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Old Dec 29, 2007, 10:01 AM   #1
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Wanted to take a second to introduce myself and thank everyone for the help. While you are not aware, you helped with my camera purchase. I was set on either a 400XTI or a 40D. I did hours upon hours of research on this site and a multitude of others. Let me say that this site is great!!!. I found lots of humble and not so humble opinions. I am new to photography and have been practicing with the different modes and lenses. I guess the main ting is that I am having fun and enjoying the camera, which is what it is all about for me. I doubt I will ever go on a safari picture taking spree, but I will be shooting the kids at their various sporting events.

I purchased the 40D as a kit and also bought the 70-300 IS lens and that huge thing they call a flash (580 EXII). I now have enough equipment to be rather dangerous and bothersome. This leads me to one of a thousand questions; what is proper etiquette when taking pictures at various events. A good example would be my daughters concert. The lights were dim and I used the flash to brighten it up a bit for some shots. No one said anything, but as I was driving home I wondered if I was out of line. Is it first come first serve at events where position is critical or does everyone try to share space?
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Old Jan 3, 2008, 3:22 PM   #2
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You were probably right to feel a little weird after the recitle regarding the use of your flash. Flash is usually frowned upon, if not downright prohibited at many types of events, especially those where the lighting in the auditorium versus the stage is more dim. The main reason for this is to protect the participants of the show. Bright flashes coming from the dimly lit auditorium can be extremely distracting to someone performing on stage.

Remote strobes are used in major sporting events and such which don't fire directly in the direction of the participants, rather the come from above or are "bounced" off of the ceilings, etc.

Your best bet is to shoot at as high a shutter speed as you can and the lowest f-stop your lens will allow, while bumping up your ISO to your acceptable level to get the desired exposure. I would also recommend a tripod or monopod as you'll be amazed at how much camera shake is involved, especially with the larger, heavier zoom lenses - 80-200, 120-300, etc. If you don't have a good f/2.8 lens (70-200 or 120-300 (Sigma)) then you might want to consider getting one to help in these types of situations.

To put your mind at rest, if no-one said anything to you regarding the flash, I wouldn't worry too much about it, but at the next event they could be pointing at you and whispering "there's that guy with the flash again" if you continue to use it.

Good luck and Happy New Year!

Doug
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Old Jan 3, 2008, 3:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I was able to bounce it off the ceiling so that I didnt blind any of the kids on stage. No one said anything, so I guess no harm no foul. There were a lot of parents taking pictures, but most if not all were using P&S cameras.
I am enjoying the camera I just dont want to make everyone else mad in the process.
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Old Jan 4, 2008, 1:42 AM   #4
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Most people clearly don't know how to switch off their flash on their P&S cameras. As a simple principle of fairness it seems to me that if you allow 30 silly people to use their utterly ineffectual flashes from their P&S cameras you should allow someone to use a proper flash that will actually work.

Silly little flashes are almost as distracting for performers as big ones that work.

In my experience most people don't mind big flashes, but they are a bit unusual so attract attention. You may get people asking if they can see your photos because they recognise that you will probably be getting better ones than they can.

Of course each venue or event is entitled to its own rules on the matter, and sometimes flash is prohibited, sometimes all photography, sometimes just "professional" looking cameras.

I think the best policity is to get over one's shyness (I'm pretty shy about this myself) and go and ask somebody who looks like they might be in charge if it's OK. If they say yes, then you are at least in the clear if someone challenges you about it.
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Old Jan 4, 2008, 8:51 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply and advice. I didnt catch and flack from anyone at the event. After I touched up the photo's a bit I made a CD for the teacher that organized and led the vent. She was very appreciative, so I am pretty sure I didnt offend her along the way. Being new to this photography bug I wanted to make sure I wasnt doing something that "everyone" knew was wrong but me. Thanks again for your help and advice.
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Old Jan 4, 2008, 1:48 PM   #6
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I think the best policity is to get over one's shyness (I'm pretty shy about this myself) and go and ask somebody who looks like they might be in charge if it's OK. If they say yes, then you are at least in the clear if someone challenges you about it.


Rightly said. I always prefer this way. Go to the organizer, get the OK and shoot. And if someone wants to see the picture they may love it when they compare the same picture with their PS. This happened to me once in a wedding(India). The professional fotographer was a bit stunned at the 5D and 85L andthe picture coming out of it. In face i was using no flash and making use of the lights the video camera folks were using. In the end the pictures were really good that the professional borrowed some for the marriage album..i dont take pictures for money and i dont mind sharing it with them...its just a hobby
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