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Flasher Etiquette

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #2267
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    So, I’m in my trenchcoat, with nothing on underneath and come up on this old lady at the bus stop…no…wait…wrong forum…So, I’m shooting an event today, sword dancing (which unfortunately did not feature bloodshed…very disappointed), in a public space. The lighting was tough, strong natural light from huge windows mixed with florescent lights in the ceiling, the dancing was kind of a shady corner. So if I shot toward the windows that light blows out everything, if I shoot away everything is in heavy shadow.

    Time to break out the flash, right? Here’s my quandary, I don’t think it’s right to be blasting a flash in the face of people trying to perform. Sure, I use a diffuser which mutes it a little, but still these people are trying to put on a show and bam this big bright flash in the eyes.

    I know a few of you are event photographers, how do you handle bad light and the use of flash when shooting a show or performance?

    #39000
    SilverStag
    Participant

    I expose for the action, and let the non essentials blow out or go dark.

    Sometimes that’s easy, in the case of a brightly-lit stage or theater production, sometimes, it gets difficult (like a gym with mixed lighting). You just have to muddle through, but here’s where high ISO’s and fast lenses can really save you.

    There’s really no substitute for fast glass and fast film. (Or fast sensors, as the case may be)

    I agree that it’s impolite to use a hobbyist level flash in the face of unprepared performers; most people who perform are used to the annoyance of tiny flashes from pocket cameras, but hitting them with something with a 120 guide number is a bit overpowering.

    You’d be surprised what you can get with an f/1.8 prime and 400 speed film, though. This scene was lit with no more than a couple of 60-watt bulbs:
    Rehearsal by pjern, on Flickr

    Can you show us some of your shots for a friendly critique?

    #39001
    olavf
    Participant

    Unless I’m expressly invited to take pics, I never use the flash in those situations. I think it’s too distracting for both the performers, and the audience.

    #39002
    nobigdeal
    Participant

    I blind the living shit out of everyone present!
    Serious answer… I use a diffuser when appropriate, an off camera cord so I can move the flash out of peoples faces and high ISO wide aperture and back the flash off 3 stops so its a smaller pop.

    #39003
    Uranus
    Participant

    I blind the living shit out of everyone present!
    Serious answer… I use a diffuser when appropriate, an off camera cord so I can move the flash out of peoples faces and high ISO wide aperture and back the flash off 3 stops so its a smaller pop.

    HmmmmMMMMmmmm! Your secretssssss..Shows them to meeee!

    #39004
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    Can you show us some of your shots for a friendly critique?

    Here’s the Flickr set

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ennuipoet/sets/72157625963032079/

    I shot at high ISO and no flash. Also, I’m really not happy with the noise in the 50D, these were shot at ISO 800 and they are noisy as hell. I could shoot without worry at 800 on my 20D! I’ve got to dig around to see what’s up.

    #39005
    orionid
    Participant

    I blind the living shit out of everyone present!

    Pretty much this. I figure, as performers, they’re either already used to it, or need to get used to it. Although, I would have probably hesitated a little bit with swordplay.

    #39006
    nobigdeal
    Participant

    Can you show us some of your shots for a friendly critique?

    Here’s the Flickr set

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ennuipoet/sets/72157625963032079/

    I shot at high ISO and no flash. Also, I’m really not happy with the noise in the 50D, these were shot at ISO 800 and they are noisy as hell. I could shoot without worry at 800 on my 20D! I’ve got to dig around to see what’s up.

    It’s not that the 50D is noisier than the 20D. It is the fact that the files are twice the size. So when you look at them full size you say GAH! I would bet if you reduced the photos down to 25% and ran them through Topaz DeNoise you would be much happier with them. Other than that I see some user error, too slow a shutter for hand held maybe? Since there is no EXIF data I cant say for sure. What lens were you using?

    #39007
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    It’s not that the 50D is noisier than the 20D. It is the fact that the files are twice the size. So when you look at them full size you say GAH! I would bet if you reduced the photos down to 25% and ran them through Topaz DeNoise you would be much happier with them. Other than that I see some user error, too slow a shutter for hand held maybe? Since there is no EXIF data I cant say for sure. What lens were you using?

    Ahh! That makes a lot of sense! I was shooting on my Sigma 24-70 DG, which doesn’t really like the 50D. It’s an old lens that someone thought was broken because they didn’t know how to use it, so I got it free when I bought my 20D (which has nothing to do with anything, but I really think it’s cool I got a $700 lens for free) The lens isn’t as crisp as I would like but I don’t have the change for the Canon 24-70L yet. Yeah, there is a lot of camera shake in them I was really shooting to slow for but I didn’t want to crank the ISO because of the noise, which is ironic because I bought the 50D because of the extended ISO.

    #39008
    nobigdeal
    Participant

    Ah yes..the lovely Sigma 24-70. I have the same lens. On my 40D or my A1 film camera it was wonderful, but on the 50 it was god awful. Don’t be afraid to crank the ISO’s on the 50. You should be able to get reasonably clean shots at 1600, and if you are just posting online there is no reason not to reduce the image size to the point that the noise is invisible. As I said before, good noiseware is a blessing! I use Topaz DeNoise and Noise Ninja, depending on the shot. Noise Ninja is good because it can be used standalone if you don’t have Photoshop.

    #39009
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    Ah yes..the lovely Sigma 24-70. I have the same lens. On my 40D or my A1 film camera it was wonderful, but on the 50 it was god awful. Don’t be afraid to crank the ISO’s on the 50. You should be able to get reasonably clean shots at 1600, and if you are just posting online there is no reason not to reduce the image size to the point that the noise is invisible. As I said before, good noiseware is a blessing! I use Topaz DeNoise and Noise Ninja, depending on the shot. Noise Ninja is good because it can be used standalone if you don’t have Photoshop.

    Which sucks because the 24-70 is my primary walk around lens! While it doesn’t go wide on the crop it goes wide enough to work and the at 70 it’s close enough to catch faces and expression. I just downloaded the Topaz plug in and used it clean up some noisy night shots, it’s amazing!

    You know, I really thought I was done lens shopping for a while, now I’m back in the market…again…why didn’t I pick a cheap hobby like knitting?

    #39010
    nobigdeal
    Participant

    I hear you. The 24-70 was my main lens until I got the 50D. It’s funny because I bought mine on Ebay for 100 bucks because the pawn shop that was selling it thought it was broken due to the noisy AF motor. I’ve been using it regularly for 4 years now! It’s the only Canon lens I didn’t sell because it works nice on my film camera. I have to say that the 18-105 lens that came with my D7000 is a great walk around lens, but i have been thinking of selling it and using the money towards a Tamron 18-270. The newest version with the USM motor looks sweet. I also have a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 that is just wonderful and I just bought a Tokina 11-16 f2.8 this past Thursday which came in real handy last night as the club I was shooting at was so small I was literally shooting from about a foot away from the performers!

    #39011
    Curious
    Participant

    I have to say that the 18-105 lens that came with my D7000 is a great walk around lens,

    i bought one of those to replace the 18-55 that is the kit lens for the D3000. the extra length is great. while a 2.8 would be better it’s fast enough for what i do. i’m happy with focus times and accuracy and the image quality is really good.

    #39012
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    I tend to use my 70-200L for most of my street/performance work, by far the best lens I own and the only L glass I have. In the interim I am going to switch my EF 20-35 as a walk around lens. It is not as fast as the Sigma but I think it gives better shots and on the crop it’s close to a standard 50mm. I’ll put the Sigma back on the 20D and use it for a back up.

    #39013
    olavf
    Participant

    More often than not, my walk-around is my 50/1.4. It’s just by far my favorite lens, and I like the challenge of being close enough to my subjects to get the full picture.

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