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Old Oct 24, 2006, 4:39 PM   #1
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Hopefully someone can help me out. I'm supposed to take some photos for my squadron and most of them are going to end up being at night. I'm having trouble figuring out which settings would be best for this with my camera. I've been playing around and trying a few things..but nothing has come out to my liking. Most of the photos will be inside aircraft, with people moving around, or driving forklifts. There is some lighting in the aircraft, but I'm still running into problems getting good clear shots.I've also run into issues with the stupid reflective light belts they make us wear. The sensor in my camera tends to go right for the light belt around the waist, leaving the rest of the picture dark. Unfortunately I can't use a tripod out on the flightline. I've mainly been using the manual focus settings so I can play with it more. I tried with my accessory flash and without. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Dani
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Old Oct 24, 2006, 10:23 PM   #2
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We'll keep you bumped to the top until one of the P850 users can answer you!



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Old Oct 24, 2006, 10:26 PM   #3
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sweet. thanks muchly I got a few good shots the other night of some our guys loading the aircraft. Mainly, we've just been taking pics of eachother doing stupid stuff around the office. It's hard to be creative in this environment :roll:

Dani
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Old Oct 25, 2006, 5:29 AM   #4
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Dani, I'm not clear on a couple things. How much lighting is available inside the aircraft? Is the lighting environment like a dark unlit street or a sports stadium under halogen lights? Are you shooting posed shots or candid?

If you are shooting in very dim light indoors, one thing you can do to help focus is to shine a small flashlight at a non-reflective part of the uniform or object and lock your focus on that. And if you are shooting a non-moving object or scene, use longer shutter speed and wider aperture... maybe f2.8 at 1/15 to 1/2 second. (You said you can't use a tripod, so try and brace yourself aginst something and hold your breath as you gently press the shutter button). Set your ISO to 200, no higher.

But quite frankly, I would have chosen a different camera for this job... a wide angle lens camera rather than a 12x zoom would give you better results inside the aircraft. Actually, in lieu of having an expensive DSLR available, I would gone to a 35mm film camera and used high speed film. You could always have the film developer burn the photos onto a CD for later computer enhancement.
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Old Oct 25, 2006, 7:11 AM   #5
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have you looked in the scene modes, i wear theres an indoor option and an night and sunset option :idea:
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Old Oct 25, 2006, 11:43 AM   #6
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If the camera is using the belt buckle for a focus and exposure point go to a tighter focus like centerspot and the photos will lighten up some. If you are using manual settings then bracket the shot with either one stop moves of the arperture settings or one stop moves of the shutter settings. A tripod is recomended but by touching the lens to a resting point or bracing your body against a resting point and remembering to hold steady as the shutter stays open then you can get pretty good low light shots sans tripod.

Just a thought.


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Old Oct 25, 2006, 12:06 PM   #7
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I didn't actually buy the camera for this specific type of shooting. My senior leadership just happened to see that I had broughtcamera equipment and asked me to try and get some shots of our people doing their job. There's also no place to develop film in Iraq..at least on this base..so that option is out. The lighting is kind of like..dim halogen lights. Not sports stadium lighting, but not a dim street either. I'm still playing around with the camera too..so it's all a learning thing right now. I've had it for about 3 months but everytime we take it somewhere, my boyfriend is usually the one who scarfs it up and uses it.

Thank you all for the help though. I will try some of the advice you've all given meand see what I can come up with. :|

Dani


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Old Oct 25, 2006, 2:52 PM   #8
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Actually the P850 is an excellant choice for the area of the world you are in as it can be used for such a wide range of photography! I'd hate to be trying to get film developed over there my self. Try also playing around with the ISO setting of that camera. A higher ISO will begin to give you some noise or pixelation in the photo but it will also alow a faster shutter speed to be used in those low light situations. I'd prefer a little photo noise rather than lose the shot!

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Old Oct 25, 2006, 3:45 PM   #9
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Greetings Dani,

I can appreciate the dilemma you are in and am glad I saw your post.

For me, when using that camera or any of the other P series and some Z series cameras, I always connect up my flash. I have used the P20 for the P cameras, but most of the time I prefer the options offered on my Sunpak 622. Gives me a lot of range, about 80' to 100' or a quick change to wide angle for inside work.

In your case, since I am not sure of the particulars, I suggest an available flashunless you have access to professional equipment. I would then know the planes you want to photograph then calculate the exposures and settings.This wayyou will knowthe max width, depth and details of the scene you want to capture.You can then position the subjects that will be in scene to those being photographed within the parameters of the scene in question. With some preplanning you should get some great shots. Write down the parameters and the compositions you have made in your head and calculate the correct exposures for each. The shoot should go much more smoothly if you do.

Consider the flashes that are available to you, then make your choice. Know the flash and the settings and options of your camera well to get your best results.

If you cannot use a flash, then measure the light ahead of time, so you will know if you have enough for the setups you plan to use. Movein close, or use timed exposures. Have support for your camera ready if needed.

If I can help in some other way, let me know.

Ron Baird
Eastman Kodak Company
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Old Oct 25, 2006, 4:11 PM   #10
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Thank you Ron, for the help. The environment is kind of fast paced out here. We don't get to go out and shoot alot and sometimes we work in different aircraft. I have my own work to do here in the office aside from taking photos for the bosses and alot of times we'll only have maybe a 10 or 15 minute notice that a plane is coming down. Some of them are only on the ground for a very short time, so it's kind of a shoot alot and hope you get some good stuff type thing. There's alot of people and alot of moving, so it's really difficult to get good shots and make sure we're not slowing down the mission, and that no one is going to get hurt. We're talking like...6000+ pound metal sheets filled with cargo being pushed around. Safety of course is paramount around here. The other night was my first time actually going out to an aircraft to shoot. I'm calling it my trial and error session. I found some things that worked better than others and played with the camera. I do have the P20 accessory flash, and I did use it for some of my shots. I'll have to look into the sunpak flash you mentioned. I thought maybe though since everyone around here is so nice that they'd help me out. And they have :-)

Dani
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