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Urgent help needed!

ddolfelin Plus
6 103 3 Wales
14 Sep 2013 8:58AM
I need to go and take pictures of flowers in a Church this morning.
The ambient light is terrible.
Worse, the flowers are arranged in front of windows.
The only equipment available: Canon 60D and long kit lens, tripod.
No floods, no off camera flash, no reflectors.
Another impediment is that I am an idiot.

Am I correct in thinking that I can bleach out the light from the windows in order to get some details of the flowers?
Suggested provisional camera settings would be of great help.
The average arrangement is about 3 feet high by 2'6" wide.

Much appreciation for any advise!

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ddolfelin Plus
6 103 3 Wales
14 Sep 2013 9:11AM
Or advice!
GlennH 13 1.9k 1 France
14 Sep 2013 9:30AM
If you can't move them, the simple way will be to blow the background highlight detail and expose for the flowers. Even that might pose its problems if there is a lot of contrast in your subject - a reflector of some description would help you to even the exposure up slightly. Any artificial light switched on near the window may give you a bigger technical headache with colour balance.
keith selmes 14 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
14 Sep 2013 9:33AM
There may be more expert ideas, but my first thoughts:

A reflector is just a piece of bright or shiny material, like baking foil, or if that is too bright, a piece of white card or even a sheet or a pillow case for example. You need something to hold the reflector(s) in place. Prop or hang them on anything available. If you can set the camera on timer, you can use your hands.

If you haven't got anything that will do, local shops probably will. If I didn't have it, I would be thinking of cardboard or thin hardboard, plus baking foil plus sticky tape, and maybe garden canes as handles or supports.

You should be OK exposing for the flowers, if you can meter on them and check on your LCD. I wouldn't like to guess settings. I expect it's like using a lightbox as a white background, which a lot of us do. Can be a bit tricky getting what you want, but do-able.
I would really want the reflector(s) though.
mohikan22 14 2.3k 2 United Kingdom
14 Sep 2013 9:50AM
a head torch? or any torch. simple but effective.
ddolfelin Plus
6 103 3 Wales
14 Sep 2013 10:04AM
Thanks folks - just confirming my own thoughts (which is definitely a plus!).
I assume the 60D will have metering ability (it's arriving in 15 minutes!).
Going to be a very steep learning curve on the buttons.

I very much appreciate the help so freely given.
Thank you.
14 Sep 2013 10:17AM
Again if you cant move them , ask someone to help with a card at the back of them, or try using your camera that you are familiar with, I wouldnt risk taking a new camera out.

I would boost the ISO up too as high as possible if you havent got an off camera flash you are going to risk blowing the highlights. Shoot for the flowers, keeping the aperture as tight as possible stop it to F4 or lower if you can.. Hope this helps Peter. good luck Patty
ddolfelin Plus
6 103 3 Wales
14 Sep 2013 10:18AM
As well as the above, I thought I would start with some 'likely' settings before going further after looking at results.
Any hints as to what they might be would be of help.
ddolfelin Plus
6 103 3 Wales
14 Sep 2013 10:21AM
Thanks, Patty.
Card at back not possible.
Lower than F4 is certainly possible.
We'll see.
Thanks again.
Will report back.
14 Sep 2013 10:25AM
Good luck to you just focus on flowers foget the background. F4 or lower will give you a sharp image on flowers and blur the background, you dont want to spend ages dodged and burning background if you dont need too. Glad to help, best wishes to you Patty
ddolfelin Plus
6 103 3 Wales
14 Sep 2013 11:53AM
The pictures are brilliant.
I can't download them to the computer.
The Canon Disc tells me that the monitor isn't compatible with the software.
(I have Canon software already on it with which I process output from the Canon Legra.)
So now trying to figure out how to get around this problem.
Jasper87 Plus
8 2.0k 150 England
14 Sep 2013 11:55AM
I've taken a few images of flowers in church windows and the ones that work have all been taken obliquely keeping most, if not all, of the window out of the frame. This also puts some lovely textured stonework behind the flowers. Select a medium aperture (f8 maybe) but make sure you have the dof you want - all the flowers sharp or creative shallow dof. Definitely use tripod and remote release (or self timer) and the 'live view' function would be invaluable with 'exposure simulation' enabled. You might need the manual to look up 'live view' but it is fairly straight forward and quick to pick up.
ddolfelin Plus
6 103 3 Wales
14 Sep 2013 12:41PM
Thank you.
I used F3.5 and the results have been spectacular - and the advice has been spot on.
(Deep set windows negate a side view).
Just getting the results on the Mac is proving a problem.
MikeRC Plus
13 3.6k United Kingdom
14 Sep 2013 1:47PM
...Hi Peter...will it not work if you put the card in the reader, open the folder in the reader,
select all, copy, then paste to wherever in the computer.
I've had lots of cameras, quite a few computers and this has always worked for me.
.....good luck....Mike
ddolfelin Plus
6 103 3 Wales
14 Sep 2013 3:06PM
I've solved it for this batch.
Took the camera to a friend and got them downloaded to DVD which plays fine on my Mac.

Thanks for all the help today.

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