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Old Nov 29, 2006, 1:59 PM   #1
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Hi all

Last Sunday I was competing ... I took my Sony R1 and got the following pics. There's another couple in the Sony Forum.

One of the typical challenges of this kind of hotography is that the following are true ...

Low light
No flash allowed
Massive variance of distances from subjects ... they can be anything from 1 meter away to 20 or more and moving very quickly. Therefore no simple estimates to be made of focus.

Here they are ..I hope you enjoy them.

I'll certainly appreciate technical suggestions and will do my best to answer questions on how I took them.

All the best

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Old Nov 29, 2006, 2:00 PM   #2
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Old Nov 29, 2006, 7:58 PM   #3
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Hi, Glyn:

I really enjoy having the opportunity to see inside an English ballroom competition! Here are my comments:

Image #1

Normally, including a person in the background would be a distraction, but in this case having thewoman (a judge, I assume) in the background critically assessing thedancers added to the feeling of reality.

Image #2

I loved the line of the dancers' body; and especially her red dress. It made me wonder, though, what it might look like without her partner in the background. There is just enough of him showing to be a distraction; but not enough to add anything to the shot. This is just a "perfect world" observation; I realize how hard it is to get any good shots at a competition like this;and I doubt seriously I could have done as well.

BTW, the color looks a bit off to me, but I will wiselyleave comments regarding the exposure, color, etc. to someone else ... I am starting to seriously suspect that my laptop is WAY off, soI cannot rely on observations on anything but composition until I get it calibrated. Ria
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 1:03 PM   #4
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Wow that is a very difficult shooting environment which I would not like to work with too much. If you were allowed to use flash then you can get some great effects by using a slow shutter along with it (say 1/6th 2nd). I would also try using a slow shutter to see what you get, personally I would go to the extreme as a little blur will look funny with nothing sharp.

As for your shots here the 2nd is my fave, as Ria mentioned the body position is cool. Both shots look under exposed to me which is probably as you used shutter priority with too little light for that speed. It might be worth upping the ISO more as well as going for 1/60th and see what you get. If they are moving too fast thought you are going to get quite a bit of motion blur.

Do you know why flash photography is not allowed?? I can't believe that it would be a problem at all. If you look at all the sports that are shot with flash where players are looking at a fast moving ball or something then they don't have difficulty with flash. I have heard coaches say if the flash is a problem then the players aren't concentrating enough.

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Old Dec 2, 2006, 7:49 PM   #5
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Hi Mark

Thankou for your response. Iwas working with maximum aperture and a shutter speed of 80th sec. I upped the ISO to, I think,

The first pic was:
Exposure Time = 1/250"
F Number = F3.5
Exposure Program = Shutter priority
ISO Speed Ratings = 800

And the second one was:
Exposure Time = 1/80"
F Number = F4.8
Exposure Program = Shutter priority
ISO Speed Ratings = 400

I am familiarising myself with the Sony R1 ...
Halfway through the competition I reviewed a few of theimages and felt that 800ISO was potentially too grainy and I wanted to experiment with ISO400

Up till I got the R1, i ahve been workign with a Ricoh GX8 .... generally going for shutter speeds of 30th sec so that I would not need to go highter than 200ISO,

Here are a few examples. Your comments about deliberately going for blur as an effect are very well taken indeed ... part of what I want to capture is, indeed the motion ... I generlly try to get the couple when they are in a 'pose' .... I am, myself, a competitor, so I have the 'knowledge' of what poses certain kinds of movement naturally are leading to so i can set up shots ready to catch the peak. But it is so good to have a limb or two blurred and moving .. or the swirl of a dress. One of my favourits ballroom dance pics of all time is very burred and swirly indeed ... very much like a Degas Bullfight.

Rules Of Flash ...
FWIW ... photography in the ballroom dance scene is about as cool to 'da management' as a group of Trappist Monks singing Spice Girls choruses in front of the abbot!
Use of flash ... except by the 'official' photograher is totally not allowed.

The next Photo is another R1 pic ... and is the result ofhelp and advice forum members Ria, Ken and Nicholas. This is a final version which Nicholas did.

The rest are all Ricoh Caplio ... Slow speed, low ISO ... lot more blur to play with.
For quite a while, I have been erring on the side of underexposing and bringing it back up in PP in prefrence to starting with high ISO ... I think it's because with the Ricoh that ws better than risking som eof the coarsness of the grain ... hwich might have been OK excpet that I would tend to tak all the pics at 28mm and crop in to frame the subjects.

I'm definitely going to learn to work with higher ISOs

Again, Mark, thanks for your feedback

Best wishes

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