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Shooting Charity Event


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#1 Denny

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 06:36 PM

Not sure if this is the correct forum for this question but here goes: I've been asked by a co-worker who is organizing a black-tie gala for a local charity to photograph guests on the red carpet just prior to entering the building. I have a SB-600 and plan to use my kit lens 18-135 on my D80. What settings should I use on my camera as well as the flash to capture a sharp well exposed photo of each couple. I plan to use my Manfrotto tripod. Should I take the photo portrait or landscape orientation? I'm not sure how well lit the entrance will be - the event is at night. I'd appreciate any help someone could provide. Thanks. Denny Riffert Newburgh, IN Nikon D80

#2 tlsmith1000

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 04:27 PM

If the guests have been asked to stop and pose for you a tripod should be OK, but if you are to catch them as they make their way past I'd opt for hand held or a monopod since they'll not all be the same height and you'd need time to fiddle with the tripod. And Portrait might be the most useful as they'll be mostly couples and the ladies will wnat to show off their entire dress. Plus shooting hand held you can also zoom in for some close ups. As far as exposure, I'm guessing it will be fairly dark so your flash will be the main light. I suggest getting a diffuser and if you have the money get one of those gadgets that lifts your flash well above your camera in either portrait or landscape so the shadows fall behind and below your subject. For the exposure I'd try to find a similar situation and make a few test shots a few days before the event. As a guess I'd say f/8 for a good depth of field. the shutter will be of less concern since the flash should stop any movement. Since the flash might be your main light and also firing at 1/1 most of the night, bring extra batteries! Your ISO will probably be in the range of 800 to 1600 so your processing will need some noise reduction. Of course they might have some great lighting and all of this will be completely different. And also remember I'm not a pro photographer, I just play one on TV. If some of the pros chime in, give their recommendations more credance than mine.
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#3 Denny

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 05:33 PM

If the guests have been asked to stop and pose for you a tripod should be OK, but if you are to catch them as they make their way past I'd opt for hand held or a monopod since they'll not all be the same height and you'd need time to fiddle with the tripod. And Portrait might be the most useful as they'll be mostly couples and the ladies will wnat to show off their entire dress. Plus shooting hand held you can also zoom in for some close ups.

As far as exposure, I'm guessing it will be fairly dark so your flash will be the main light. I suggest getting a diffuser and if you have the money get one of those gadgets that lifts your flash well above your camera in either portrait or landscape so the shadows fall behind and below your subject. For the exposure I'd try to find a similar situation and make a few test shots a few days before the event. As a guess I'd say f/8 for a good depth of field. the shutter will be of less concern since the flash should stop any movement. Since the flash might be your main light and also firing at 1/1 most of the night, bring extra batteries!

Your ISO will probably be in the range of 800 to 1600 so your processing will need some noise reduction.

Of course they might have some great lighting and all of this will be completely different.

And also remember I'm not a pro photographer, I just play one on TV. If some of the pros chime in, give their recommendations more credance than mine.




Terry,

Thanks for the information. I appreciate it.

Denny



#4 justshootit

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 06:04 PM

Ditto Terry's ISO recommendations. If you find the lighting is really good there and you don't need a flash, then take a Preset WB reading before starting. Otherwise. use either auto WB or flash WB -- you can also use "Cloudy" to warm the shot some. If you're using a flash and the ambient light is fluorescent or Sodium (or any other light that gives an unwanted color cast), you can minimize its effect on your shots. Remember that you control how much the ambient light contributes to the shot with the ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Also, when people are moving, you need to keep your shutter speed up to avoid motion blur from ambient light. You can cut down on these problems by having the ambient light contribute less and having the flash contribute most of the light, but this can lead to a rather flat look -- that's the price we pay for using on-camera flash. You can mitigate this to an extent by using a stroboframe bracket and a diffuser like the LightSphere. I like to use TTL-BL mode to balance the ambient and flash light unless the ambient light is bad. To do this, I keep the ISO up and use an aperture in the f/4 to f/5.6 range. I also use shutter speeds in the 1/125th to 1/200th range to avoid the motion blur from ambient light. If the ambient light is lousy, I'll stop down and drop the ISO some to lessen its effect. I seldom use the default shutter speed of 1/60th unless the people are posed and not moving. One other hint. If your people are posed, you can use FV lock to reduce the tendency of the iTTL system to cause people to blink. This allows you to fire the pre-flashes manually, then take the shot without the pre-flash happening the instant before the shot. I've had some subjects that just always blink when the pre-flash fires, and the shots invariably have them with their eyes closed. FV-Lock cures this. With FV-Lock, I can say "ok, you will see one flash -- hold the pose and one second later I'll take the shot. Don't break the pose until you see the second flash." Then I hit the FV-Lock button, count one second and take the shot. Using FV-Lock with moving subjects isn't recommended as it tends toward blown shots. Don
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Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#5 justshootit

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 06:07 PM

Also, if the subjects are moving, use Continuous AF. I don't know if the D80 has this (the D200 does), but if the AC-C mode has a "Focus Priority" or "Focus + Release Priority" setting, use one of those. The "Release Priority" can lead to OOF shots. Don
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Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#6 Denny

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 09:09 PM

Thanks, Don. That's a lot of useful information. I hope to practice some before the event but won't know the exact lighting setup until that night. Denny




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