Blurry pictures in the studio

Kim wrote:

I am trying to get my lights set up. I want to take photos with the auto settings of my digital camera. I am getting blurred pictures.

I know if my shutter setting is too slow it will blur the picture. I am using 2 soft box lights and an umbrella (gold). The pictures don’t look bad just blurred some. I feel I may not have enough light to keep it from blurring, but when I let my lights strobe I have way to much light. Any suggestions?

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3 thoughts on “Blurry pictures in the studio

  1. StudioLighting.netStudioLighting.net Post author

    Kim,

    Without seeing your setup or a photo it is difficult to know exactly what is causing your blurry photos. However based on your question I suspect that you may not be allowing your strobes to flash. If this is the case the reason that you are experiencing blur would be a result of this.

    With your camera on auto, it will set exposure using the light that is available when the shutter is pressed partially. When strobes are used, however, the camera is unable to anticipate the large amount of light that will hit the scene when they are triggered. For this reason keeping your camera on auto is not usually recommended in a studio setting. Consider putting your camera on manual and using a flash meter to determine the proper exposure.

    Shutter speed is not an issue with monolights as the duration of the flash is too brief to record any motion. The primary exposure control is the lens aperture. If you have too much light even after using the manual camera settings, try changing to a smaller aperture.

  2. Jennifer

    I too have what sound like a similiar problem. i am using a canon digital rebel, thought until i got to learn my camera more i too would use the auto settings. i have notices when there is mid to low light and just using the camera external flash is not enough but the strobe is too much. i have a few examples but don\’t know how to include them, I would love to share with you and figure this out!

  3. Mike

    I would say it is definately the pre-flash metering issue that the guys described above. I would strongly suggest getting a light meter. With non-TTL lighting (ie. off camera strobes), you really need to run your camera on Manual and use the light meter to tell you the settings. There are many reasonably priced meters on the market.

    Short of that, if you are opposed to getting a meter, you will probably want to set your camera to Manual, set the shutter speed to 1/125 and then start experimenting with aperture settings. If you have too much light still, you would increase your shutter speed. The drawback is that using the small LCD it may be difficult to really get the best settings. You can use the histogram as well, but here again, it may be difficult to get the best results consistantly.

    It is a little off the wall and has varying success, but I have seen some people try to use their camera as a light meter. They put a soda cup lid over the lens, set the camera to Auto, move the camera to the position of the subject, point the camera back toward the tripod and take a photo. Recording the meter reading of the shot, then set the camera to Manual and plug in those values…..(you can do custom white balancing using this method too….)

    I would say if you go to all that work…just buy a cheap meter. :-) It really will give you the best, most accurate results.

    Regards,
    Mike


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