Indoor photos with a Canon EOS 80D

Discussion in 'Photographic Technique' started by SJ1974, Jan 21, 2024.

  1. SJ1974

    SJ1974 New Member

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    Canon EOS 80D
    I have a Canon EOS 80D camera. I recently purchased a Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens which I plan to use on my next holiday later this year. I will be going on a cruise ship and was wondering if anyone could give me a rough guide on aperture, ISO and shutter speed settings. For example, if I am taking an indoor photo of a subject and I want the background in focus too. I have used Manual settings for years. I find outdoor photos ok given that I can work around lighting levels, however sometimes it can be more difficult with indoor settings on something like a cruise ship where lighting levels can vary in different locations. I don't want to raise the ISO too much in case of grainy images. Is it ok to use the camera's inbuilt flash?
     

  2. Caladina

    Caladina Well-Known Member

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    for the background to be in focus as well indoors you either need a ƒ2.8 or more stopped down aperture, or you need to place the subject as close to the background as possible so the depth of field covers both

    normally to get a well exposed image without added light you would use an ƒ1.4 to allow as much light in as possible but thats going to play against the subject and background focus issue, i should ask at this point is the background you want in focus the room itself or are you thinking the background outside the house / room ie a garden, only asking just incase

    added light, if you cant get enough light from ambient then you'll need to add your own as you'll probably be at ƒ4 to ƒ8 depending on the distances between subject and background,
    the in build flash on most cameras isn't the best option and in some cases can be worse than no light!
    i'll suggest getting a flash trigger and at least one main flash, depending on how advanced you want to go you may want a second to be used as a fill flash for other parts of the image or a reflector which can be made very easy from tin foil , card etc,
    another optional extra or maybe essential bit of lighting gear could be a soft box or diffuser for the flash, in this case it would be a large one a couple feet x a couple of feet to act as soft light, again this can simply be a white bed sheet strung up across a room

    the direct in your face light from the built in camera isnt a great look, if you get stuck with no other choice take a credit card and bounce the flash light up to the ceiling so that acts as the soft box but an inbuilt camera flash is not they strong, it might serve as a trigger for light triggered flashes

    i'm predominantly a wildlife smudger so i dont do alot of work with flash but i do have a few and they are super useful

    adorama, daniel norton, and karl taylor on youtube have excellent videos on flashes both expensive, cheap and everything inbetween but also very good videos on how to use them in many ways to light a room, subject or model

    as for the settings, you'll want to test out what you most exceptable iso range is in low light, try to use a lens that allows you to frame the scene how you want it in the final image, id try not to crop in post if you running a high iso as the crop after will make the grain worse, one thing that does play well with an iso higher than you want is black and white, the soft grain from iso can add to the image rather than taking away from it so if that happens it might save the day

    if you having to use a brighter ƒstop because the light is bad and you didnt manage to get the flash going then placement of the subject will put the background into the focus range the closer they are to it

    taking a tripod and using a timer to take the image will also greatly improve the light so a lower iso is usable but your subject will need to be still if its getting towards the 1/100 or lower, it pays to turn off IS if you on a tripod as some lenses can hunt around for something to stabilize when they detect no movement on a tripod if IS is on
     
  3. johnsey

    johnsey Site Moderator Staff Member Site Supporter

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    Caladina gave a lot of great information there for you to absorb and think about

    The bottom line is, there is no magical indoor formula of settings. Frankly indoor light is drastically different from one location to the next not just in EV (Exposure value rating) but even in color balancing what is many time multiple lighting temperatures.

    Key takeaways.... you need to freeze action so you need somewhere in that 1/60 or 1/100 range just when dealing with people standing. And if you want to get background in focus than you probably want f8-f16 range but that will not be feasible given most indoor lighting ranges. No matter how much light you add i I think generally you probably wont be able to get to a smaller aperture (big fstop numbers) so you will have to work with loss of DOF.

    We actually have it pretty nice nowadays being able to get usable images at 3200 or 6400 iso, This has got drastically better over the years in digital (i never shot my 20d at 1600iso) and in film was extremely grainy by the time you got to 1600 or 3200.

    Generally well lit images indoors are handle by 2 or more external lights. Think back to having group photos in the school gym with 2 large strobe lights brought in from a photographer. He needed the whole group in focus so he used f8 or so and didnt care about fall off of depth of field behind the group, also probably shot at 1/60 and at 1/125 ( film didnt have a bunch of of shutter options like we do now). Lastly he had to crank up those strobes to a high power, albeit he probably only had iso 400/800 portra so the images weren't to grainy and could be blown up but hey.

    Have a read about exposure value online like this one, it will give you an idea... when i shot film i knew I was likely to be at f2, 1/60 and depending on the location lighting type praying i could load 800 speed film and get away with shooting what i planned to.

    https://photographylife.com/exposure-value
    The table is EV using 100iso baseline, but you can double that iso and each time you double it move the square 1 brighter, so ev 5 settings at 100 iso would be at ev 6 settings with 200iso, ev 7 settings at 400 iso and so on. Generally you probably will need to be at 1600-3200 to have much of any options to your aperture without flash.

    Also the issue with adding flash is it generally exposes the subject well and can give you multiple stops of light, but doesn't always do well with ambient light, If you stop down for getting some background, you may not have much ambient light to your background because the flashes do not fill space evenly. David hobby created a whole movement of off camera flash indoors for dramatic lighting as the strobist, he has a blog that is something you could give a read over, it is very educational and was an inspiration to me back in the day how to use minimal equipment to get dynamic lighting. https://strobist.blogspot.com/
     
  4. Caladina

    Caladina Well-Known Member

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    7artisans 7.5mm m, Laowa 100mm macro ef, laowa 9mm zeroD m, Vintage M42 Lenses:
    Ashi Super - Takumar 1.8 / 55mm,
    to add to this, if you can start taking some images at home of what you think the lighting on the cruise ship might be and the distances you think you will be shooting we can see how you are doing and give on going advice,
    there will probably be a bunch of things come up some you will identify as something you don't like but some that you may miss interprete as what the cause is or some you might not notice, best to put those images up now and let us or any other groups you on see them so they can be avoided or made better when the trip comes up.

    facebook is a great place to post your images for critique or general finding out whats not right with them, reason being people on there can be harsh or A'les who don't know or care about your feelings, this makes for a great platform for people finding fault in what you shot

    that being said if you ask for an honest crit here we'll give you a constructive and help out rather than just negative stuff

    the worst people to ask how your images look are friends and family as they generally add more praise and unless you have smudgers in the family may not know what they are looking at other than a nice image, but again that has its value i guess
     

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