I encountered this problem the other day at one of the many skybars in Bangkok. I wanted to take some photos of my friends enjoying their drinks, but the situation had a few challenges; the only light source came from the bar itself and was not illuminating where we were sitting at all, the space was very crowded so I couldn't set anything up other than in my 'personal space'(no tripods or reflectors), there are no walls for bouncing light, my camera (Canon 5D) is useless for noise above ISO 1000.
I used my hot-shoe flash but this either:
- Washed the people out, but the city lights were bright enough
- Captured people in correct exposure and the cityscape lights being not light enough
- The real problem. Captured people and cityscape with the correct exposure, but there were awkward heavy shadows cast by their eyebrows, chins and noses as the flash was coming from half a foot above my camera.
Without walls to bounce light off, I am out of my element!
I would like a recommendation on what sort of flash setup could get rid of the shadows. It would be great if the setup was light so that I could carry it around all day without a fuss.