Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Canon EOS dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 6, 2006, 7:26 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 81
Default

A friend asked me to shoot some photos during her art exhibit this next weekend at a local wine bar here in Long Beach, CA and I would like to get some advice on what I should bring or how I can adjust my current setup to work with the setting.

The location is a relatively small restaurant/bar, i'd say roughly 12m wide at the most and about 35m long. The lighting is mostly all low wattage tungston bulbs and while its not too dark, it is the kind of lighting you'd find in a quiet restaurant. All her acrylic on canvas paintings are lit individually and are composed of relatively vibrant and colorful paints. She would like me to shoot photographs of some of the works as well as well as of the event itself along with the spectators.

I checked the place out and the walls are all very light in color and the ceilings are low which will allow me to bounce flash light off them to achieve better and more natural lighting for both the patrons and the artwork itself.

My current setup is:

Canon Digital Rebel XT
Canon EF-S 18-55mm
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM
Canon Speedlite 430EX

I know i'm really lacking in lenses with wide apertures to prevent blurring but i think the Speedlight should be able to overcome most of these issues. I used it at a wedding recently along with my kit lens and came out with some excellent candid shots.

I also plan on shooting in RAW mode so i can have a lot more leeway in case things don't turn out as good as i'm hoping to be able to fix anything slips in my judgement.

The wedding i shot recently was both indoors and outdoors which made things pretty tricky because as the sunset, it tended to get super bright in the faces of those involved in the ceremony. Indoors however is where the Canon Speedlight 430EX came in handy since i could bounce light off walls and sync it with my Rebel XT to get proper exposure without blowing out the highlights like the white wedding dress with a normal flash. At the time of the wedding I did not own the 75-300 EF Series Lens (no IS.... the cheap Ultrasonic version) which i don't think would work at all in the art gallery considering the tight spaces and probably crowded walkways. I may have to stick with my kit lens at its max focal length and use the flash to the best of my ability since i don't have a fast lens available to me.

Here are a few photos i took indoor and outdoor at the wedding. I did very very minimal post processing on these, the fully processed ones are in the posession of the bride and groom which they used to make a DVD of the wedding.

http://www.kalionzes.com/photography/TomApril

I've been ragging on my uncle to let me borrow his EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens but his response so far has been the middle finger. But thats understandable. I wouldn't loan out such a nice piece of gear either.



Sooo...... considering the situation. What do you guys suggest i try to focus on in order to get the best shots possible. I'm just doing the gig as a friend and its not a super big deal considering its mostly for shooting friends and partons rather than of her actual artwork which definitely is not in the proper environment to be photographed.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Andrew LB is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 6, 2006, 8:45 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Caboose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 625
Default

even bouncing your flash in situation like you describe can still seem a little harsh. You can pick upa difuser for your flash to help soften it and spread the light. LumiQuest makes a small little softbox that will fit over your flash and works pretty good. there are other brands also. You may have to adjust your exposure 1 or 2 stops, so take a couple of test shots. If you have about $80 to spare you might even pick up a canon 50mm f/1.8 lens, although it is more like an 80mm lens on your rebel, but a great low light lens, if you have the room to work with.
Caboose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 6, 2006, 11:04 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,803
Default

Caboose has a good idea there.

Another problem is going to be reflections off the glass. That won't be easy to deal with as this is a rather uncontrolled environment. Bouncing will help there, but I'm not sure it will be enough. Normally art photography is done via a tripod and controlled lighting situations.

Oh, take the picture as close to perpendicular to the surface of the painting as you can. This is key to reduce reflections.

The 70-200 that you can't get your hands on is an amazing lens, but it is probably too much lens for the environment you'll be in. You need something light and small so you can easily move around.

Bring extra batteries for the flash and camera. You'll probably burn through flash batteries. Obviously extra flash cards as well.

Eric
eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 6, 2006, 11:30 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 40
Default

Another idea - have you considered renting a lens? If you check with a local camera shop, I bet they could tell you where you can rent. The charge is often $20-25 for a weekend for a very good lens. It's also a good way to try out lenses that you are considering purchasing. Good luck!:-)
gordonj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 6, 2006, 1:08 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 81
Default

Quote:
Another idea - have you considered renting a lens? If you check with a local camera shop, I bet they could tell you where you can rent. The charge is often $20-25 for a weekend for a very good lens. It's also a good way to try out lenses that you are considering purchasing. Good luck!:-)
Good call. I'll check out some local spots to see if i can rent a nice lens for the evening. I know of a few good photography shops here in Long Beach and a great one in Newport Beach not too far away called Cal's Cameras.


Luckily there isn't going to be any glass between me an any of the artwork, everything is acrylic on canvas and has not been put behind any archival glass.

I'll take a look at one of those 50mm lenses since that is within my budget. The flash diffuser also sounds like a good plan.

As for batteries, i've shot over 500 photographs on a single charge using my camera and the external speedlight at weddings without neither the camera or batteries for the flash dying out. I'll bring extra regardless.

eric s wrote:
Quote:
Caboose has a good idea there.

Another problem is going to be reflections off the glass. That won't be easy to deal with as this is a rather uncontrolled environment. Bouncing will help there, but I'm not sure it will be enough. Normally art photography is done via a tripod and controlled lighting situations.

Oh, take the picture as close to perpendicular to the surface of the painting as you can. This is key to reduce reflections.

The 70-200 that you can't get your hands on is an amazing lens, but it is probably too much lens for the environment you'll be in. You need something light and small so you can easily move around.

Bring extra batteries for the flash and camera. You'll probably burn through flash batteries. Obviously extra flash cards as well.

Eric
Andrew LB is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 5:19 PM.