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Old Sep 29, 2005, 5:59 PM   #1
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I have agreed to shoot a birthday party for kinds in saturday arround 4-5 oclock PM. It is indoor shooting I supose with some dark background (better say will not be enough lights) or flash lights maybe colored flash lights. Also maybe some moving kids could be the subject of shooting.

This is a lettle new for me and need some instruction over possible mistakes that could happend.

should I use a tripod or I can go without. What about noise reduction.

As you see I'm going on birthday on saturday afternoon.

Thanks in advance....

p.s. I'm using Nikon 8700 model digicam.
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Old Sep 29, 2005, 6:20 PM   #2
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i am going to guess that you will probably need to use your flash unless its very well lit.. the mix of flash and ambient light could lead to some white balance difficulties, so you may want to shoot in RAW so you can custom white balance it later.. you may also do some practice using your flash exposure compensation (FEC) so that you can take more control of your flash..

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Old Sep 29, 2005, 6:31 PM   #3
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Moderator Note:

I moved this thread to our General Forum where it may be seen by more members.

I'm a little confused on what you are going to be doing.

You mentioned dark backgrounds (but then mentioned "maybe moving kids").

Are you going to be doing portraits of the kids, or just trying to take photos of the party?

You're going to have kids running around everywhere at a birthday party, and you'll need to use a flash to have a chance of capturing them indoors with your camera. I wouldn't even think about trying it without a flash.

Do you have an external flash to use, or are you limited to the one built into the camera?

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Old Sep 30, 2005, 1:55 PM   #4
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Thaks for moving the thread to another forum I made a mistake probably.

On the other hand to be much more concrete it is much easier to shot adult person as thay know when to stand still, but kids of 6-7 years old are unpredictable and I supose they will not stand still, thay will not running but want be still-standing...that is what I mean *moving kids*, the reason that I'm writing this is that I have had a lot of problems when shoting an object that is not 100% without moving. That part of digicam I did not passed through at all and there is too much motion-blur on moving parts when i'm shoting. So, what to pay attention during adjustment since I'm using the M manual-options while shoting, should I change to some mode or not. I have to use a camera built-in flash . What about noise reduction and tripot.

Special interest to what aperture to use: f2,8to f8.0 =those are my options.

Thanks and sorry for too much asking
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Old Sep 30, 2005, 2:33 PM   #5
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OK...

Let's start out with a bit on how flash works as far as motion blur is concerned.

In most indoor conditions using a non-DSLR model like your Nikon (unless you've got a lot of light coming in through windows during the day, or set your ISO speeds to a higher value), shutterspeeds are not as critical using a flash.

Why not?

At the typical settings a non-DSLR model would use indoors for aperture, shutter speed and ISO speed with a flash, the subject is not exposed well enough to cause much of a problem with motion blur, except during the short flash burst duration (which is typically around 1/1000 second or so, depending on your range to subject.

So, the flash itself freezes the action (because the exposure would be too dark without the flash, and the flash burst is too short to allow you to see any movement.

Where you can get into trouble is when you have too much light, or have ISO speeds set higher. Then, you may get enough ambient light from sources other than the flash to expose your subject. At that point, shutter speeds do become important.

My personal preferred way to shoot indoors with a compact digicam, is to allow more ambient light in a photo. So, I often shoot at higher than default ISO speeds, wide open apertures (smaller f/stop values), and sometimes even slow down the shutter speeds compared to what a camera would use by default. This often does increase my percentage of photos with motion blur. But, I often prefer the "look" of this technique, since you have more ambient light contributing to the exposure this way.

Then, the flash contributes less, you have more even lighting throughout the image, you have less of a problem with overexposed closer subjects and underexposed further subjects if taking photos of a lot of people that are spread out in a room, etc.

But, you don't want to learn to shoot this way at a birthday party if others are relying on your images. You'll end up with too many shots with motion blur if you misjudge the lighting condtions.

Some people use the opposite technique to help isolate a subject from the background. For example, using a smaller aperture (higher f/stop number) and/or lower ISO speeds and/or faster shutter speeds, will mean that your flash is contributing much more to the exposure. So, if you have a closer subject shooting this way, they will be properly exposed, with a much darker background (because the settings are not allowing much ambient light to brighten it).

Again, this isn't something you want to learn to do at a birthday party, if others are reliant on your images. In a crowd of kids, you might have overexposed closer subjects, and underxposed further subjects, and the use of smaller apertures and lower ISO speeds will kill your flash range.

There is no "right or wrong" way to do it. But, until you have some experience using these techniques, you're better off letting the camera choose something "in the middle" by using it's Auto Mode at something like this party, if others are relying on you to get some photos. Ditto for ISO speed. If I were you, I'd stick to Auto everything (Exposure, ISO speed, etc.), using the flash.

Your familiarity with your camera, how exposure works, and how it behaves in given conditions, using given settings, will impact what way works best for you. This only comes with experience with your camera.

If you want my advise, given that it sounds like you haven't taken much in the way of these kinds of photos in the past with it, I'd stick to full auto mode, using the flash.

I'd also try not to use any more optical zoom than necessary. Instead, use your feet for zoom. That does several things for you.

One is that your camera has wider apertures (smaller f/stop numbers) availalble at the shortest focal length (widest zoom setting). That allows more light through to the sensor, so that your flash range is further, and so that your camera can "see" better for Autofocus.

Your camera is probably going to choose a shutter speed around 1/60 second indoors without a flash. Provided your subjects are not moving *too* much, you'll get some keepers that way. Staying at wide angle (not using any optical zoom) also helps reduce motion blur from camera shake, if ambient light is better than expected.

This shutter speeed isa "compromise" setting that most manufactuers of digicams choose using the flash indoors, so that if there is more ambient light than expected, there won't be too much motion blur from camera shake or subject movement.

Perhaps others will disagree (and there are pros and cons to anything), asfor the tripod, no way (if it's like birthday parties with kids I've been to).

You'll be moving around, trying to keep from stepping on kids, holding the camera over and between kids to get better photos of kids around the birthday cake, trying to angle your way in between lots of kids to get a special shot of a smile, or the thrill in their faces when they see their newest toy, etc.

Now, if the environment is as dark as you're describing, you may also have an Autofocus issue. I'd learn how to use your manual focus if you haven't already.

A good "trick" to use with a non-DSLR model indoors if you need to take photos of subjects within the flash range, but it's too difficult to precisely focus, is to use a fixed focus point.

A non-DSLR model has much greater depth of field compared to DSLR, because the sensor is much smaller, whichallows the use of a much shorter actual focal length for any given 35mm equivalent focal length.

I often set a camera to around 2 meters indoors with a flash, if I'm in difficult lighting conditions where Autofocus may not be reliable, since that allows most of my photos that are within the flash range to be acceptably sharp. I shoot at the wide end of the lens (not using muchif any optical zoom), and make sure to shoot subjects within the flash range (using my feet for zoom when necessary). But, don't use this technique if you don't need to (use the AF it it will work in this lighting).

You may also want to practice some before the party starts in similar conditons with friends or family members if they don't mind you snapping away at them. That way, you'll know what to expect.




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Old Oct 1, 2005, 6:18 AM   #6
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:shock:wow, YOU WROTE A BOOK ......... thaks very much. I have read and print all so now I'm preparing to go for shooting.:|

I have some additional questions and pictures to show but untill I prepare them and finish today shooting, hold on...

Thanks and

Regards ZAk
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 9:31 AM   #7
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Here is an example of the problem thatI had 2 weeks ago when trying to make a simple shoot at indoor space. You see the girl on the right side is sharp and good, amoung all others, which were moving a little and as result appeared beside the blur or motion blur some distracting faces. It was a solid indoor light but the flash was ON and I use M manual adjustmentbut see bellow in the list whatwere main pharameters.All other pharameters were on auto. ISO I put on 50 when shootingpeople, is this OK.

I was not using a tripot but I was standing against the wall.

I dont know what would I do if trying to shoot some football game where players are running.......I would have just a "windy colors":?

Make NIKON
Model E8700
Orientation upper left
X resolution 300
Y resolution 300
Software E8700v1.2


YCbCr positioning co-sited
Exposure time 1/4 s
F-number 2.9
Exposure program Manual
ISO speed ratings 50


Component config YCbCr
Exposure bias value 0
Max. aperture value 3
Metering mode Pattern
Light source Unknown
Flash
Focal length 10.7 mm
User comment
Colorspace sRGB
Pixel X dimension 3264
Pixel Y dimension 2448


Regards Zak




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Old Oct 1, 2005, 10:14 AM   #8
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Simple.

Your shutter speeds were so slow (1/4 second) that ambient light exposure (light from sources other than the flash),exposed the movement, causing motion blur.

That's why most cameras pick a shutter speed of around 1/60 second indoors when using a flash (which is fast enough so that ambient light is usually not enough to expose the subjects in most indoor lighting with the aperture and ISO speed used by a digicam's autoexposure, with the short flash burst freezing the action).

If you had used Full Auto instead, you would have probably gotten a sharp photo without blur.
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 2:04 PM   #9
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Thanks for additional reply. I understand your pont.

But, there is but, for this 40-50 days of my new camera Nikon 8700 I have founded that the people images are with f2.8 very good, so this is always starting point, ISO 50, Flash ussually on, and shutter speed I change according to situation.

I had used the same with photo I showed you with bluring. The speed was 4 because if I had changed to 1/2, 1/8 or 1/15...1/30...1/60 or evenon another way like 1, 2, 4, 8 ... I would loose the exposurequality =I meanthe over or under-exposure would happend.If I had putted the 1/60 as you suggested in order not to lose the good exposure and not having blurring parts I would probably had to change the ISO to 200 or 400 and there I always found a lost of quality when ISO is different then 50, well maybe not quality lost but a lot of noise appears then. That is what making me askingwhich is the wrong way that i'm going on?

So, Must be some goodpoint of this issue because I see on the forum lot of sport photos which are excellent in every way - quality and exposure......big secret must be. I must found out what is the main pointand why that point is not included into my knowladge.Must be some other adjustments that i'm not familiar with.

To be honest I'm very thanfull for your time forsharing withme and supposewith someone else who is reading this thread also.

Regards Zak
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Old Oct 1, 2005, 2:48 PM   #10
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Auto ISO is probably going higher than ISO 50. If it went to ISO 100, then you'd have a stop more ambient light contributing to the exposure.

If it goes even higher than that with flash, fine. Noise isn't *that* bad. The benefits outweigh the cons using Auto ISO in most cases. Most cameras aren't going to raise it all the way up or anything. That's what higher ISO speeds are for. Use Neat Image or Noiseware with it later if you need to.

Yes, f/2.8 is good, but it's going to pick that *anyway* using Autoexposure, if you stay at the wide end of the lens in low light with your camera.

That's one of the points I made about why shooting at the wide end of the lens is betterin my earlier post (larger apertures available), using your feet for zoom. Most digicams will always select the larger available aperture for the focal length you're shooting at in low light anyway using Autoexposure.

So, just plain old Autoexposure with Auto ISO is probably going to bump it toISO100 or more, whichwould allow a stopor moreambient light into the exposurecompared to what you'd get at ISO 50, with f/2.8 giving you the widest aperture for most ambient light, too.

Then, theshutter speeds it would select usinga flash indoors in low light (probably around 1/60 second with most digicams shooting indoors with flash), would help to prevent any motion blur from subject movement if you misjudge how much ambient light you have and the flash doesn't freeze the movement (with less motion blur from camera shake shooting at the wide end of the lens, too).

Again, I'd shoot it full Auto. I take my own advise most of the time at family parties with kids running around. What it's going to pick is probably what I would pick anyway shooting that way at a crowded party with a digicam with kids running around.

Heck, I had a birthday party just 6 days ago (last Sunday) at my house for my brother-in-law's next door neighbor, as well my great niece (my niece's baby daughter). ;-)

I grabbed an old Nikon Coolpix 950 and put it on programmed Auto and snapped away.

I like the old Coolpix because of it's swivel body. It let's me shoot Candids at parties from waist level while walking around (so that it's easier to get unposed shots since they don't notice you taking the pictures as easily). You can hold it up in air if you need to also. :-)

I took some photos with two other camera's too (I took lots of photos).You're going to have cut off arms, feet, heads, etc.

You can't get them all in a photo at the same time if you want any detail in individual subjects in a crowd of kids.

They're all not going to be looking the same way at once, smiling at the same time, etc. either. So, do the best you can with it. Take lots of photos. Full Auto is fine (including the ISO speed). Let it bump it up a little if it wants to.

Stay on the wide end of the lens using your feet for zoom for the already mentioned reasons you want to with a digicam (exposure, camera shake, camera can see to focus better, better flash range, etc.).

Worry about getting some shots versus the camera settings. Have some fun with it!
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