#1. "RE: Shadow Drop...GRRRRR" In response to Reply # 0
If this is with a flash, you need to raise the flash a little bit more (flash brackets work great for this). The other way to do it is to have them hold very still and lower your flash synch speed. This will allow you to fire a very brief amount of light to front illuminate them, but then a longer shutter speed will allow the available room light (aka ambient light) to balance with the flash - resulting in a very natural look. See my example here. The caution is that you are operating at a very low shutter speed - this is for steady hands or tripods only!
#2. "RE: Shadow Drop...GRRRRR" In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians! Are you using the built in Speedlight or an SB-400, SB-600, SB-800, or SB-900? If you shoot in portrait orientation the flash will cast a shadow to the side and behind your subject. If you are using the built in Speedlight shoot in landscape orientation. It will keep the flash above the lens, and cast a shadow behind the subject so it will be much less noticeable. If you are using a separate Speedlight, you can bounce the flash and / or use a flash bracket to keep the flash above the lens in either landscape orientation or portrait orientation. This will cast the shadow directly behind the subject and out of the image. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#4. "RE: Shadow Drop...GRRRRR" In response to Reply # 3
If you shoot in landscape orientation (with the flash above the lens) the shadow should be projected behind your subject and out of sight. If you shoot in portrait orientation the flash will be next to the lens and project a shadow to the oposite side and behind your subject. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#7. "RE: Shadow Drop...GRRRRR" In response to Reply # 0 Sat 27-Feb-10 05:54 AM by Drbee
The drop or rim shadow is due to two things as already stated. The height of the flash above the lens and the distance of the subject to the background. If you increase either, you drive the shadow away from a tightly cropped subject. Our tasks as photographers is to control the light and to drive the shadow away from the frame. You can also change the direction from which the light is coming by using bounce flash (with do direct lighting on the subject) and add more control to the light. Different kinds of flash modifiers (which include a flash bracket to elevate the strobe) can change the lighting direction including just directing a portable strobe (e.g. SB-600, SB-900 to name the ones currently in production) directly at the ceiling - this is a form of bounce and it looks like the light is coming from a large light source on the ceiling. This drives the shadows down, but if you have tall people standing in a room with a white ceiling it can create a light gradient illuminating the tops of their heads more than their mid-bodies. This all takes a little practice but with the right equipment you can master it in an evening or two of concentrated practice (and some rechargeable batteries).
The quick solution is to move the subject away from the background, the next is to get a SB* Nikon strobe, experiment with bounce strobe - with many possible options of height, direction and diffuser, add a flash bracket and remote trigger cord for another option and then add all the possible bounce options on top of this. I think you will quickly find how far you need to escalate into the equipment options. You will also see the "quality" of the light change with each new step of lighting control. The on-board flash can produce some really harsh light.
Added in edit: I just saw you comment about taking pictures in a bar. I'm assuming this is a dark place with little lighting control and that the strobe is truly a main light with little additional lighting coming from anywhere else. This is a tough situation. I still think a more powerful strobe like a SB-900 pointed directly up to see if it can add any usable lighting to the image. If that doesn't, then try adding a bounce card to redirect some of the vertical light towards the subject. This will take some practice, but depending on how important the images are, it may be worth the effort and expense.
In your comment about the venue, did that mean that you are not open to the previous suggestions because some other restrictions are in effect, either by the venue authorities or just the extra gear and visibility of that gear?
Roger It is still ISO, aperture and shutter speed, right? "Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment."