feb 9, 2006
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  2. Paul Furman

    C J Southern Guest

    Hi Folks,

    Friend of mine is shooting 1/250th @ F8 or 1/125 @ F5.6 using studio
    strobes. Foreground exposures are OK, but he would like to bring up the
    background more.

    He's been told by no less than 3 photographers (who *should* know what
    they're talking about) that he needs to shoot a lot slower - even down as
    low as 1/30.

    I can't see that it would make any difference - can any of you good folks
    enlighten us (pun intended!)?

    Many thanks,

    C J Southern, Feb 9, 2006
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  3. Strobes? As in flash units? Shutter speed doesn't matter a damn- light
    output and aperture are the variables, shutter speed should be sync or
    lower. If your background hasn't enough light, you need another light on the

    Martin Francis, Feb 9, 2006
  4. Paul Furman

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    With flash units, you change exposure by changing the aperture. The
    flash is faster than pretty much any shutter speed you can use.

    If the problem is that the background is too dark, then put more light
    on it. It's a studio. You can do that. :)
    Paul Mitchum, Feb 9, 2006
  5. If there's continuous light on the background, changing the exposure
    time will effect the background exposure. if that light is *bright*
    enough the difference may even be significant.

    But this is not a good/normal way to set up lighting in a studio; it's
    better to light the background yourself, and then if you want it
    brighter, turn up the background lights .
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 9, 2006
  6. but will not match the daylight strobes.
    bob crownfield, Feb 10, 2006
  7. The slower shutter speed will allow more of the ambient light to be
    exposed. I used to shoot at 1/30 in the studio just to pick up a little
    warmth of the strobes' modeling lights. For weddings, I'd often do 1/15
    or 1/8 on some shots to get more of the ambient light.
    Randall Ainsworth, Feb 10, 2006
  8. Paul Furman

    zeitgeist Guest

    a focal plane shutter has a max speed for syncing with flash. By shooting
    at your max shutter sync all the time you leave no room for a margin of err,
    especially if you use slave sync.

    but if you pay attention to the shutter speed you can make use of ambient
    (room lights) and flash coordination. works great with a large room, say a
    church wedding formals, select an f/stop that will allow the background to
    build up to about one stop under the flash exposure, now you have a whole
    lot of detail of the church, but still have a bride that stands out with
    some separation.
    zeitgeist, Feb 10, 2006
  9. Paul Furman

    Patrick L Guest

    Depends on how much ambient light there is with respect to the aperture and
    shutter speed settings.

    I will shoot in a studio setting, where, if I metered the ambient light at,
    say, ISO 100, F/8 the shutter speed would be something like 2 seconds. In
    other words, not much ambient light to speak of. Which is fine, since
    I'm depending on strobes for exposures.

    With such little ambient light, for all intents and purposes, shutter
    speed is irrelevant as long as it doesn't drag enough for ambient light to
    creep in much, or shutter speed doesn't exceed X sync. So all the shutter
    speeds in between these two extremes will have little effect on the
    exposure, due to the fact that the exposure is being controlled by flash.
    In this situation, ISO and Aperture have control over exposure, not
    shutter speed. Shutter speed is irrelevant. Similar is true if you are
    shooting in a tungsten lit room, such as at a wedding reception, and using
    flash to exposure your subjects. There might be enough tungsten light to
    get into the exposure if you drop the shutter speed down to 1/10th of a
    second, and shoot at ISO 400. But the background will be orange-ish, and
    blurry, and the subject being photographed might display ghosting. Some
    photographers drag the shutter for this effect, intentionally. Some call
    it "art", but I call it a duff and don't hand it to my client.

    Patrick L, Feb 14, 2006
  10. Paul Furman

    Hunt Guest

    I agree completely. What the shooter needs to do is LIGHT the background.
    About the only reason to shoot lower shutter speed, is if you want to burn in
    a light emitting object, LED, CRT, etc. One may need to either add more heads
    to light the bkgd, or maybe rent/borrow another pack, if all WSs are used
    already. Nothing beats a half-dozen Speedotron 4800 packs, except for maybe a
    half-dozen Broncolors. <G>

    Hunt, Feb 17, 2006
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