November 30, 2011 at 3:46 am #2497
I was invited to shoot pictures for the Nutcracker on Ice in a week or so. This is an opportunity to shoot an event for practice. Having never been to the venue, I’m not sure what to expect in terms of shooting locations or lighting. I’m told there will be two or three locations “on the ice” (whatever that means) and one in a perch above the action.
My zoom is the 55-200 (f4-5.6) kit lens so large aperture will be a challenge. I have an external flash that I should be able to use. Also, I am expected to download my photos at the end of the show so any post processing is out the window.
Any suggestions for what to take in terms of equipment and how to manage the difficult lighting?November 30, 2011 at 7:07 am #42866
Any suggestions for what to take in terms of equipment and how to manage the difficult lighting?
Some kind of clamp you can attach the flash to. If it’s a big space you may not be able to bounce the flash much, meaning it will need to be direct – and that means you want to move the flash away from the axis of the lens if at all possible.November 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm #42867
If at all possible, you should try to scout the venue before the show, or at least look for other photos taken at previous events to get an idea of the lighting and space. If you can take a tripod or monopod, do so, particularly if you are in a set space and cannot move around the venue. Ramp up your ISO as high as you can without losing detail to noise, I would say shoot in RAW but if you have to dump your images on site that probably won’t work.
Finally, and I learned this from shooting an event on ice, shoot your shots 1/2 to a full stop down from the meter, the lights reflecting on the ice will result in your meter over exposuring and blow out all your highlights and generally give the shot a washed out appearance. Also, you will gain some shutter speed from the meter down.November 30, 2011 at 3:25 pm #42868
You might know about this feature already but I just figured this out last night – on the 5000, when a photo is in review you push either down or up to show the histogram. If you press ‘ok’ from the histogram it takes you to the in-camera modification menu. The first option is Active-D lighting. Applying this to a photo does in camera light balancing of the image. It worked pretty well for me last night doing shots for this week’s theme. The modified photo is saved as a new photo. I’d try a couple test shots, but this might allow you to shoot at a faster shutter speed/lower ISO to reduce noise/larger f-stop to improve clarity and focus and then do some quick in-camera adjustments.
Good luck, this sounds like an exciting opportunity!November 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm #42869
Lots of good advice. I knew you guys (and gals) would have good information.
sleeping, I have a flash bracket and a homemade flash handle. I’m not sure if I would rather use the bracket or a tripod.
ennui, I may not be able to scout the venue before hand but I will have some time before the show starts to get the lay of the land. I looked at pictures from last year’s event and many of them seem to have a yellowish cast. I plan on doing a custom white balance since I won’t be able to fix it after the fact.
Kestrana, thanks for the info. I didn’t know I could do that but I will tinker with it before the event. I also need to figure out the highest ISO I can use without getting a lot of noise. The D5000 does have a high ISO noise reduction feature that I have used before but I think I was shooting at 1250.November 30, 2011 at 6:02 pm #42870
Flash brackets only work at close distances. If you’re 20 feet away from your subject, moving the flash a foot or so onto a bracket doesn’t really make much difference at all. Ideally you’d want to be able to put it some distance away from where you’re shooting (and also if possible keep close enough to the ambient light levels to preserve some kind of detail in the shadows).November 30, 2011 at 6:05 pm #42871
Oh, another thing that could be useful if you’re dealing with dancers and such is rear curtain flash with a long-ish shutter speed – you can get more of a sense of movement that way…November 30, 2011 at 7:34 pm #42872
I’m fairly certain you don’t know the answer, but…
When you upload will you at least have the opportunity to look at the pix first?
I’m thinking that you could have the Portable version of Irfanview loaded on a flash drive, and then if you need to do a batch fix for a yellowish hue or something you can do that before permanently being known as the Lady with the Yellow pix.
Alternatively, have you access to a netbook or iPad to do this on your own prior to the upload? Or you could (in the pre-show time) do a few sample shots and then be able to look at them in a larger format than that tiny screen on your camera.
Obviously, I don’t have much advice on the shooting part, but for the software, I’m on it.November 30, 2011 at 11:53 pm #42873
Why would the expect you to download the photos at the end of the show?December 1, 2011 at 1:14 am #42874
The main photographer is a professional and he has photographed this event for years. He is allowed to invite 4 or 5 extra photogs to help out and he gives first dibs to his students to give them experience shooting a live event under difficult lighting. I think it is easier on him to corral the photos before we all scatter.
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