Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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I have a Sony A57 and a Sony HVL-43 flash. I have been trying low key photography wirelessly, but I am struggling with the settings. I've followed settings from other sources I have found, and I have had a play with a lot of others, and I have also used a softbox, but it was still too light. Does anyone have any ideas?

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Can you post what you have tried? An example photo that you're not satisfied with would be ideal. – mattdm Mar 24 '13 at 22:50
Also, note that there's an ambiguity between low key lighting (as from cinema) and a low key image (as traditional in photography and the visual arts). (See this question and answer for details.) Since the actual effect (and the way to get there) can be very different, Which do you mean? – mattdm Mar 24 '13 at 23:29
BTW: Your question is unrelated to Sony - you just happen to use Sony flashes, but the issue you have isn't related to the equipment. And, yes: we really do need to know what did you try. Perhaps you can show us a sample picture on what you think is a failed attempt? – MarcinWolny Mar 25 '13 at 10:06

Two options:

First, and my preference, would be to expose properly and adjust via post-processing on a computer. You have much easier control of how and where light is shown to highlight your subject.

Alternatively, shoot everything in manual. Set your flash to a constant power (start at 1/4 or 1/8 power) Keep you shutter speed to the maximum sync speed (1/200 or 1/250) to minimize ambient light, and then adjust your aperture as needed to let in more/less light. You could also adjust your flash power as needed.

When in manual, change one setting at a time and see what effect it has; best way to learn how to use off camera flashes.

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