Crawling Zombies / No Flash

Crawling Zombies - No Flash

Another shot from the 2012 Philly Zombie Crawl.

While I was taking these crawl photos, someone with a DSLR walked up and asked why I was not using my flash (like everyone else). I didn't have time to answer him, so if you are reading this, here is my answer:

Firstly, I was using a fast portrait lens (Nikon 85/1.4D, The Cream Machine) set to f/2, 1/160s (Auto ISO). If you look carefully at standard flash shots, you can see that while the subject is properly exposed, the background fades into darkness. Although this might be desired for some shots, when you want to bring the background into the story, you have no choice but to expose for the background. You can still use a flash for fill, or to draw attention to the subject, but then it becomes very difficult to balance the color temperature of the flash with the various lights.

For flash-less, dim light (street) photography, I would recommend a prime lens that is f/2.0 or faster (f/1.8, f/1.4 etc.). Even f/2.8 zooms rarely produce a useable image that is not blurred or not too noisy. Expensive lenses are expensive because they render that "certain look".

Song of the Day: The Shining - Black Sabbath (1987)
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